How motor and machine-mounted drive integration can improve system and operational efficiencies
Due to the increasing demand to reduce energy consumption, integrated motor and machine-mounted drive combinations have attracted the interest of both end users and machine builders. Machine-mounted drives are mounted within 7.5 m of the motor but not integrated onto the motor. In 2015, the integrated motors market (ac brushless servo, dc brushless, dc stepper, and ac induction combined) and machine-mounted drives estimated to be worth $900 million, with 2.0 billion units shipped. In 2016, the market is forecast to reach $950 million, with 2.1 billion units shipped, according to the latest IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) study on integrated motors and machine-mounted drives. The market’s transition toward highly efficient, integrated products is driving growth in the market for motors and drives.
Advanced motors and drives
The increased focus on system efficiency and adopting integrated motors and drives for more applications will increase the demand for motor and machine-mounted drive solutions. The market has adopted new technologies with advanced features, such as variable speed controls for integrated motors in applications such as fans, pumps, compressors, and mechanical movements. With these technologies, there are several ways to direct the application and to control the movement within motion control.
The decentralized or machine-mounted motor drive is a current trend in industrial automation and is providing growth opportunities for the integrated motors and machine-mounted drives market. With increasing demand for decentralized control, machine-builders (OEMs) and end users are keen to have separate machine-mounted drives rather than drives mounted within the central cabinet or in a control-room enclosure. This can be achieved with a machine-mounted drive when a drive integrated onto a motor may not fit into an existing machine design.
For instance, there is a trend toward decentralizing motors in the packaging sector. The integrated motor can save up to 80% of the cabinet space; but now, with the extended motor being integrated, it can become "cabinet-free." This will help reduce technical complications related to the cables. Long cables act almost like an antenna bringing noise into the system, which can cause many problems; so special cabling and wiring are required, and the system must be grounded and shielded.
Geographically, Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) is the largest regional market for integrated motors and machine-mounted drives, accounting for over 63% of the total market, with an estimated value of $560 million in 2015 and expected to reach $750 million by 2019. In EMEA, as investor confidence returns and exports become more competitive, IHS predicts that the EMEA integrated motor and machine-mounted drive sales will increase with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.6% from 2016 to 2019. The German market is the largest market within EMEA, accounting for $260 million in 2015, or 46% of the regional total. IHS forecasts the German market will reach $370 million in 2019.
The ideal compatibility of the variable frequency drive with the motor in an integrated motor and drive ensures efficient performance, with efficiency levels exceeding 90%. This also makes integrated motor and drive units easier to deploy than procuring motor and drive as two separate components and then combining them to achieve a desired performance. It also reduces the lag time and increases productivity. Over the long term, such solutions will be preferred to stand-alone motors and drives.
The integration of motor and drives has gained ground in several industries with space saving, reduced wiring, and unproblematic heat dissipation among the important benefits. However, challenges and concerns vary from industry to industry. For example, the food and beverage industry has many sensitive applications with an increasing need for higher throughput. Likewise, the hygienic requirements are tough, because of equipment requiring frequent wash-downs with aggressive cleaning agents. The demands on equipment placed directly in the production areas are proportionally heavy.
The cost of integrated motors and drives
There is a demand for energy-efficient products to reduce operational costs, which will compel end-users in the Middle East to replace old, inefficient motors with new integral horsepower (IHP) motors. [An IHP motor is one where horsepower is one or more.] While these are positive developments, the immediate challenge of integrated motors and drives manufacturers will be to reduce the high initial costs and to emphasize the benefits of integrated motors and machine-mounted drives clearly to end- users.
The higher cost of these products remains a significant barrier for applications using advanced, rather than traditional, motor technologies. This, in turn, can discourage end-users who do not consider total lifecycle costs. Applications that meet higher energy-efficiency standards account for most of the sales in the integrated motor and machine-mounted drive market. However, in the machine-mounted drive market, the additional training required to install and operate these higher efficiency solutions prevents adoption of the drives in the commercial sector.
The availability of these integrated motors and machine-mounted drives with a wider range of power ratings will help boost customer acceptance of advanced technologies. The major European integrated motor and machine-mounted drive suppliers are outsourcing the production of noncritical components to Asian countries, which offer low-cost raw material and labor.
The increasing demand for having a separate, machine-mounted drive rather than a drive mounted within a central cabinet or in a control-room enclosure will drive sales in motor and machine-mounted drive solutions. The world market for integrated motors and machine-mounted drives is expected to reach $1.17 billion by 2019, with a CAGR of 7.6% from 2014 to 2019.
Five benefits of integrated motors and machine-mounted drives
There are many benefits of integrated motors and machine-mounted drives for end users. Such technologies can:
- Meet higher energy-efficiency standards
- Reduce operational costs
- Ensure efficient and optimal performance
- Reduce technical complications (with less wiring)
- Reduce lag time.
Sudhakar Chaudhary is an analyst at IHS Market Ltd. IHS Markit is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Emily Guenther, associate content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media, email@example.com.
- The benefits of motor and machine-mounted drive integration
- The cost associated with integrated motors
- The challenges and concerns behind integrated motors and machine-mounted drives.
What is the total lifecycle cost of integrated motors and drives?