Low-power ac drive market to grow substantially through 2009

By Control Engineering Staff September 22, 2005
ARC’s market study cites reliability, emphasis on lifecycle cost, and use of new technologies among other growth factors for low-power ac drives.

Spurred by “heightened demand from various emerging markets,” the need for low-power ac drive products grew robustly in 2004, concludes a new ARC Advisory Group study, “Low Power AC Drive Worldwide Outlook.” ARC reports that the global low-power ac drive market passed the $5 billion mark in 2004, with expectation over the next five years for 8.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

Reasons behind the positive forecast include increasingly wider applications—due to ready availability of lower cost, physically compact ac drives—demands from emerging geographic regions, such as Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East; and the potential for significant energy savings. Self-diagnostics and enhanced communication features also help low-power ac drives users realize greater return on assets, according to the report.

ARC senior analyst Himanshu Shah, the study’s principal author, says, “With oil prices escalating and drive prices falling, the payback period for ac drives investment is becoming shorter, pushing their use on a broad basis.”

The report also addresses various challenges faced by ac drive suppliers and how they respond. Profiles for 29 suppliers to the low-power ac drive market are included. For more information on this study, click here .

Frank J. Bartos, executive editor