Even as the COVID-19 outbreak has slowed down the pace of the global economy, Taiwan electronics industry witnessed an overwhelming demand for technology and electronics products. It has been found that technology products account for more than half of Taiwan’s total exports. Such trends are creating business opportunities for companies to keep economies running in the linear motor market.

The semiconductor chip shortage has become crucial in the linear motor market amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Stakeholders in the automotive industry are anticipating an end to chip backlog by the third quarter of 2021. Meanwhile, companies in China are seen to respond well toward the pandemic, since the semiconductor industry is one of the essential sectors in the region.

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Continued Research in Piezoceramic Materials Creates Patented Portfolio in Linear Motors

Piezoelectric devices are being widely used in sensors and small stroke actuators for use in various applications. As the technology has evolved, these devices are now being supported with a range of linear and rotary motion devices that offer precision motion control down to nanometer precision. However, it has been found that the total cost of these Piezoelectric devices is relatively high, and is primarily used in premium markets such as the semiconductor, optics, and photonics. This issue has led to continued research in new methods for configuring and controlling Piezoceramic materials with novel techniques to establish motion devices.

Companies in the linear motor market should collaborate with researchers, such as at the Kiev Polytechnic Institute, Ukraine, to create a portfolio of patents in linear and rotary motion devices that provide useful technical benefits.

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Demand for Speed, Profitability Fuels Innovations in Direct Drive Linear Motors

The linear motor market is projected to surpass the value of US$ 2.5 Bn by the end of 2030. This is evident owing to the popularity of direct drive torque and linear motors that are increasingly replacing conventional motors with a gearbox and ball screws. These motors are gaining prominence in robotics and other semiconductor applications. The growing demand for speed, accuracy, flexibility, and profitability in robotics is translating into incremental opportunities for manufacturers in the linear motor market.

Companies in the linear motor market are increasing the availability of torque motors with magnetic innovations, characterized by low cogging values, high accuracy, and high torque. These motors facilitate smooth operations with minimum errors. With the help of these motors, semiconductor companies are expanding their business streams in medical technology applications.

Linear Motors Replacing Pneumatic Cylinders in Packaging Applications

The linear motor market is slated to rise at a healthy CAGR of ~6% during the forecast period. The ever-growing packaging industry is establishing stable revenue streams for semiconductor companies. LinMot – the U.S.-based manufacturer of linear motors and motor systems is increasing its product portfolio for packaging applications to offer flexibility in machinery used for feeding, sealing, and discharge end-use cases. High dynamic and durable drives are being developed by companies in the linear motor market to replace pneumatic cylinders in packaging applications.

Repeatable, Reliable Machines in Additive Manufacturing Trigger Demand for Linear Motors

Apart from electronics and medical technologies, stakeholders in the linear motor market are unlocking growth prospects in additive manufacturing (AM). Linear motors help to deliver speed in order to scale production, while lowering the part cost for additive manufacturing. The increasing demand for repeatable and reliable machines in additive manufacturing has fueled the growth of the linear motor market. This has led to the recognition of Texas-based startup Essentium for its High Speed Extrusion (HSE) polymer AM machine.

Highly dynamic, flexible, and modular designs in linear motors are being developed by companies in the linear motor market. The Germany-based automation technology company Beckhoff is gaining popularity for its modular coil design in linear motors that serve as an alternative to conventional drive systems such as rack-and-pinion.

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Linear Motor Market: Overview

  • According to Transparency Market Research’s latest research report on the global linear motor market for the historical period 20182019 and the forecast period 20202030, usage of linear motors in electronics, food & beverages, and semiconductor sectors, and increase in application of linear motors in machine tools, electronics & assembly, and robotics are factors expected to boost the global linear motor market during the forecast period
  • In terms of revenue, the global linear motor market is estimated to exceed the value of US$ 2.5 Bn by 2030, expanding at a CAGR of ~6% during the forecast period

