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With the bottoming of the economy, the driving factors for capital investments are expected to remain strong during the next five-year period. 'Mechatronic solutions with drives and motors will encourage machine builders to replace maintenance-ridden and inflexible mechanical linkages. As a result, an increasing number of machines will have more servo or stepper controlled motion axes,' according to Senior Analyst Himanshu Shah ([email protected]), the principal author of ARC's 'General Motion Control Worldwide Outlook.'
The GMC market is becoming more dynamic. While faster-cheaper-better remains the continuing trend in the GMC market, the market is becoming more dynamic than ever as suppliers take diverse paths to achieve it. As a result, battles are brewing in many fronts with numerous open standards, diverse platforms, increased functionality, varied architectures, smaller footprints, broader solutions, and customization. The battle for the standard motion control network is expected to get feisty as major suppliers make significant investments in the development of dissimilar motion control networks.
According to ARC's research, a number of factors will drive market growth. The semiconductor and electronics industries, which were the impetus behind the very fast market growth up to 2000, have been in a slump but finally appear to be awakening. The food & beverage industry, which was one of the stars during the bleak years, is expected to continue its stride as investments in consumer goods manufacturing remains bright.
The motion control market defies dominance. Many maturing markets form a concentration of suppliers. However, advancements in motion control technology, difficulties in adopting commercial technology to meet inherently high performance demands of basic motion control, and users' demands for increased motion performance have kept entrepreneurial suppliers thriving. As a result, new companies often emerge with a greater value proposition. Many small suppliers have carved out successful niches with their own expertise in the GMC market where a wide range of applications prevail. Most GMC suppliers, including large automation suppliers, are unable to effectively address a vast diversity of requirements for motion control, and, therefore, claim a very small percent of the GMC market share.
New dynamics are at play. Ease-of-use and increased competition will drive suppliers to provide more embedded software to meet a broader range of applications rather than offering unbundled software. Additionally, more software will be given away to secure the hardware sales. This, in effect, will reduce the revenue growth of the unbundled software segment; however, suppliers will be able to offset some of the declining hardware revenues due to a greater value proposition with embedded software.
Additional information on this study can be found at www.arcweb.com.