The global linear motion system market size was valued at USD 9.5 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach USD 18 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 7.5% during the forecast period (2022–2030).
Systems that move in one direction automatically are referred to as linear motion systems. Depending on the mechanism, they are frequently offered in single-axis and multi-axis variations and can be either non-powered or motorized. Systems for linear motion include a guide system to manage the load, a drive to help move the load, and sealing to safeguard the system's internal components. They are extensively utilized in machines, technological platforms, and numerous other processes, including printing, scanning, and food preparation. Industrial payloads are transported using linear motion systems, offering high performance, speed, and precision under challenging environmental circumstances.
To achieve greater precision, flexibility, reliability, and efficiency while using less energy, technology is moving away from hydraulic and pneumatic systems and toward electromechanical systems, one of the numerous drivers driving the industry. The primary reason propelling the market's growth is the rising industrialization, the desire for digital transformation, and the adoption of automated systems in different sectors. Additionally, these systems are highly sought after in businesses due to their outstanding performance in harsh environmental conditions.
Packaging operations can now accomplish more with fewer, thanks to advancements in automation technology across the board. The next step is taken by new mechatronic solutions, which combine the principles of mechanical and electronic engineering to create more adaptable and versatile machinery. The efficiency of manufacturing installations in the food and packaging industries today includes final goods with ever-shorter life cycles, seasonal variations in production quantities and ranges, new materials, and production techniques (coated, uncoated papers, and wrappers).
Rapid changeovers are now necessary for packaging operations, whether from contract packagers with tiny lot sizes or big manufacturers who switch between uniform, mass-produced products and personalized products on the same lines. Manufacturers of food and beverages face ongoing pressure to increase the number of packaging options available for their products without sacrificing production. Improved cycle times, quicker format changes, and higher production depend on flexible systems.
High expectations for the finished product are also reflected in the production systems. Strict legal, hygienic, and production technology standards must be followed. Machines and parts that are simple to clean and resistant to corrosion ensure hygienically perfect finished goods. Many packaging techniques are used during the primary packaging stage, which comes after production. Highly effective processes are provided via links with integrated or independent space-saving buffer systems. These elements are encouraging more people to use linear motion technology.
Machine parts, including linear motion products, are being shaped by the industrial revolution with integrated technologies, such as IIoT and IoT implications, for data collecting. The ability to monitor and analyze system performance and aid in the early discovery of any issues is made possible by collecting machine data. Vendors also put a lot of effort into offering linear motion e-tools that improve product selection and sizing, automating procedures where customers' orders and deliveries may be made more quickly.
Additionally, sensors collect machine data throughout operations and send it to the cloud. Users can enhance services and guarantee prompt process maintenance due to the acquired data. Thomson Industries, for instance, released linear motion control solutions in June 2020 that aid customers in choosing and purchasing stepper motor linear actuators. The application also enables users to access PDF files providing product information such as features, advantages, and technical specifications or download 3D models into their CAD software. This shortens the selection process for a stepper motor and produces results in under five minutes. These elements are causing the use of the linear motion system to rise.
The cost of installation is a significant challenge for market growth. The high price is mainly due to other components that must be considered while designing a linear motion system, including structural support, guides, drives, seals, lubrication, and accessories between two points. Building a linear system needs to start from the ground up, with a structural-support system. Typically, the support system's main component is an aluminum extrusion. A robust base allows the system to rest on end supports. Lighter extrusions sometimes need intermittent supports along their lengths.
Guides are attached to the base to facilitate motion. Ball guides carry the heaviest payloads and have the highest stiffness. Their single or dual-rail configurations move with little friction. The disadvantages include a higher cost and the noise. While buying linear motion systems, sometimes standard catalog products do not meet the application's requirements. In that case, the vendor modifies a standard product or designs a component from scratch. This carries an extra cost. Such factors hinder market growth.
The evolving technology in linear motion systems allows the products to have applicability in product selection and sizing, automated ordering and delivering, commissioning, operations, and service and maintenance. Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 continue to drive linear shaft designs, especially in the feedback devices used to close the servo loops. These devices, coupled with intelligent controllers, provide a wide array of data on motor health to upstream systems and crucial information about the mechanical elements that make up the machine axes.
Smart products and customized solutions are vital elements that witness new developments in linear motion by adding onboard intelligence to the products. Future trends also include continued innovation on improved magnetics, size reduction, robust and lower-cost feedback elements, and a large variety of sealing options for different market requirements. Such factors create lucrative opportunities for the linear motion system.
The global linear motion system market share is segmented by type, end-user, and application.
By type, the global linear motion system market share is segmented into Single-Axis and Multi-Axis Linear Motion Systems.
