2017 Motor Drives Report: 5 high-level findings

Key trends in variable-speed, servo and/or stepper, and medium-voltage drives from buying and specifying respondents to the Control Engineering 2017 Motor Drives study
By Amanda Pelliccione August 2, 2017

Key trends in variable-speed, servo and/or stepper, and medium-voltage drives follow below from buying and specifying respondents to the Control Engineering 2017 Motor Drives study.

  1. When evaluating any type of motor drive, automation professionals first at reliability, followed by price, communication interface choices, customer service and support offerings, and simplicity of setup/controls. Source: Control EngineeringUsage: 87% of respondents use or expect to use variable-speed drives within the next 12 months; 46% use/plan to use servo and/or stepper drives; and 22% use or plan to use medium-voltage drives.
  2. Applications: When specifying variable-speed drives, 90% of applications are new, 76% are retrofit, and 73% are replacement. The breakdown for servo and/or stepper drives is 88% new, 63% retrofit, and 71% replacement. For medium-voltage drives: 92% new, 66% retrofit, and 61% replacement.
  3. Purchasing: 36% of respondents prefer to buy motors and related variable-speed drives, ac/dc controllers separately; 24% prefer matched units. Regarding servo/stepper drives, only 13% prefer separate and 56% look for matched units. For medium-voltage drives and Above NEMA motors: 29% prefer separate and 34% favor matched units.
  4. Expenditures: Over the past 12 months, respondents estimated an average of $148,000 having been spent on variable-speed drives, ac/dc. For the same time frame, respondents also estimated average values of $96,000 for servo/stepper drives and $509,000 for medium-voltage drives.
  5. Important factors: The most critical qualities respondents look for when choosing a motor drive are frequent start/stop tolerance for variable-speed drives (78%), accurate positioning for servo/stepper drives (93%), accurate speed and torque control for medium-voltage drives (88%).

Access the full 2017 Motor Drives Report to view additional findings.