Where are the opportunities for torque and linear motors? The answer is China

According to a new report from IHS Technology, China leads the global linear and torque motors market, due to continuing growth in the electronics, electronic assembly, semiconductor, machine tools and flat-panel display industries.


According to a new report from IHS Technology, China leads the global linear and torque motors market, due to continuing growth in the electronics, electronic assembly, semiconductor, machine tools and flat-panel display industries. Courtesy: IHS TechnologyMarket drivers

The torque and linear motors market is growing, primarily because of increased penetration of applications in key industries, as well as improvements in lithium-ion battery production, large-format digital printing, photovoltaic (PV) panel production and other new applications. Replacement gear motors, and hydraulic systems in industrial machinery that demands increased functionality and greater energy-efficiency, have also contributed to growth in this market.

Direct-drive torque motor modules reduce the need for gear boxes, couplings, linkages, and other power transmission components, thereby reducing the efficiency losses in machinery that are generated by these components. These types of motors can operate with higher speeds and greater precision than can be achieved by established fluid or electromechanical-drive technologies.

Cyclical machinery industries

After the soaring demand in 2011, a slowdown in the industrial machinery market allowed the overall machinery markets to pause for breath in 2012. Market growth returned in 2013 and 2014, driven by a growing number of applications.

High-end industrial machinery that places the greatest value on highly precise motion, have been the largest buyers of torque and linear motors – especially in the machine-tool, semiconductor equipment, electronics assembly and flat-panel production sectors. In 2014 those three sectors accounted for over 55 percent of the global market.

These sectors are also some of the most cyclical equipment sectors, however, with periods between boom and bust cycles that continuously change, due to the unprecedented uncertainty of today’s global marketplace. While other sectors -- like food and beverage, packaging and medical equipment -- are stable, these industries also depend on investment; therefore, they also become cyclical, after large initial investments.

Where are the greatest opportunities?

The simple answer? China.

China has become the world's largest producers and consumers of electronics and electronic-assemblies. In fact, China boasts the world largest electronic OEMs and EMSs – such as Foxconn, Compal, Quanta and BYD, which contribute to Apple’s supply value chain. Chinese electronic device manufacturers Xiaomi, Huawei, Meizu and Lenovo comprised more than 20 percent of the global market sales revenues, and that upward trend is expected to continue.

China is also the major battlefield for consumer electronic products displays. Demand for a-Si, Oxide, LTPS and AMOLED displays is very strong. Panel makers are expected to continue expanding their manufacturing capacities for LTPS and other display technologies. By the end of 2016, new fab investments by AUO, BOE, China Star, Tianma, and Foxconn will result in at least five Gen 6 LTPS fabs running in China.

China’s central government will also finance the domestic semiconductor industry, providing 120 billion yuan (about US$19.2 billion) to boost further development in the semiconductor-manufacturing segment. This funding, which exceeds the industry's aggregated investment over the past 10 years, is considered to be the first step in reducing the country's reliance on imported chips.

Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
November 2018
2018 Product of the Year finalists, mild steel welding: finding the right filler, and new technique joins aluminum to steel.
October 2018
Tools vs. sensors, functional safety, compressor rental, an operational network of maintenance and safety
September 2018
2018 Engineering Leaders under 40, Women in Engineering, Six ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, and Four robot implementation challenges.
October 2018
2018 Product of the Year; Subsurface data methodologies; Digital twins; Well lifecycle data
August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
Summer 2018
Microgrids and universities, Steam traps and energy efficiency, Finding help with energy projects
October 2018
Complex upgrades for system integrators; Process control safety and compliance
November 2018
Analytics quantify processes, Fieldbus networking and IIoT, Choosing the right accelerometer

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Material Handling
This digital report explains how everything from conveyors and robots to automatic picking systems and digital orders have evolved to keep pace with the speed of change in the supply chain.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Design of Safe and Reliable Hydraulic Systems for Subsea Applications
This eGuide explains how the operation of hydraulic systems for subsea applications requires the user to consider additional aspects because of the unique conditions that apply to the setting
click me