Multi-Axis Linear Motion System occupies the largest market share and is expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 8% during the forecast period. The multi-axis linear motion system offers more than one linear direction of movement, and at the same time, it can be used for various target applications. High positioning and repeat accuracy, combined with the proper motion dynamics, are the factors that are increasing the popularity of this integration system. Generally, multi-axis drives cost less than their single-axis counterparts, as the multi-axis system does not have AC to DC rectification section. Typically, the multi-axis solution requires less control cabinet panel space. Such factors drive the segment growth.
Single-Axis Linear Motion System is the second-largest segment. The vendors in the market are focusing on manufacturing sophisticated motion control solutions according to the requirements of automation designers. For instance, in September 2020, Haydon Kerk Pittman launched the MiniSlide MSA series of linear actuators predesigned to offer single-axis linear motion. In addition, the product is designed to provide a compact and low profile, with a stable platform and two motor options, such as a 20 mm, 19000 series can-stack linear actuator and a 21mm, size eight hybrid linear actuator. Further, the incremental advancement in technology, coupled with a sustained increase in the development of manufacturing facilities, is driving the automation of material or product handling. This is driving the need for various single-axis motion linear systems.
By end-user, the global linear motion system market is segmented into Automotive, Electronics & Semiconductor, Manufacturing, Aerospace, Healthcare, and Others.
The Manufacturing industry occupies the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% during the forecast period. Linear-motion technology is the base for many essential components in industrial machinery manufacturing. The deployment of linear motion systems helps manufacturers achieve high precision, high productivity, reduction in maintenance requirements, and fewer mechanical transmission elements. The demand for the motion system is increasing due to the rise of convenience-based packaging and its high demand in the e-commerce transportation and shipment, food and beverage, personal care, domestic care, and healthcare industries.
Electronics & Semiconductors industry is the second-largest segment. Factors like improving fabrication techniques, falling production costs, growing demand for advanced equipment, increasing adoption of automation, and ongoing investments will boost growth in the global electronics and semiconductor industry. This growth is expected to drive demand for linear motion systems.
The Automotive industry is developing rapidly. Lead screws and other linear motion components, such as electric linear actuators, are employed more frequently in automotive applications to automate performance. Drivers benefit from the safety and convenience that linear actuators offer by being utilized often everywhere an automotive component has to be raised or lowered, opened or closed. Linear motion systems play a critical role in automotive sector manufacturing processes, providing precision movement and high repeatability. General applications include production line transport, positioning, handling, sorting, and material provisioning. Automation in the industry is expected to drive the adoption of technologies, like linear actuators, enabling vehicles to open and close vents, windows, and sliding doors. This mechanical element is also essential to engine control and the other crucial parts for a car to run correctly.
By region, the global linear motion system market share is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and LAMEA.
Asia-Pacific dominates the global linear motion system market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 8.4% during the forecast period. The demand for linear motion systems is predicted to have considerable expansion due to rising industrial activity, technical advancements, and government investments in industrial automation systems, and well-established players who offer these systems. Numerous enterprises, including those in food, beverage, pharmaceutical, automotive, and machine production, are based in the area. In addition, the region is home to a sizable semiconductor sector.
Furthermore, the rise in the manufacturing of diverse linear motion systems results from the rising degree of miniaturization in various application domains. The market is also anticipated to be driven by the increased adoption of linear actuators and other systems. Due to the increased use of motion systems brought on by the vast deployment of the electronic and automobile manufacturing industries, China now leads the region. As the market also develops at high speed in other economies, such as India, there is vast potential for growth in the market studied.
Europe is the second-largest region. It is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 4.8 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 6.6%. The European Union is among the world's biggest producers of motor vehicles. The sector represents the most significant private investor in R&D. To strengthen competitiveness in the automotive industry and preserve its technological leadership, the European Commission supports global technical harmonization and offers research funds and development activities.
Moreover, the German automotive sector, leading technological innovations in the global automotive industry, integrates multiple technologies. Strong support from the government and increasing investments from prominent automotive manufacturers, such as BMW, Ford, and Jaguar, brought significant transformations in the country's automotive sector. This made the automotive industry one of Europe's notable users of linear motion systems, driving the regional market growth.
North America is the third-largest region. With the increasing miniaturization of electronics, equipment manufacturing has also changed. Manufacturers of linear motion systems increasingly focus on developing small, maintenance-free products that need no re-lubrication. This is expected to be one of the significant trends in the market in the near future. Another trend in the market is manufacturers developing industry 4.0 components that are applicable for enterprise-level connectivity.
Multiple companies based out of North America engage in product innovations. For instance, in September 2020, Haydon Kerk Pittman, an AMETEK Advanced Motion Solutions division business unit, announced the MiniSlide MSA series of linear actuators. By providing a compact and highly customizable linear motion solution, the MSA is suitable for several lab equipment applications, such as sample handling, spectrometers, chromatography, molecular analyzers, etc.
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