Emerging economies and energy costs will spur low power AC drives market growth

Monday August 05, 2013
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
The low power AC drives market contracted only slightly during 2012, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study. The 2012 was a challenging year for the low power AC drives market, the study found. The economic turmoil in Europe caused the market to decline in the region as the OEM machinery builders’ segment became weak. However, the markets in Asia and North America grew. The growth in Asia, excluding Japan, can be attributed to the urbanization phenomenon in emerging countries, particularly China and India, where growing markets include new buildings and construction, which use AC drives for HVAC, elevators & escalators, water & wastewater, and mining. Capital investments for low power AC drives are expected to grow as they save energy and raise productivity by offering more precise speed control and providing a fast return on investment (ROI). “Energy volatility and scarcity, as well as sustainability, are affecting a wide range of industries which face challenges to raise productivity, lower product costs, and reduce plant operating expenses in order to compete in the global market. Low power AC drives are a key product for improving energy efficiency in the manufacturing, infrastructure, and building automation sectors. This will create significant growth opportunities for the low power AC drives market,” said senior analyst Himanshu Shah, the principal author of ARC’s “Low Power AC Drives Global Market Research Study.” In emerging economies, such as China and India, there is growing investment in their basic infrastructure and manufacturing facilities to satisfy local demands, creating opportunities in a wide range of industries. In developing countries, demand is increasing for new power generating plants that utilize low power AC drives in many applications, such as turbines and compressors. Meanwhile, environmental concerns have raised interest in renewable sources of energy. Low power AC drives are used for controlling traditional and renewable power generating processes. Energy can be the largest component of industrial cost structures. Despite recent fluctuations in energy prices, costs are still trending long-term toward higher levels, and the days of consistently inexpensive energy are long gone. Industries have always strived for energy efficiency, but today it has become an imperative. Now industries are more aware than ever of their energy use and have begun to align their operations to manage energy consumption and costs. In addition, as companies strive to meet stricter environmental requirements, they must steadily improve their productivity and efficiency, particularly in the area of energy consumption. Automation equipment, including low power AC drives, are critical tools in helping end users achieve their energy savings goals, as well as their environmental and sustainability goals.

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