Design Engineering

Motion controls market poised for growth in 2016


Motion Control

An IHS Motion Controls Intelligence Service report suggests that after a tumultuous 2015, the motion control market will see gradual growth this year.

The global motion control hardware market has had serious ups and downs over the past few years. According to the latest research from the IHS Motion Controls Intelligence Service, after a strong showing in 2014 with 8.4 percent revenue growth, the market sharply dipped by 10.6 percent in 2015, with estimated $10.4 billion revenues. However, the report suggests that market trends signal a period of growth in 2016.

IHS Motion Control Intelligence Service The motion controls market includes general motion control (GMC) and computer numerical control (CNC) servo motors, servo drives, and position control hardware.

For the most part, European and Japanese suppliers have dominated the global motion control market. They were profoundly affected by currency depreciation against the U.S. dollar in 2015. 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 global motion controls market is expected to be continuously constrained by various economic, geopolitical and political concerns, including the unfavorable economic climate in emerging economies going forward into 2016.


The European market is forecast to lead market growth in 2016, yet it is the Asian and American markets that 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 report goes on to stress motion control market growth 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. In 2015, his sector suffered a severe decline, 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 are a core components in the robotics industry, an industry which is benefiting from a global boom in sales. It is expected that 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.


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