Packaging machinery still accounts for a relatively small portion of the market for servo technology, both in the U.S. and in Europe. But in both regions, the packaging industry's use of servos is expected to grow more rapidly than servo use in factory automation.
According to estimates by Motion Tech Trends (MTT, Inglewood, CA, the U.S. market for brushless servo axes consumed by packaging OEMs totaled $75 million in 2002. That was part of a $950 million market for servo consumption by all U.S. factory automation equipment suppliers. In Europe, packaging OEMs accounted for $85 million of a $790 million total factory automation market for brushless servo axes last year. These estimates include only sales of brushless electric motors and drives used in closed-loop applications.
The potential for growth is greatest in the U.S., where only about 20% of packaging machine axes today are equipped with servos, compared to a 40% penetration level in Europe, MTT estimates.
MTT projects 8% annual growth in brushless servo consumption by U.S. packaging OEMs over the next three to five years.