4 Servo Drive Trends to Watch

According to a new report published in Automation World, the market for servo drives and motion control components will top $15 billion by 2023.

Despite cyclical shifts typical of mature industries, demand for servo drives is expected to outpace global manufacturing thanks to their versatile cross-industry applications. As motion control reaches new heights, here are four servo drive trends to watch in the coming year.

Servo Drives in Smart Manufacturing

Increased interest in automation is driving growth for servos in the industrial and consumer sectors. In manufacturing, this technology is ideal for digitally aided metal forming and cutting, food and beverage processing, materials handling and packaging procedures.

These industries are generating significant demand for servos and related components. While industrial clients have access to cutting-edge innovations as soon as they hit the market, the consumer sector isn’t far behind these days. Servos are featured in cars and a growing number of household products.

Simplified Programming Tools for Servo Drives

New technology makes it easier for engineers and students to learn and master motion control languages. Well-supported developer libraries include an impressive range of predefined single- and multi-axis functions.

These simplified programming systems provide user-friendly tools for defining network protocols and position-velocity-time commands using C++ or CANopen. Engineers also have access to enhanced motion control API technology that streamlines the tuning process and allows designers to visualize and test each motion profile.

Motion Control and Remote Monitoring

Smart technology is a major breakthrough for any company that requires off-site equipment monitoring or remote access capabilities.

Servo drives can integrate seamlessly into a traditional SCADA network. These plant-wide systems link a large number of programmable logic controllers, human-machine interface components and servo drives that are compatible with CANopen or EtherCAT.

Remote monitoring tools are ideal for factories, utility providers and mechanical installations in harsh climates. The level of integration available today allows engineers to monitor motion control devices from anywhere in the world using a smartphone or similar low-cost product.

Servo Drives in Mobile and Industrial Cobots

Servo drives already play an important role in precision manufacturing, and they’re becoming an even larger link in the global supply chain thanks to the robotic revolution. Analysts expect the market for collaborative robots, or cobots, to grow 44% each year between 2019 and 2026.

The latest innovations in hardware, software and servo technology help cobots safely interact with workers and other automated systems in the real world or on the factory floor.

Motion control is a relatively mature industry that has evolved over the past 50 years.

Today, breakthroughs in robotics and autonomous vehicles have produced unprecedented demand for servo drives and microcontrollers. The market for industrial robots is expected to surpass $36 billion in coming years, which has important implications for the components market.

Servo-powered autonomous vehicles are on the horizon, and motion control technology is trickling into the mainstream consumer sector, which will generate sustained growth over the next year and decade.