The global low voltage (LV) drives market continues to benefit from growing acceptance of its technology as end users become more concerned about energy efficiency. Ongoing technological development is also driving this market, with growth primarily taking place in the alternating current (AC) and servo drives segments due to their superior process capabilities and cost competitiveness.
“LV drives present a viable solution for energy saving along with several other benefits such as longer equipment life and more precise control, prompting customers to invest in them,” remarks Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Shibu S.L. “Sustained technological development has resulted in more compact and easy-to-use drives that are commercially viable at lower power ratings.”
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan The World Low Voltage Drives Market, finds that this market earned revenues of $6.10 billion in 2005 and expects to reach $9.78 billion in 2012.
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On the other hand, the DC drives segment will experience very low growth, with customers mainly using them as retrofit options to upgrade their existing systems rather than completely shift to AC drives. This trend is likely to sustain DC drives’ revenues to some extent and help them show reasonable recovery.
However, despite the energy savings that the drives offer, their high costs are a deterrent for many end users that prefer to use inexpensive solutions such as traditional valves, hydrostatic clutches, fluid couplings, dampers and so on. This is because the savings in terms of energy costs, process efficiency, and life cycle of machines are not very significant and form only a small percentage of the capital expenditure incurred on purchasing drives.
The long return on investment (ROI) period – typically around three to five years – has always hampered the growth of the LV drives market. Many potential customers refrained from using drives due to this extended period. However, this is now changing as falling prices lead to shorter payback periods, thereby helping customers justify the huge capital expenditure on drives.
Another significant challenge facing the market is comparatively low awareness levels about the efficiency of LV drives, leading to lower adoption rates. Only around 5-7 percent of motors globally are fitted with drives, creating a strong need for companies to raise end-user awareness about the importance of power conservation and the effectiveness of drives in achieving this.
However, the key success factor for drive manufacturers lies in providing a one-stop shop that caters to all the automation needs of end users. Apart from resolving obvious logistical challenges, this also offers a feasible solution to the problems end users inevitably face with regard to interfacing and compatibility.
“This trend is gaining strength as end users can get the knowledge outsourced at minimal risks and ensure the proper applicability of the equipment installed,” says Shibu. “This gives end users the advantage of getting operational and maintenance training for the entire system as well as benefit from the savings that arise when buying a complete package solution.”
The World Low Voltage Drives Market, part of the Motors, Drives and Controls Service Subscription, provides an overview of revenue forecasts for the market across various geographies along with a comprehensive analysis of the various drivers, challenges and trends prevailing in the market. In this research service, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the following markets: AC, DC and servo drives, with a detailed analysis of the regenerative and non-regenerative AC/DC drives. Interviews with the press are available.
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The World Low Voltage Drives Market