Following a sound 8.4 percent revenue growth in 2014, the global market for motion control hardware suffered strong headwinds and declined by 10.6 percent in 2015, with estimated $10.4 billion revenues, according to the latest research from the IHS Motion Controls Intelligence Service. The motion controls market includes the following products: general motion control (GMC) and computer numerical control (CNC) servo motors, servo drives, and position control hardware.
European and Japanese suppliers dominated the global motion control market, holding nine out of the top 11 market shares. They were profoundly affected by currency depreciation against the U.S. dollar in 2015. Though weak currency favored exports, by improving pricing competitiveness to some extent, euro and Japanese yen devalued significantly against the U.S. dollar. This devaluation led to considerable revenue loss in the motion-control markets in Europe and Japan, which respectively fell 13.7 percent and 10.8 percent in 2015.
The market for, and investment in, motion controls in 2016 is expected to be continuously constrained by various economic, geopolitical and political concerns, including the unfavorable economic climate in emerging economies. Other concerns include China’s ongoing economic slowdown, stagnant commodity prices, the migration crisis in Europe and the U.S. presidential election.
The European market is forecast to lead market growth in 2016, as the region’s economic climate improves; however, Asian and American markets are expected to overtake the growth momentum from the European market by 2020. Overall, Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) is projected to remain the largest regional market for motion controls, with nearly $4.8 billion in revenue, including software and services in 2020. The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is forecast to grow fastest, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7 percent from 2015 to 2020.
The growth of the motion control market is largely dependent on global machinery production. Machine tools remained the largest industry sector for motion controls, reaching $4.2 billion in 2015, which accounts for nearly half (42 percent) of total revenue. However, this sector suffered a severe decline in 2015, particularly in China and the United States, which are leading national markets for machine tools.
As the sector represented 80 percent of computer numerical control (CNC) hardware revenues, the sluggish machine tools sector struck the CNC market with a 14.8 percent contraction. This sector continues to experience short-term growth pressure, due to weak demand in China and the United States; therefore, revenue for motion controls in machine tools is forecast to grow at a low CAGR of 1.9 percent from 2015 to 2020.
Motion controls, which are core components in the robotics industry, are expected to benefit greatly from the global robotics boom. In fact, motion-control revenue from the robotics sector will grow the fastest at 12.6 percent CAGR, from 2015 to 2020; as a result, this sector is predicted to account for 9.6 percent of all motion control revenues in 2020.