Though the economy is in the dumps, there are still a few bright spots of growth. According to a research analyst at IMS Research, a market research firm that serves the electronics industry, linear motion may be one of them.

“We will undoubtedly see a slowing in demand for linear-motion components as companies postpone and even cancel investments in machinery due to the downturn in the world economy and difficulties in raising money. However, most manufacturers have been quite shrewd in where they built additional factory capacity,” he says.

“We have seen companies open factories in regions with the highest growth, such as Asia Pacific and China. Demand for ball screws and linear guides in these emerging markets will continue to be strong even through the downturn,” he continues. “And when the economy recovers, those companies and facilities will be in place to take advantage of the recovering demand for linearmotion components from machine builders. Indeed, the market is expected to remain relatively healthy worldwide as a result of replacement trends and increased factory automation. However, don’t expect to see the double-digit annual growth the linearmotion industry has recently enjoyed.”

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