Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives


Record-breaking revenues projected for the linear motion products market

By Syed Mohsin Ali, research analyst, industrial automation, IHS Markit

According to the 2017 edition of the Linear Motion Products Report from IHS Markit, total global revenue from linear motion products is projected to hit a record high of $7.3 billion in 2017.

Demand for linear motion products in the electronics and electronics-assembly industries — particularly for battery manufacturing facilities and improved global economic conditions — have facilitated growth.

This new revenue record was preceded by a substantial growth rate of 6.1 percent in 2016, primarily a result of high demand from China and a 10.1 percent stronger exchange rate for the Japanese yen against the US dollar. 

From 2016 to 2021, the linear motion product market revenue is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 5.7 percent.


ihs market linear products chart

The world market for linear motion products continued gaining traction in 2017 and is forecast to grow by 6.9 percent in revenue terms.

The Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) market is forecast to grow by 6.8 percent, the Asia-Pacific market is predicted to increase by 7.5 percent, and the Americas by 5.3 percent.

With expected revenue of $3.7 billion in 2017, Asia Pacific is the largest regional market for linear motion products, accounting for more than half of global revenue. The EMEA market follows ($2.2 billion).

The American market ranked third ($1.4 billion), accounting for 19 percent of the global linear motion products market.

Revenue from assembled actuator products, primarily commercial-grade rod-style and rodless actuators, is projected to grow from 2016 to 2021 at a CAGR of 6.2 percent, which is slightly higher than the projected CAGR for ball screws (5.2 percent) and linear guides (5.3 percent).

The comparatively lower projected CAGR for ball screws and linear guides is largely due to their dependence on investment in capital-intensive machinery in the automotive, food and beverage, packaging, materials handling, machine tools and electronics-assembly industries.

The machine tools and medical industries were the largest markets for linear motion products in 2016, with machine tools accounting for more than 18 percent of revenue and medical and scientific accounting for approximately 12 percent.

The robotics industry is expected to be the fastest-growing industry for linear motion products from 2016 through 2021 with 14.7 percent revenue CAGR projected.

The high growth rate in this industry will be driven by an increase in demand for gantry machinery, especially for pick-and-place applications. Most of this demand will stem from China’s increasing adoption of advanced automation solutions, including robotics.

IHS Markit’s Linear Motion Intelligence Service – Annual, investigates in detail the size and growth of the linear motion products market, providing base year data for 2016 and forecasting growth through 2021.

In addition, numerous market segmentations are provided including industry sector, geographic region and product size.

The study also provides a qualitative analysis of product trends, growth drivers and an overview of the competitive environment, including market share by product type for each major geographic region.

Syed Mohsin Ali, IHS Markit
Syed Mohsin Ali, IHS Markit

About the author: Syed Mohsin is a research analyst in the manufacturing and technology group at IHS Markit and is the lead analyst for the linear motion products intelligence service.