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Motion controls sales `will fall by up to 20%` in 2009

23 March, 2009

Many parts of the global motion controls market experienced a slowdown in the second half of 2008, which has continued into this year. The decline followed a period of rapid growth, which saw revenues hit $9.9bn during 2007 – 11.9% up on the previous year. This growth continued into the first half of 2008.

The figures come from the market analyst IMS Research, which has identified four tiers of industry with differing economic outlooks for 2009.

The first tier – the semiconductor, robotics, and electronics industries – is the hardest hit, with demand for motion control products expected to plummet by nearly 20% during 2009.

The second tier – including machinery manufacturers in the paper, printing, textile, and woodworking industries – is also being hit hard, but the declines will be less dramatic, with demand falling by about 15% during 2009.

Tier three – industries with links to consumer spending, such as packaging, materials handling, and rubber and plastics – is forecast to hold up better, with demand falling by 5–10% this year.

And tier four – which includes the food, beverage, tobacco, medical and scientific, military and renewable energy sectors – is expected to fare the best, with a flat or slightly positive growth in demand for motion control products during 2009.

IMS expects motion control sales to start growing again next year and to exceed $10bn by 2011, when the annual growth rate will exceed 5% again.

“Growing populations and continued urbanisation around the world are expected to increase demand for processed foods and beverages, thereby supporting OEMs active in the sector,” explains IMS Research senior analyst, Alex Chausovsky. “Furthermore, ageing populations in regions like the US, Japan, China, and Western Europe, will offer plenty of growth opportunities for motion suppliers to the medical and scientific sectors.

“Finally,” he adds, “ continued political instability and conflicts around the world will encourage ongoing military spending by governments, supporting demand for motion control products used in military applications.”

♦  In another report, IMS predicts that global sales of machine vision hardware will climb from $1.6bn in 2008 to more than $2.1bn by 2012. Fierce competition, especially from Far East manufacturers, is driving prices down so that, while revenues will climb by an annual average of 7.2% between 2008 and 2012, unit shipments will grow by an average of 9%. 

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