Ultra-low voltage motor, drive industries overcoming supply chain, semiconductor challenges

The ultra-low voltage motor and motor and drive industries are projected to have strong growth and is overcoming supply chain issues due to COVID-19 and semiconductor shortages. See video.

By Chris Vavra September 12, 2023

Motor and drive insights

  • The ultra-low voltage motor market is set to reach $6.5 billion by 2027, propelled by battery-driven applications and the need for increased flexibility in manufacturing and logistics.
  • Despite supply chain challenges, the ultra-low voltage motor market shows resilience and growth. The industry is shifting towards mobile and industrial robotics, with a projected 30% market share by 2027.

Interact Analysis research shows the ultra-low voltage motors market is experiencing strong growth. By 2027, the ultra-low voltage motor market will be worth almost $6.5 billion. This growth is being driven by demand from battery driven applications and a need for greater flexibility in manufacturing and logistics processes.

The market for ultra-low voltage motors will be worth almost $6.5 billion by 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.6% between 2022 and 2027. Another trend that has been observed is the increasing demand for mobile and industrial robots which is driving up revenues for the ultra-low voltage market due to their rapid proliferation across manufacturing and logistics.

In a video interview, Interact Analysis research manager Blake Griffin and research analyst Brianna Jackson delved into some of these trends and what the future looks like for the industry as well as the industries they impact.

Ultra-low voltage motor market driven by acquisitions from larger companies

Ultra-low voltage motors’ growth is catching many manufacturers attention and several are looking to make these companies part of their overall brand portfolio, according to Griffin. The ultra-low voltage companies aren’t so much buying each other as they are being bought by companies looking to become more versatile, he said.

“It’s growing really quickly and it’s gaining the attention of some of the larger industrial conglomerates. We expect to see more acquisitions happen as a mechanism for these larger industrial companies getting into the market.”

He cited a few examples of companies, which speaks to the larger trend within manufacturing as the larger players are looking to become more versatile in their offerings by leveraging their existing expertise and expanding into other areas where their platform will continue to be a strength in areas they might not specialize in. Mobile robots, Griffin said, will be driving a lot of the activity and bringing ultra low-voltage companies together with these larger companies as part of a wider focus.

“Whoever can develop competencies in that sector are going to start gaining because of the growth already happening in that area and because it is an OEM-driven market, the relationship they have with those mobile robot providers are gonna allow them to grow,” he said.

Ultra-low voltage motor market overcoming supply chain, semiconductor challenges

Many industries have felt the squeeze from supply chain issues that were exacerbated or exposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While some of the more immediate issues have calmed down, Jackson said there are some positive trends to look forward to.

“The supply chain is definitely easing up as we speak,” she said. “Between doing our research from February to August of this year, supplier sentiment has definitely brightened as time went on. I would say the drives industry is more heavily impacted from the semiconductor side than the motor side of the industry, but it seems like the situation is improving by the day.”

Semiconductors, in particular, have been under the microscope the last few years with the passage of the CHIPS act and the geopolitical situation relating to Taiwan and the Far East. Griffin said while the lead times have dropped in general, it does continue to be an issue from the respondents they’ve spoken to.

In terms of sustainability, Griffin said, “We’ve been hearing a lot of circular economy rhetoric being thrown around. Motor vendors are starting to design into their products the ability to recycle key components and it’s definitely new and a future trend that is happening.”

Future for motor, motor drive industries

The ultra-low voltage motor and drive industries have shown resiliency and growth and is expected to do so in the next several years.

“The landscape is definitely shifting in the motor market in a major way toward mobile and industrial robotics. Currently, in the last year, mobile robotics made around 5% of the market. But, in 2027, they’ll account for nearly a third of the ultra-low voltage motor market and we expect that to increase as the option of mobile robots proliferates among original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).”

“We’re getting to this point in industrial automation where the emphasis was on throughput and now in addition to throughput to being flexible and having more points of automation you can control very tightly,” Griffin said about the future of the industry, adding, “I think there’s good days ahead for this industry for quite some time.”

Author Bio: Chris Vavra is senior editor for WTWH Media LLC.