North American general motion control market rebounding

Dedham, MA—The North American General Motion Control (GMC) market will likely experience a healthy 6.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and reach the $1 billion level during the next five years, according to a new study, “General Motion Control Outlook for North America, Market Analysis and Forecast Through 2008” by ARC Advisory Group.


Dedham, MA— The North American General Motion Control (GMC) market shrunk significantly during 2001-02 due to the weak economy and a low level of capital investments across most industries. However, the market is rebounding, and will experience healthy growth with a 6.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and reach the $1 billion level during the next five years, according to a new study, “General Motion Control Outlook for North America, Market Analysis and Forecast Through 2008” by ARC Advisory Group .

ARC reports that manufacturing in a variety of industries has become more challenging due to greater product variations, faster production speeds, and increased quality requirements at every stage of the production process. “GMC systems present one of the key technologies capable of meeting the challenges facing manufacturers,” says Himanshu Shah, ARC senior analyst and the study’s principle author.

ARC adds that manufacturers employing discrete production processes are facing intense pressure to improve their financial bottom line. The study found that adoption of GMC equipment will continue to increase as motion control solutions offer greater flexibility, higher performance, and lower cycle times.

In addition, new standards in manufacturing automation for interfaces, programming languages, physical connections, and protocols help decrease cost of machinery, and so end-users prefer to use newer controls employing these standards. Some OEM machine builders, however, adopt automation solutions that optimize application form factor, and deviate from established standards to increase performance, reduce cost, or shorten time-to-market. Nowhere is this more evident than in the motion control arena, according to ARC.

Consequently, the GMC market has many new battles brewing over networks; increased standard programming language options; and varied architectures. The motion network struggle continues as suppliers develop dissimilar motion control networks. Meanwhile, using Ethernet for motion control networking is one of the most active areas for suppliers because of rising demand from end-users and OEMs. Though many of these protocols are open, they are different, and only a few suppliers participate with each of them. With the Profibus and SERCOS organizations announcing upcoming Ethernet-based solutions, the battle for the standard motion control network is expected to get feisty, reports ARC.

Also, the debate between centralized and distributed architectures for motion control solutions is continuing. ARC adds that the distributed architecture is growing rapidly due to high processing power at lower costs.

Finally, ARC reports that future growth in the GMC market will be fueled by food and beverage, semiconductor, and plastic and rubber applications, who are major users of GMC equipment, and are expected to increase capital investments.

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Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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