Innovations in Direct Drives: A Key Driver of Linear Motor Market

  • Manufacturers of motors across the globe are focusing on new innovations and hence, are undertaking several such activities
  • Servo Components and Systems Ltd. designed new direct drives–Green Drive actuator (combination of speed and rugged operation) that controls the ball screw and inherent reliability of direct drive linear motors. The Green Drive actuator operates with speed up to 5m/s, with a positional reliability of 50 micron, making it fit for many industrial applications, thus driving the linear motor market.
  • Copley Controls Corp provides a range of AC and DC powered digital drives for servo and stepper motors known as New Plus Servo Drives. The Safe Torque Off capability of the drives wipes out the complex wiring used in traditional safety applications. New Plus Servo Drives use metal enclosures ensuring the highest level of noise immunity, contributing toward the growth of the linear motor market.
  • Thus, increasing demand for linear motors in various industrial applications can be attributed to technological innovations in direct drives boosting the growth of the linear motor market
  • However, one of the major issues with linear motors is the high cost and complex design of the electromagnets used in it. Generally, more powerful electromagnets are needed to lift and move one magnet over the other, consuming a lot of electric power. Linear motors use superconducting magnets to overcome this issue. For dynamic applications, linear motors are energy efficient and can attain high speed. For this purpose, superconducting magnets are used to cool down to low temperatures, reducing the power consumption, thereby preventing the thermal wear and tear of motors. Use of such complex design of electromagnets is restricting the growth of the linear motor market.

Dynamic Functions of Ironless Linear Motors

  • Ironless linear motors have low mass and can generate highly dynamic movement, making it more suitable for semiconductor, packaging, and other general automation applications
  • There is no attractive force between primary and secondary parts due to the absence of iron core in the ironless linear motors, thus avoiding cogging
  • Ironless linear motors, due to the lower mass can attain high acceleration rate and low settling time. Ironless linear motors are preferred where high precision is mandatory.
  • Ironless linear motors offer smooth motion and very tight position control and velocity. It also reduces heat dissipation, producing low thrust forces as compared to iron core motors. It equally contributes to the growth of the linear motor market due to such dynamic properties of ironless linear motors.
  • Thus, increasing demand for linear motors is seen in semiconductor, packaging, and other industrial applications, owing to the dynamic and varied benefits offered by ironless linear motors, boosting the growth of the linear motor market

Linear Motor Market: Competition Landscape

  • Detailed profiles of providers of linear motors have been provided in the report to evaluate their financials, key product offerings, recent developments, and strategies
  • Key players operating in the global linear motor market are
    • Aerotech Inc.,
    • ANCA
    • BOSCH Rexroth
    • ETEL S.A.
    • FANUC Corporation
    • Hitachi Metals, Ltd
    • Hiwin Corporation
    • Jenney Science AG
    • KML Linear Motion Technology GmbH
    • Kollmorgen Corporation
    • Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Moog Inc.
    • NTI AG LinMot
    • Oswald Elektromotoren GmbH
    • Parker Hannifin Corp
    • PiezoMotor
    • Rockwell Automation, Inc.
    • Sodick Co. Ltd.
    • Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.
    • Yaskawa Electric Corporation

Linear Motor Market: Key Developments

  • Key providers of linear motors, such as Intel Corporation, Enablence, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., and Broadcom are focusing on the construction of cost effective linear motors to attract more customers. Some other key developments in the global linear motor market are highlighted below:
    • In November 2019 Sodick Co., Ltd. launched the “AL40G / AL60G” as a new linear motor drive die-sinker EDM. This has been successful in precision molds and precision component machining. It mainly includes smartphones (high performance mobile phones), tablet terminals, and precision automotive parts, etc.
    • In October 2019, Sodick Co., Ltd. launched “AP350L (Oil)” as a new “AP Series” of the oil machining specification linear motor drive high precision wire-cut EDM
    • In April 2019, ANCA Motion launched a new tubular linear motor LinX M Series, which offers 10um of resolution at a peak force range of up to 1,200N. This is the latest addition to the LinX range that continues to support demanding automation applications whilst increasing efficiency in a compact footprint with the reduced cost.
    • In April 2018, Aerotech Inc. designed ECO series linear stages for linear motion. The ECO-LM series direct drive linear motor stages are enhanced with non-contact linear encoders and high precision. The linear motor has no windup, zero backlash, frictionless, and outstanding dynamic responsiveness.
  • In the global linear motor market report, we have discussed individual strategies, followed by company profiles of providers of linear motor. The ‘Competition Landscape’ section has been included in the report to provide readers with a dashboard view and company market share analysis of key players operating in the global linear motor market.

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