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'Intelligent' motor control centres are gaining ground

11 November, 2014

Intelligent motor control centres (IMCCs) are gaining market share at the cost of traditional MCCs, according to a new report from the market analyst, Frost & Sullivan. It estimates that the total MCC market was worth $4.06bn in 2013 and predicts that it will reach $5.12bn by 2018.

Intelligent MCCs – those which have remote diagnostic capabilities as well as functions such as loss detection and predictive maintenance – are gaining traction, especially in the oil and gas, mining, water and wastewater, and chemicals industries, due to their ability to cut maintenance costs and downtime, and to ensure operator safety.

According to F&S, the increasing level of industrial automation is fuelling the global demand for MCCs. While IMCCs are boosting total market revenues, traditional MCCs are experiencing a decline in revenue share due to the standardisation of safety features and performance. This has reduced differences between competitors’ products and resulted in price-based competition.

In addition, says F&S, end-users in Russia, India, China and Southeast Asia prefer to use switchgear to control MV motors and for overload protection, and this is dampening growth of the MCC market.

“Because the percentage of customers that purchase higher-priced IMCCs is expected to rise in the long term, the fall in MCC revenues will not be a concern much longer,” says Krishna Raman, a senior Frost & Sullivan research analyst for industrial automation and process control. “With IMCCs set to play an important role in the future of the market, manufacturers have to focus on rolling out these products. Manufacturers must develop iMCCs that can be easily integrated with other communication networks to allow customers to move to an integrated enterprise ecosystem.”

F&S suggests that to succeed globally, MCC manufacturers should also be able to meet multiple standards, including IEC and Nema.

The Frost & Sullivan report, called Analysis of the Global Motor Control Centres Market, covers low- and medium-voltage MCCs. It defines an MCC as an assembly of motor starters or overload protection devices, such as contactors and/or overload relays, that are connected by a common power bus bar so as to control several motors. 

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