High growth for low power drives

Report analyses the European market for drives.

The low power AC inverter market will grow much more quickly than any other motor drive type, says IMS (Intex Management Services) in its latest report on the state of the European market for AC and DC motor drives.

As part of the research IMS conducted an analysis of three different motor drive types: AC inverters, AC vector drives and DC drives, each of which was analysed by power rating. The market for AC inverters rates less than 7.5kW was forecast to experience highest growth, with annual rates in excess of 17% in terms of units shipped. The market is forecast to grow somewhat slower in revenue terms due to continuing price pressure in the market. This relatively high growth level is attributable to the continuing reduction in the size and cost of AC inverters which enables them to address new application, particularly those outside the industrial sector, such as white goods and domestic central heating systems.

The total European AC and DC motor drive market was estimated by IMS to be worth some $1,596.9 million in 1997 and is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 6.5% to reach a value of $2,056.0 million by the year 2001. In 1997, the largest contributor to this market size was from AC inverters, with these products accounting for around 65.8% of the total market.

A detailed analysis of the competitive environment in the European drives market is also provided within the report.

Siemens and ABB were estimated to account for as much as one-third of the total European market for AC and DC motor drives, with Cegelec, Control Techniques and Schneider also having significant market shares. Siemens was estimated to be market leader with a 17% market share, although ABB was estimated to be following very closely behind.

In the UK, the two leading suppliers were estimated to be ABB and Control Techniques, reportedly accounting for around one quarter of the total market between them.