According to the 2011 Medium Voltage MCCs and Soft Starters study published by IMS Research, Austin, the market for motor control centers (MCCs) is slowly making a comeback. The global market for medium-voltage MCCs with a voltage rating of at least 1 kV was more than $140 million in 2010, with over 5,300 units shipped during the year. Sales of these products declined heavily in 2009 due to the global recession, and according to analysts, the market recovery over the last two years has been painfully slow. The U.S. market comprised more than 60% of the global market during the year, while Canada accounted for nearly 20% of total revenues. The markets in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) and Asia Pacific were much smaller, together making up just 13% of total revenues in 2010.

The main reason for market concentration in North America stems from the fact that end-users have a different approach to systems engineering in this region than in markets elsewhere, according to the report authors. In the U.S., for example, much of the engineering expertise at many OEMs and end-users continues to be downsized, and companies increasingly rely on large industrial automation suppliers such as ABB, Eaton, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric, and Siemens. These suppliers represent “one-stop shops” that offer complete automation solutions, and by selling complete motor control centers, they assume the responsibility for the associated system engineering. In other markets, the most common approach to starting and stopping medium voltage motors is to use vacuum breaker-based medium-voltage switchgear, typically designed and installed by a panel builder, engineering house, or systems integrator.

Much of the global medium-voltage motor control centers market is concentrated in the oil and gas and mining industries, which accounted for more than half of total revenues in 2010, with a value of nearly $75 million. Other notable industries in this market include chemicals, commercial HVAC, power generation, and pulp and paper. For more information, visit imsresearch.com.