Component manufacturers gain ground in actuator market
Wellingborough, UK —A new study from IMS Research found that the market for pre-assembled rodless actuators continues to grow at a faster rate than linear motion components in both EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Asia) and the Americas, with suppliers that traditionally manufacture components gaining market share.
Component manufacturers, especially those based in Asia, are able to bring their pre-assembled products to market at low prices, causing price pressures within the two regions, IMS Research says. Actuators designed with one u-shaped guide, marketed by many component suppliers, can be as much as 40% cheaper than the traditional double guided products offered by most dedicated pre-assembled suppliers, making it difficult for actuator suppliers to remain competitive. This has become a noticeable trend in both regions; however, the effects are most evident in the more price sensitive Americas market, the research firm says.
“In 2003, linear motion component manufacturers, such as THK, accounted for approximately one tenth of the Americas’ pre-assembled rodless actuator market,” says IMS Research report analyst Robert Carter. “However, by 2005, this share had increased to nearly a quarter of the total market. This highlights the success that component manufacturers are having in addressing the market for low cost linear actuation.”
The study also found that the current competitive pressures introduced by these companies are more prevalent in a variety of low-end applications, such as material handling. As low functionality automation continues to increase in a wide range of industries, component manufacturers are expected to further increase their share of the actuator market, the report says. To protect their businesses, more dedicated suppliers of pre-assembled products will be encouraged to focus on high-end industries and applications requiring complete linear motion solutions, Carter adds.