Actuators: A growing necessity device in automation process across major end-use industries

Published On: April 2018

Global Actuators market forecast till 2025

The actuators market is currently ruled by a few dominant players. The global market for actuators is characterized by the presence of many global, regional, and local vendors. The market is highly competitive with all the players striving to gain market share. Intense competition, rapid advances in technology, and frequent changes in government policies are key factors that confront the market growth. Honeywell International Inc. (U.S.), The Emerson Electric Company (U.S.), SMC Corporation (Japan), Cameron, a Schlumberger company (U.S.) and Rotork plc. (Japan) has been recognized as the global leaders with a broad range of products serving automotive, oil & gas, power, chemical, pulp & paper, food & beverage, water & wastewater, life sciences & medical, mining, and minerals & metals for actuators systems. These five companies contributed a share of more than 22.57% of global actuators market in 2016. An actuator is an assembly of equipment that converts energy into motion. It is basically used to apply a force on an entity to perform various mechanical operations. It is characteristically a mechanical device that takes energy, created by compressed air, electricity or liquid and converts it into various kind of motion, such as linear and rotary. Actuators usually are used in industrial or manufacturing applications and are used in devices such as switches, motor, valves and pumps. .

The actuators market is majorly driven by factors such as growth in aircraft fleet, the technological advancements in actuators, and the growth in the global automotive industry, are propelling the market growth. Also, the growing industrial base in Asia Pacific region has a positive influence on the growth of the market. The actuators market may witness hindrances in growth due to the cost of the actuators. Also power consumption, noise, and leaks are the major challenges faced by the actuators in current market.

Expansion — a key strategy implemented by major players in the market.

Extensive exploration of the market strategies has lead us to a conclusion that expansion is a key strategy implemented broadly by the players with a share of 38.9% to achieve a high growth as compared to their existing achievements. New product development is also a major strategy implemented by the main players with a share of 33.3% in the global actuators market. This strategy is widely adopted to increase the number of offerings to the consumers across new expanses and emerging economies.

In June 2016, KITZ Corporation of Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, regional headquarters for the ASEAN member countries opened a representative office in Vietnam.

Continuous Growth in Global Automotive Industry

Automobile manufacturing process requires high force density, reliability, precision and long life. Automotive actuators manufacturing companies across the globe provides high-performance actuators, which provides superior power, speed, precision, flexibility, efficiency, and durability.  Linear actuation is a fundamental technology for factory automation. Along with fluid power, electromechanical actuators have become progressively significant.

The total vehicle sales for the year 2015 was valued at almost 90 million units, and is expected to witness boost and reach more than 100 million units by the year 2023. As the automotive industry is currently witnessing continuous development, it has become a mandate among the manufacturers to produce efficient product, which facilitates safety features, passenger comfort and improve vehicle performance. Actuators integrated with automotive control computers helps optimize vehicle performance while improving reliability and durability.

Robots are used in automotive production plants across the globe. The main function of the robots is spot welding of stamped sheet metal parts. Accuracy and consistency is essential to guarantee a quality vehicle chassis as the groundwork of the build. Electric actuators are replacing hydraulic and pneumatic versions since they have proved to be more accurate, consistent and long-lasting. Thus, substantial growth in the automotive industry will result in marginal growth of actuators during the forecast period.

Challenges — Key hindrance for market expansion

Power Consumption, Noise, and Leak Issues are the key challenges in the actuators industry. 

Pneumatics are subject to encountering pressure loss and air compressibility, which makes this actuator less efficient in comparison to others. Also, high noise level of its operation makes manual operation difficult. The largest issue with hydraulic is they leak hazardous fluids, which lead to inefficiency and other contamination issues. Also, Electric actuators cannot compete with the load ratings, force or speed necessary. In Pneumatics pressure loss and air compressibility leads to lower force and slower speeds during the operation at lower pressure. To work to its full potential, pneumatics must be sized specifically for its application, so as to function at optimum efficeincy. Hydraulic leakage issues potentially damage other interrelated parts of the total system. There are some surroundings in which electric actuation is not appropriate for functioning, and will have a velocity fluctuations that cannot be exceeded. To perform under accurate and efficient control, electric actuators requires proportional regulators and valves, which can raise the cost and intricacy of a pneumatic actuator significantly. Also, there are some environments in which electric actuation is not suitable, and will have a velocity maximum that cannot be exceeded. Actuators face numerous challenges, which require current focus by the manufacturers, so as to overcome these issues and produce the ideal product.

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