World news: June 2012
Ageing infrastructure and energy costs drive growth in LV MCCs
The global market for low-voltage motor control centres (MCCs) has been relatively unaffected by the economic turmoil that has affected many other industrial markets, says a new study from ARC Advisory Group, which reports that capital spending in the sector has continued on a steady growth path.
The growth is being driven by continuing investments around the world in infrastructure, commodity manufacturing, oil exploration, mining, and power generation.
“The LV MCC market has remained recession-proof as many organisations recognise the value of a centralised automation and MCC infrastructure that can support the ability to manage operations more efficiently,” says the report’s principal author, ARC research director, Sal Spada.
These organisations can also save energy by incorporating intelligence in their control cabinets, along with network connections to monitor, analyse and remotely diagnose their operations.
According to ARC, automation scheduling and energy management are running on parallel paths. As more systems are monitored for their energy consumption, plants can determine the cost of their goods based on the energy used during production. Process improvements and production scheduling and can cut facility operating costs significantly, it adds.
Organisations also need to determine the true costs of production or providing a service. The latest MCCs can help them to determine strategies to minimise their energy consumption, based on analyses of motor start-up times, the number of starts, and the uptime of individual motors.
Also, for areas where energy inefficiency is identified, automation and control upgrades across a manufacturing operation can be evaluated based on accurate calculations of the return on investment.
ARC reports that the Chinese LV MCC market is showing signs of a slowdown, and predicts declining growth acroos the Asian market as a whole. Japan, however, will remain relatively strong as its builds power generation capacity to replace its lost nuclear capacity. Although the highest growth opportunities for LV MCCs are still in Asia, this region also offers challenges as indigenous suppliers are emerging rapidly.