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24 October, 2021

Industrial users are turning to integrated gear-motors

01 February, 2021

Industrial gearbox users – especially in the EMEA region – are turning increasingly to integrated gear-motor packages, which offer cost and maintenance advantages over buying separate gearboxes and motors, according to a new study of the $6.2bn global market for gear-motors and solo gearboxes by Interact Analysis. Geared motors remove the need for couplings and mountings. They not only save space, but ensure compatibility between the components and make predictive maintenance easier to implement.

According to Interact, suppliers headquartered in Europe accounted for more than 66% of the global market for geared motors and solo gearboxes in 2019, with Japan second on 13%, and the Americas third on around 10%. SEW Eurodrive led the market, with 36% of revenues, Nord Drivesystems was second on 11%, and Sumitomo third on 8%.

The biggest application for industrial gears and geared motors is for conveyors, with revenues here expected to exceed $2bn by 2024. Other big markets are packaging, and food and beverage.

Compact, efficient bevel-based gearboxes accounted for 31.9% of the geared motor and solo gearbox market in 2019, and are forecast to keep their lead. Inline (24.8%) and parallel systems (24.1%) occupied the next two positions, with less efficient worm-based products holding 19.2% of the market. Worm gears are still popular in the Asia-Pacific region – especially China – because of their low cost.

As price differences reduce, bevel-helical gears are replacing worm-based machines in some applications that require right-angle systems.

One factor pushing demand is replacement. If the average lifespan of a geared motor or solo gearbox is five years, about one-fifth of those in use will need to be replaced every year.

Bevel-based products accounted for almost a third of the global market for industrial geared motors and gearboxes in 2019
Source: Interact Analysis

Flexibility is another market driver. As consumer demand for more individualised products and packaging increases, so does the need for machine flexibility. This is helping to push the development of geared motors and solo gearboxes.

Users in the Americas have traditionally bought separate gearboxes and motors, often from different vendors. The ability to replace just the motor if it fails was seen as big advantage, and the market was also influenced by the strong presence of motor-makers that do not offer their own gearboxes.

But, says Interact, things are changing and integrated geared motors accounted for more than 50% of revenues in the Americas in 2019. That figure is expected to climb.

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