Low voltage ac drive unit sales grow thanks to strong Asia market
Interact Analysis reported that strong unit sales in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region increased growth in the low voltage ac drive market to more than $14 billion in 2022.
AC motor drive insights
- Low voltage ac motor drive market grew to $14.2 billion in 2022, fueled by strong APAC sales
- Prices are rising in the EMEA and Americas and are expected to continue into 2023
- Supply chain problems, semiconductor shortages and the war in Ukraine continue to affect global markets
Strong unit sales in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region increased growth in the low voltage ac drive market during 2022 to an estimated $14.2 billion, according to a report by Interact Analysis. This growth is heavily driven by retrofit opportunity and increased energy efficiency legislation throughout the region. Research from Interact Analysis reveals order backlogs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic fueled the sector over the year, while most drive manufacturers also reported price increases in 2022. However, order intake did not lead to a rise in unit sales in all cases, as supply chain problems affected the ability of some vendors to fulfill orders.
The report reveals prices of low voltage ac drives started to increase in the second half of 2021 and continued into 2022, although the global average selling price (ASP) remained flat because of the distribution of price hikes and shifts in product mix towards lower power drives. Rises in ASP were largely in the Americas (6.4%) and EMEA (3.3%), while prices dipped slightly in APAC (-0.5%).
Meanwhile, despite extended COVID-19 shutdowns in China, unit growth and revenue growth were on par, with unit sales rising by 10.1% in APAC, the largest market for drives, boosted by order backlogs and steady growth in manufacturing output of 4.4%. Japan also experienced strong growth in unit sales of 4.2% in 2022. However, growth in the Americas was more modest (1.8%) and EMEA saw a decline, despite strong demand, as supply chain problems and the effects of the war in Ukraine (particularly on energy costs) affected manufacturing output and delivery rates.
Global semiconductor shortages continued to place strain on the low voltage drives market in 2022, affecting sales and pushing up prices of power modules to ‘staggering’ levels, where components were available at all. Some vendors were forced to turn to the grey market, with prices of certain semis soaring from $2-$3 per unit to as high as $40 to $50. This led to severe price volatility and the problem looks set to continue as – despite some easing in the supply of microcontrollers – power modules remain difficult to source.
Moving toward 2027, the Americas region is expected to grow at a revenue CAGR of 2.8% over the forecast period, with growth slowing as pricing moderates and the trend towards decentralized drive solutions accelerates. APAC is forecast to see a significant slowdown in growth during 2023 as order backlogs dry up, but a rise in average selling prices caused by demand for premium features looks set to pick up in 2023 and 2024, resulting in revenue CAGR of 4.0% through to 2027. EMEA is predicted to experience a revenue CAGR of 2.2%, with growth in 2023 largely the result of price increases. Unit shipments are expected to contract by -4.1% over the year because of the ongoing European energy crisis and declining order backlogs.
Brianna Jackson, research analyst at Interact Analysis, said, “Moving into 2023, we forecast an increase in the global ASP of drives, pushed up by an anticipated 7.3% in EMEA as a result of the war in Ukraine and a slight (0.4%) increase in APAC prices from rising demand for drives with premium features. Compared with the last edition of the report, our outlook on pricing has changed, with price increases persisting in 2022 and stabilization now expected to be some way of off in certain regions, as supply chain problems and semiconductor shortages continue. Our estimates of drive unit shipments, meanwhile, have been revised downwards to reflect a more realistic drive-to-motor attachment rate and a noted change in product mix.”
– Interact Analysis is a CFE Media and Technology content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, web content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology, email@example.com.