Integrated Motors: What Are They and What Do They Do?

integrated motorsIntegrated motors are becoming more and more popular in the motion control industry. This is largely because of advances in industrial automation technology and the growing desire for automation equipment.

Many experts say we’re in the middle of an automation boom. All kinds of motors, but specifically integrated motors, are at the heart of this so-called automation boom. But what are they? And what do they do?

Integrated Motors and Their Role in Automation

There are many different definitions for integrated motors; the term means different things to different people. Some say the defining characteristic is that they integrate the electronics of the drive with the mechanics of the motor. Other people say it’s gearheads that are fitted to various types of motors. Neither are necessarily wrong.

There are two main types of integrated motors: general motion control (GMC) and computer numerical control (CNC) motors.

GMC motors are used in conjunction with a general motion controller independent of the final application. Packaging machinery, food-processing lines and semiconductor manufacturing are some common applications of GMC motors.

CNC motors and drives, program in G code for movements in machine tools that deliver discrete parts. This includes turning centers, machining centers, multi-axis and multi-tasking machines, and transfer lines, among others.

What's the Market for Integrated Motors Look Like?

GMC motors make up 56.5% of the global market, while CNC motors make up 43.5% of the total global market. In general though, the outlook for integrated motors is great given their role in the automation boom.

The top three segments of the broader motion control industry all had stellar growth rates in 2016, reflecting a broader rise in the importance and demand for motion control motors, including integrated motors.

The overall motors segment increased 9.6% to $1.2 billion. Electronic drives grew 10.5% to $603.1 million and actuators and mechanical systems grew 19.5% to $572.1 million. The smallest segment, AC motors, grew at 24.3% to $34.3 million.

The broader market for motion control motors and equipment is growing, and integrated motors are growing right with it. These trends are only expected to continue as the automation boom continues in full swing.

Integrated motors play a vital role in the rise of advanced automation technology. They’re becoming more and more popular in the motion control industry, and for good reason. To learn more about integrated motors, take a deep dive on the subject and read our technical feature on the subject, "Integrated Motors: Define, Design, Apply."

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