Brushless DC Motors: One of Its Kind

25 Apr, 2022 | Articles

A motor is a device that turns electrical energy into mechanical energy. Different types of motors are available in the market. Brushless DC motors (BLDC) are among them and are extensively utilized in various applications due to their high efficiency and outstanding controllability. In comparison to other motor types, the BLDC motor saves energy.

In 2020, the global brushless DC motors market was anticipated to be valued at USD 3443.05 million. It is expected to reach USD 5626.11 million by 2030, with a CAGR of 5%. The market is segmented into four sections: product, application, shape, size, and regions.

Widescale Adoption of Brushless DC Motors

Due to their long-lasting performance in comparison, BLDC motors are gaining center stage in the medical-equipment design. Furthermore, the search for more efficient, compact, and dependable equipment has put BLDC motors on the prescription list for various applications. The globally increasing demand for medical analysis and testing services has led to the development of their testing equipment that gives a higher output and accuracy. BLDC motors achieve this aim by delivering high torque across a wide speed range and operating at greater duty cycles.

BLDC motors are used in breathing devices such as Positive Airway Pressure respirators, machines used in the fluid analysis, mobility equipment such as lifts and patient beds, and medical equipment such as blowers, compressors, surgical equipment, and oxygen concentration and generation equipment. In 2019, healthcare spending was high in the United States, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, the Netherlands, and other countries, which has propelled the demand for brushless DC motors in the healthcare sector. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, hospital spending in the United States increased by 6.2% in 2019, accounting for USD 1,192 billion, above the 4.2% increase in 2018.

There is a significant discrepancy between the number of beds provided and the number of beds required in India. Health services are in high demand in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, where per-capita wealth has increased dramatically in recent years. Furthermore, the availability of low-cost land and labor in these areas presents an opportunity for healthcare infrastructure. In hospital/medical infrastructure, over 600 investment possibilities are totaling USD 32 billion.

demand for bldc motors

The demand for medical equipment is predicted to rise due to future investment possibilities in hospitals and medical infrastructure in India. As a result, there is a demand for BLDC motors in the medical business. Furthermore, the introduction of COVID-19 has increased global demand for BLDC motors used in the production of wheelchairs, respirators, ventilators, hospital beds, blood analyzers, and other medical devices. The need for such technology continues to rise, causing a boost in the growth BLDC market.

Due to its simplicity of maintenance, minimal electrical noise, clean operation, improved dependability, and prolonged lifespan, BLDC motors are the most used motors in robotics. Such advantages would encourage the usage of BLDC motors in robots. BLDC motors offer a wide range of applications in robotics, from steering systems for mobile robots to gripping arms. BLDC motors are also employed in Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Underwater Unmanned Vehicles (UUVs).

Food and beverage, military, logistics, agriculture, consumer and home, and industry have all made significant investments in robots. Furthermore, initiatives from the government and public-private partnerships are accelerating the expansion of robots. Several automation processes are driven by factors such as cost savings, excellent quality, increased output, and enhanced workplace health and safety. Another element pushing automation is the consequence of COVID-19; remote activities have also grown due to the virus's propagation. This increase in new avenues owing to COVID-19 is increasing the need for brushless DC (BLDC) motors in various applications.

the usage of automated guided vehicles

The usage of Automated Guided Vehicles in logistical, medical, transportation, and aviation applications is increasing demand for them. Factors like growing e-commerce and the development of trade-related agreements are driving the need for logistics outfitted with AGVs. Furthermore, IoT and technology services in logistics are likely to propel the market for autonomous guided vehicles. ThyssenKrupp Material Service, for example, committed USD 78.73 million in renovation and growth in 2019, which will comprise a state-of-the-art logistics facility and a new warehouse in Germany, Poland, and Hungary. Furthermore, the car company SEAT deployed autonomous guided vehicles with SLAM navigation, 4G connectivity, and inductive battery charging.

Underwater vehicles are propelling forward-thinking research in artificial intelligence underwater communications, autonomous navigation, and robotic swarm technologies. Underwater drones can help with hull inspection, wreck inspection, underwater exploration, ocean-bottom mapping, and ocean research. AUV applications in oil and gas, defense and military, and research and academia are likely to rise. Meeting global energy demand is critical in relocating oil and gas production facilities to subsea locations.

