AC drives are used in applications such as oil and gas, water and wastewater, power generation, building automation, food and beverage, metals and mining and chemicals and petrochemicals. Oil and gas sector was the largest end user of AC drives in the global market, in 2015. The industry is expected to drive the global AC drives market, during the forecast period (2016-2022), on account of their widespread use to control the speed of pumps and compressors used in the oil & gas industry.
AC drives offer efficient speed controls, and high energy savings, thereby reducing energy consumption at a large scale. As a result, they are widely used in oil and gas processes that are complex and operate at varying operating conditions. Low power AC drives offer quick pay back periods due to higher energy savings with low capital costs and better process control with increased motor control, which is likely to create demand for low power AC drives, during the forecast period (2016 - 2022).
The global AC drives market is expected to grow during the forecast period on account of rapidly growing industrialization and urbanization, increasing need for energy optimization and various government regulations for obtaining energy efficiency. The Internet of Things (IoT) is likely to increase the demand for AC drives, during the forecast period. Low voltage AC drives segment exhibits the highest revenue contribution to the global market in 2015; however, medium voltage segment is forecasted to grow at the fastest rate, during the forecast period, on account of rising demand from industries such as utilities, petrochemicals, water and wastewater, metals and mining, and cement. Medium voltage AC drives are deployed for pumps, compressors, conveyors, crushers and mills, fans, and kiln applications. Based on power rating, low power drives (less than 40kW) lead the AC drives market due to their growing applications in building automation, food and beverage, oil and gas, construction, and pulp and paper industries. Some of the restraints in the global AC drives market include decline in foreign direct investments (FDIs) and increasing number of local vendors in the market resulting in tough competition for established market players.
In 2015, Asia-Pacific was the largest contributor to the global AC drives market, in terms of value, followed by Europe. The major factors expected to fuel the growth of the Asia-Pacific market, during the forecast period, are increasing industrialization and urbanization, driven by China, India, Japan, Australia, and Rest of Asia-Pacific. Additionally, the increasing government initiatives to conserve electricity through energy efficiency norms are further expected to spur the growth of the Asia-Pacific AC drives market. China was the largest country, in terms of value, in the Asia-Pacific AC drives market, followed by India and Japan.
The key players operating in the global AC drives market are ABB Ltd., Siemens AG, Danfoss Group, Schneider Electric SE, Yaskawa America, Inc., Rockwell Automation, Inc., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Fuji Electric Co. Ltd, and Emerson Electric Co., among others.