Motion control: Market growth to stabilize in Western Europe

The market for motion controllers in Western Europe is still expanding slowly, but is entering a period where the growth rate should stabilize at around 4.15% CAGR, according to projections by Suman Bhaskar, a research analyst covering industrial process and control markets for Frost & Sullivan

By Control Engineering Staff May 4, 2007

London, UK —The market for motion controllers in Western Europe is still expanding slowly, but is entering a period where the growth rate should stabilize at around 4.15% CAGR, according to projections by Suman Bhaskar, a research analyst covering industrial process and control markets for Frost & Sullivan . While the market is improving from even slower growth (below 3% CAGR as recently as 2004), projections indicate it will be nearly flat at just above 4% CAGR from 2007 onwards through 2013, reaching a fairly constant growth rate from 2009 onwards.

All controller types (modular PLC, compact PLC and PC-based) will share growth more-or-less equally, with modular PLCs continuing to hold about 50% share. PC-based controllers, however, appear to be growing somewhat faster, with about 8% of the market in 2006.

The market for motion controllers in Western Europe is expected to improve slightly before stabilizing to a nearly constant CAGR by 2009. Source: Frost & Sullivan

Generating close to 1.4 billion Euro in 2006, the motion controllers market is expected to reach 1.9 billion Euro by 2013 with a steady growth rate of 3.5-4.5%. Germany is the largest market, while Spain is the fastest growing market.

“Focus on flexibility and optimization by end users presents a good opportunity for growth,” Bhaskar says.

Major challenges for the Western European motion controller industry include the need for compliance with WEEE regulation, and non-existence of standardized communication protocols. Compliance with RoHS will especially be a challenge for small and medium companies. The fact that engineers and technicians will need more training to support more complicated future machines needing more maintenance and service may be an opportunity for companies in a position to provide the training or other technical aids.

Bhaskar notes that the major growth drivers include: growing export markets for OEMs based in Western Europe, demand for flexible solutions from end users, greater focus on energy saving and optimization across industries, and demand for complete solutions rather than components. Constraints include: shifting of European manufacturing base, delocalization of end users, influx of cheaper products from low-cost manufacturing countries, and high raw material and energy prices.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
&NBSP> C.G. Masi , senior editor,charlie.masi@reedbusiness.com