The market's expansion may be attributable to technical improvements, which have created a desire for more cost-effective space operations. Furthermore, the increase in private investment from new space investors has had a favorable influence on the growth of the new space/commercial space industry. Over time, the rapid progress of the space sector has finally increased the transformation bar in the space ecosystem, encouraging more space-related exploration and research activities, which influences the market growth. Furthermore, the burgeoning space economy is becoming increasingly reliant on data, which has a variety of effects on space technology as well as markets, and military or strategic developments in space and others, which are expected to push the industry ahead in the long term.

While private equity initiatives have received the majority of the attention in recent years, interest in the public sector has also grown dramatically. As part of boosting US military capabilities in space, the Trump Administration formed a US Space Command in August 2019. Furthermore, in May 2020, NASA revealed plans to fly a human voyage to the International Space Station using a privately produced rocket for the first time since the United Kingdom's shuttle program was canceled in 2011. This also represents a key milestone in the relationship between the private sector and government in the field of space, assisting market expansion toward new space/commercial space.

Manufacturers of brushless motors face high-cost obstacles due to the motor's additional cost, and appropriate management requires electronics. Since they are more challenging to build, BLDC motors are often 30% more costly. In order to sequence the correct charge through the stator coil, BLDC motors require a switching controller. It features coils placed around the interior of the stator instead of an armature. Most tiny in-runner windings must be fitted by hand. As a result of the difficulty and time required, it is more costly than machine wound-brushed motors.

Due to a large number of participants, the brushless DC motors industry is fragmented. The market has both structured and unorganized companies vying for a competitive edge. The unorganized sector poses a danger to the organized sector since it consists of local suppliers that construct their motors using low-cost and low-quality materials. As a result, the total demand for BLDC motors is affected. Johnson Electric, for example, will be a prominent rival owing to its diverse product line and pricing advantage.

The prices of raw materials needed to manufacture BLDC motors have quadrupled in the previous year and a half. Furthermore, the supply chain disruption caused by COVID-19 has significantly influenced costs. As a result, there is a considerable demand for the replacement used in the manufacture of BLDC motors. For example, ferrites are ferromagnetic oxide materials with high resistance and permeability. Although ferrite has less than half the saturation magnetization of ferromagnetic alloys, it has advantages like better frequency applicability, high resistivity, lower price, stronger heat resistance, and superior corrosion resistance. As a result, ferrite can be utilized as a replacement for efficiency constraints.

utilizing drone technologies with BLDC motors

The contemporary surveyor's visage is evolving. Remote sensing and UAV technologies are used to scan the Earth's surface using satellites and traditional surveying equipment such as retroreflectors and optical levels. Instead of employing airplanes or helicopters, specialists and engineers are utilizing drone technologies coupled with BLDC motors to keep the aircraft aloft and powerful to significantly reduce expenses. LiDAR Drones are also utilized for power line inspection, topography and bathymetric surveys, forestry, precision agriculture, and mining.

Mapping drones have greater payloads, extended flight periods, and improved navigation and sensor technologies. Flat/pancake-shaped BLDC motors are commonly employed in the proliferation of UAV LiDAR drones. Among the various uses of LiDAR drones, such as mining, construction, and defense, corridor mapping has the biggest market share. For planning, developing, and analyzing linear infrastructures such as motorways, roads, and oil and gas pipelines, precise and timely digital terrain mapping is required. LiDAR drones help by supplying all of this information in the form of a 3D model. The Indian Railways use an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) (UAS). For inspection and 3D mapping to bring its concept of a dedicated freight corridor with a 3,360 km network to life. The whole route has been mapped using UAS technology.

Aside from mapping, the primary application for LiDAR drones has been defense. LiDAR drones are employed in various military applications, including surveillance, surveying, and combat operations. Military spending in the United States is increasing considerably. For example, the defense department budgeted around 7.5 billion for different robotic platforms and related technologies in the fiscal year 2021. Similarly, numerous nations, including Israel, Iran, Turkey, India, China, and Japan, have invested in their defense systems to increase their global might. It is projected to increase demand for BLDC-powered LiDAR drones.

Important Developments in the Brushless DC motors Industry

The global brushless DC motors market is expected to expand reasonably between 2017 and 2030. This increase is related to the growing usage of brushless DC motors in medical and life sciences, aerospace, and other industries.

