Linear motors: Will the lights stay on for linear motion component production?

The worldwide economic recession is unlikely to force manufacturers of linear motion components, such as ball screws and linear guides, to mothball production lines or close factories, says market analyst for IMS research.
By Control Engineering Staff December 17, 2008
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Wellingborough, UK — Manufacturers of linear motion components, such as ball screws and linear guides, have made significant investments in factory capacity in recent years. In the current global economic downturn will they now need to mothball production lines, or even close whole factories?
IMS Research analyst James Dawson thinks not: “We will undoubtedly see a slowing in demand for linear motion components as companies postpone and even cancel investment in machinery due to the down turn in the world economy and the difficulties in raising finance. However, the majority of manufacturers have been quite shrewd in where they have built additional factory capacity.”
With headquarters in Wellingborough, UK and offices in Austin, TX, and Shanghai, China, IMS Research supplies market research and consultancy services to a wide range of global electronics companies. The company regularly publishes detailed research on power transmission and low voltage products markets, among others.
“We have seen companies open new factories in regions of the highest growth, such as Asia Pacific and China,” Dawson continues. “Demand for ball screws and linear guides in these emerging markets will continue to remain robust even through the downturn. When the global economy recovers, they will be in place to take advantage in the recovering demand for linear motion products from machine builders.”
The worldwide market for linear-motion components is expected to remain relatively healthy because of replacement trends and increased levels of factory automation. It is not, however, likely to return to double-digit annual growth for at least two of three years.

— Edited by C.G. Masi , senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk
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