Cutbacks in engineering are driving up the market for complete motion systems, incorporating matched components configured for specific tasks, says an IMS Research study. In the area of direct linear drive, the global market for linear-motor (LM) systems is nearly double that of the linear-motor components market. According to the study, the pre-assembled linear-motor systems market, forecast to be $354.1 million in 2005, will grow at an annual rate of 11% compared to 8.5% for individual linear-motor components.

Linear-motor component and system markets seem to be polarized by region. Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) are home to about half of global sales of linear-motor components, while Asia Pacific was the largest consumer of linear-motor systems. This most likely is due to the fact the EMEA market is mostly in machine tools, while flat panel display and semiconductor machinery markets dominate Asia Pacific. In the machine tool sector, engineers prefer to purchase components to develop their own systems. In flat panel display and semiconductor machinery markets, on the other hand, a linear motion component is only an ancillary product.