Motion control salesmen have been hustling this year. According to a study released in October by the Motion Control Assn. (MCA), sales of motion products in the second quarter of this year jumped 3.7 percent over those of the first quarter.
"Shipment growth paints an even rosier picture than sales orders," says Paul Kellett, the MCA’s director of market analysis. Shipments for the second quarter totaled $503 million, which represents a 5.9 percent growth over the first quarter.
The MCA breaks the motion market down into 10 categories that cover the various types of motors, drives, controllers, actuators, sensors and other motion components. The motor category — which consists of dc brushed motors, ac and dc brushless motors, servo motors with gearing, direct drive motors, linear motors and steppers — is typically the largest. In the second quarter, it accounted for 36.5 percent of total motion control orders.
Motors may be the biggest chunk, but orders for them did fall a bit in the second quarter. By 11 percent, even though shipments were up over a percent, Kellett reports.
Fortunately, motion is about more than motors. Even with the drop in motor orders, the industry still managed to post some growth thanks to double-digit orders growth in other areas. For example, electronic drives and ac drives were up over the first quarter by 18.8 and 18.1 percent, respectively. AC motors, a smaller category the MCA separates from the other motor types, experienced even stronger quarterly growth, a whopping 37.2 percent.
Judging from the huge line-up of products in this month's Design News Trend Watch supplement, those hustling motion salesmen will have their work cut out for them for the rest of this year and beyond. Suppliers have come out with a huge variety of new products — from motors and drives to all the mechanical components sensors, controllers and software tools that round out motion systems. All of them are covered, along with developments in fluid power.