Manufacturing AUTOMATION

General motion control market driven by demand for capital equipment

October 25, 2011
By ARC Advisory Group

The worldwide market for general motion control systems increased by a double-digit percentage since ARC Advisory Group’s last analysis for base year 2009, according to the group’s latest study. Suppliers who endured as much as 50 percent declines in business during the downturn reported a tremendous rebound in shipments. This renewed growth, first felt in Asia, progressively extended to Europe and North America as well.

The market for general motion control systems was driven by the retooling occurring across many industries.

“The value proposition for motion control is now well recognized in the machine building market. It has now become an imperative to offer highly automated machinery to offset labour costs and deliver quality products,” according to research director Sal Spada, the principal author of ARC’s “General Motion Control Worldwide Outlook”.

Several dominant industries drove the market intensely in 2010. The semiconductor and automotive industries combined to drive this recovery. Specifically, the semiconductor industry had a tremendous uptick in capital spending in both the front end and back end operations. Motion control companies that have specialized in this industry experienced nearly triple digit growth in their business. The retooling of the automotive industry enabled many in the general machinery market to increase their machinery output. The market was driven by the sheer demand for new capital equipment.


The value proposition for motion control networking is now well recognized in the machine building market. It has now become an imperative to offer networked drive technology in a GMC portfolio. It is even apparent in the low value, sub-kilowatt drive market where the cost of adding networking was a hurdle. Today, GMC providers must offer a networking solution to remain competitive.

The major Asian motion control suppliers all experienced tremendous growth in their business as a result of the boom in the semiconductor market. Other niche players vertically focused on the semiconductor market also benefited from the large-scale capital spending in this industry. While the semiconductor industry has often been characterized with volatility, the steadily increasing demand for portable smart devices and flat panel displays may add some stability to the market and the Asian region in the long run.

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