The introduction of sensor-less controls for BLDC type is anticipated to increase the product's longevity and dependability, decreasing the number of mechanical misalignments, electrical connections, and the end product's weight and size. These previously stated reasons are expected to fuel market expansion. Furthermore, the market is being driven by increased activity in the global space sector. Some of the recent market trends are:

Sensorless Controls of Brushless DC Motors

sensorless controls of bldc motors

BLDC motors are utilized in a variety of applications due to their high power density, dependability, efficiency, maintenance-free nature, and silent operating magnet. It is only conceivable if the control electronics always know the exact location of the rotor. It is not recommended to utilize position sensors in situations where dependability is critical, as sensor failure may create instability in the control system. Due to the constraints of employing position sensors and the availability of powerful and affordable microprocessors, sensor-less control technology has accelerated.

Previously, Hall Effect sensors were utilized to give data. Sensorless control systems nowadays rely on current and voltage information from the motor to calculate rotor position. Back EMF is used to calculate the rotor speed and location of a motor.

The sensorless control technique increases system dependability, decreases the number of electrical connections, removes mechanical alignment issues, and reduces the size and weight of BLDC motors. Furthermore, omitting sensors can save money and space by eliminating the need for wires, connections, and electrical circuits. Although sensorless technology is not widely used, it is likely to be the major brushless DC motors control mechanism in the future.

Expanding Electronics Industry in APAC

expanding electronics industry in apac

APAC is experiencing rapid modernization and is quickly becoming the global economic hub. According to the World Economic Forum, the area will account for nearly 60% of global growth by 2030. The majority of the expansion is likely to come from regions such as China, India, and Southeast Asia.

Many electronic components are manufactured in APAC, and the electronics sector is expected to rise strongly in the second half of 2020. Many East Asian countries, including China, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam, rely heavily on the electronics manufacturing industry for export. The Indian electronics industry is expanding, with a 6.5-fold increase from USD 23.5 billion to USD 152 billion by 2025. As a result, the market for brushless DC motors is growing.

Swift Adoption of BLDC Motors across the World

Asia Pacific has emerged as the largest regional market within the brushless DC motor sector, accounting for around 48 % of the market in 2020. Due to industrialization in countries such as India, China, South Korea, Japan, and Australia, the Asia Pacific region is likely to dominate the brushless DC motor market over the forecast period. Furthermore, it serves as a hub for the production of electronic components. Taiwan's electronics sector is rapidly expanding, propelling the demand for brushless DC motors.

North America is predicted to expand faster than the rest of the world due to its strong aerospace and defense industries and impending space-related initiatives. In collaboration with a few corporations like SpaceX, NASA is working on space exploration programs to increase demand for BLDC motors. NASA's space exploration programs like DaVinci, Veritas, and Viper are projected to provide a profitable market for brushless DC motors. Furthermore, the North American service market is expanding rapidly. Service robots are becoming increasingly significant in the healthcare business, supporting nurses, physicians, and other professionals. The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) reports that sales of robotic devices in North America climbed by 3.5 % in 2020 compared to 2019.

north america is predicted to expand faster due to its aerospace and defense industries

During the projected period, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa are predicted to increase significantly. The shifting regulatory landscape and increased consumer awareness of eco-friendly and sustainable products drive growth in this sector. Europe is likely to benefit from possibilities in the automobile business as it transitions from gasoline to electric vehicles. A few European Space Agency space exploration programs scheduled for 2022 and 2024 are likely to boost the growth of brushless DC motors.

Electric motors power the vast majority of robots. brushless DC motors are frequently employed in portable robots and are preferable in systems with lighter weights and where rotational motion is the primary form of motion. Many nations are slowly returning to normalcy following the outbreak. Taiwan was in the rare situation of seeing a modest increase in GDP growth in 2020 compared to 2019. This market's expansion is primarily due to increased exports. According to IHS Markit, Taiwan's exports increased by 27.1 % year on year in March 2021, showing the strength of new global electronics orders. APAC's need for brushless DC motors is predicted to rise as the electronic sector expands.

Competitive Landscape

Some of the major players in the global brushless DC motors market are:

  • Maxon Group
  • Faulhaber
  • Moog Inc.
  • Allied Motion
  • AMETEK Advanced Motion Solution
  • MTI Montevideo
  • ElectroCraft Ltd.
  • ThinGap
  • Fulling Motor

Recent Developments by Key Players

  • On 2nd November 2021, Allied Motion acquired ORMEC Systems Corp, a developer, and manufacturer of mission-critical electro-mechanical automation solutions and motion control products
  • On 9th March 2021, Allied Motion acquired Dynamic Controls Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Invacare Corporation,
  • On 18th November 202, Maxon launched a new frameless brushless DC motor with a matching encoder that comes into its own in dynamic applications.

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