Like many other industrial sectors, the low-power ac drives market rebounded in 2010 from the deep global recession of 2009. Emerging economies spearheaded the resurgence and will remain important markets during the next several years, according to a new study from ARC Advisory Group, Dedham, Mass. The ac drives market will also grow due to increasing concerns regarding energy efficiency and the environment, say analysts.

“The low-power ac drives market will continue to grow across all regions of the world because these drives offer quick payback periods due to energy savings and better process management with increased motor control. These factors make the use of low-power ac drives easier to justify even during uncertain economic periods,” according to analyst Himanshu Shah, principal author of Low Power AC Drives Worldwide Outlook. Major economies have accepted the fact that efficient use of energy is necessary for global growth and prosperity, adds Shah.

While the global economy was in its severe downturn, stimulus packages from various governments enabled investments in infrastructure, such as road construction, water and wastewater facilities, and electric power plants. These projects will continue to have significant impact through 2015. Globalization also has created a growing need for modern infrastructure, especially in emerging economies: For example, airport facilities and road construction are driving demand for products from the metals and mining, cement and glass, and oil and gas industries. Low-power ac drives will benefit in this environment, as they are key components of both infrastructure development and operation.

An expanding global middle class is yet another important forecast factor: Until recently, the world's middle class was located in Western Europe, North America, and Japan, but now a new middle class is rapidly expanding in Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America — creating huge demand for new products. Consumption is expected to grow in areas ranging from consumer electronics to food and beverages. As a result, there will be a greater demand for automation, including low-power ac drives.

The new ARC study also includes brief discussions of economic scenarios in each major world area. For more information, visit arcweb.com/res/aclo.