Drives and Controls Magazine
Linear equipment makers look for new markets
Published:  19 October, 2011

Global sales of ballscrews and linear guides were worth $3.8bn last year, with almost 45% of revenues coming from the machine tool and semiconductor machinery markets, says the market analyst, IMS Research, in a new report.

It adds, however, that these established linear motion markets have fluctuated considerably in recent years. Manufacturers of ballscrews and linear guides are therefore looking for new markets that offer better stability and higher growth rates, such as those making equipment for pharmaceutical production, agriculture and food and drink processing.

The linear equipment suppliers are also seeking markets that offer high initial growth rates with sustained long-term revenues, such as those in emerging regions, as well as markets for new technologies, such as machinery for producing lithium-ion batteries and photovoltaic panels.

The report’s author, James Dawson, believes that competition in these markets will be fierce. “Many companies are keen to gain a foothold in them, to make up for business lost in the recent downturn and to provide a stable revenue base in future downturns,” he says.