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Market survey in the German mechanical engineering industry

More electronic drives at the machines until 2016

The machine-builders in Germany will extend the range of application of the electronic drive technology at the machines also in the future to 2016. The servo drive belongs thereby to the preferred drives. That is a result of the actual market survey from Quest TechnoMarketing.

Strong growth of servo drives at the machines

October 23th, 2013 - The machine-builders expect being able to increase the number of their machines until 2016 by 11% as the Quest Trend Magazine has recently reported.


The number of electronic drive components at these machines, however, is to increase still more strongly by 16% to 2016. This is on par with an annual growth rate of 3.7%.


So the machine-builders will use on the average 10 electronic drives per machine in 2016.


Finally servo drives live up to their characteristics dynamically accelerating their use by 36%, i.e. yearly by 8% until 2016.


With these plannings machine-builders are building two future trends:

  • Electronic drives will capture more and more applications at the machines.
  • Servo drives will belong thereby to the preferred drives.

The use of servo drives until 2016 in the German mechanical engineering industry.
Source: Market survey by Quest TechnoMarketing "The use of servo drives in the mechanical engineering industry until 2016".

Expected growth vary in the sectors

Of course, the growth rates of the individual sectors deviate from the average growth rates.


So the growing use of the electronic drive technology in the ten investigated sectors ranges between 4% and 41%. In regard to the servo use the growth rates vary from 2% to the one and a half times one in the sectors.

Some reasons for the growth of the electronic drive technology

With the increasing use of the electronic drive technology the machine-builders confirm their well-known and proven considerations and actions.


So a manufacturer of rubber and plastics machines underlines its experiences of many years:

  • „In spite of steady number of machines the experience shows that in three years about 20% more electronic drives will be used e.g. by substitution of the mechanical by electronic coupling.“


This general tendency to substitute mechanical by electronic coupling acknowledges a packaging machine maker:

  • „The main shaft bearing will be substituted, thus more servo machines.“


A manufacturer of rubber and plastics machines points to the increasing functionality of machines with sequently rising numbers of axes:

  • „The plants are most different, at times larger, and at times smaller. At the time being there is a certain tendency that machines becoming larger but with fewer numbers of items. Because the machines are becoming larger, so the number of axes will also rise.“


That this general tendency to increasing functionality is leading to more electronic drives acknowledges a manufacturer of building, glass and ceramic machines:

  • „The large part of the sieve machines gets along without controlled drive technology. Only if the customer requires special sieve machines for which the shafts must be synchronized, then electronic drive technology is required.“


A general tendency aims for higher energy efficiency that leads to more controlled drives:

  • „The share of the controlled fans may still rise because due to energy efficiency more fan drives must be controlled.“ (Conveyer)

Tendencies decelerating the increasing use of electronic drives

There are also at least two counter trends to the increasing use of the electronic drive technology.


The intensified use of robots, already reported by the Quest study „The future of the robot use until 2014 in the German machinery industry“, is shifting electronic drives from the machine to the robot:

  • “We expect a higher number of machines but the drive components will rather drop due to the increasingly growing use of robotics.“ (Robotics and automation)
  • „The tendency targets at multi-axes machines particularly with robot use, where a master provides up to 10 or 15 secondary axes.“ (Packaging machines)


The export markets may decelerate the increasing use of electronic drive technology.

  • „The future development strongly depends on the market… if we will deliver more to e.g. Russia and there one does not get along with servo technique, then the drive technology may change accordingly.“ (Building, glass, ceramic machines)

Growth expectations based on market survey

The Quest study „The future of the servo use until 2016 in the German machinery industry“ provides more details. Quest TechnoMarketing interviewed 28% of the machine-builders in 10 sectors with 100 and more employees at the beginning of 2013.

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