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  • 24 January 2019 20:26

Can Advanced Motor Control ICs Support Australia’s Crippling Electricity Sector?

With growing activity and automation in the fields of medicine, automobile, and food & beverages, the adoption of motor control ICs are expected to witness a noticeable rise in the foreseeable future. New Zealand and Australian companies are focusing their efforts on boosting energy efficiency of motor control IC components to meet the countries’ energy conservation efforts.

Finding extensive applications in a number of manufacturing industries including the automotive and medicine sectors, motor control ICs are being used as actuator controllers, for preprogrammed performance of electric motors. They help to perform functions such as speed and torque regulation, and safeguarding equipment against faults or overloads. At present, the motor control IC market for Australia and New Zealand is expected witness a moderate CAGR of approximately 4 per cent through 2028.

Focus towards Energy Savings Propels Development of Advanced Motor Control ICs

With electric motors utilizing approximately 60% of the total electricity production for industrial use, end use industries have started to focus their efforts towards energy conservation, thereby creating a high demand for equipping industrial facilities energy saving motors, and consequently for optimized motor control ICs.

In addition, the recently amended regulations with regards to energy consumption has made stringent testing for motor assembly components mandatory in Australia to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. This has resulted in the widespread adoption of energy efficient motor control ICs for various manufacturing facilities.

Manufacturers are expected to gain lucrative opportunities owing to this growing awareness of end-user industries about energy efficiency standards as the newer variants of energy efficient motors control ICs are anticipated to be up to 25% more expensive in comparison to conventional counterparts.

Despite the increase in costs, these new motor components are anticipated to witness higher adoption owing to noticeable improvements in their lifetime energy and monetary savings. These new motor control ICs will enable end users to make additional savings up to 10% in terms of energy consumption through better power ratings, on an annual basis.

Approximately half of all newly sold motor components in Australia are being manufactured with the latest prescribed energy standards. On the other hand, as per currently available technology, efficiency standards are unlike to achieve more than marginal enhancements in efficiency through the use of design innovations. As a result, the motor and component sizes are expected to increase for performance enhancements.

Design and Software Improvements Developed for New Zealand’s Energy Needs

As far motor control IC technologies are considered, innovations such as copper rotors, integrated drives, miniaturization, and new materials have balanced the pressure put on manufacturers through the growth in prices. As New Zealand has fast access to technological improvements, the market for motor control ICs is expected to adopt innovations from various fields such as transportation, integrated drive technologies, chemicals, steel, and heavy machinery. The essentiality of electric motors for all sorts of commercial, industrial, and domestic uses are anticipated to boost the need for modern motor control ICs.

Despite the supply for such components reaching a relatively higher state of maturity, the demand for motor control ICs is anticipated to stay stable for the long term, owing to the constant evolution of end user industries.

Wellington Drive, the major New Zealand electronic motor company is currently expanding its production abilities to supply not just for the country, but on a global scale in the terms of energy efficiency technology. The company’s motor control IC units, are integrated with a unique software that allows motors to operate at only one-third of the energy required for conventional counterparts, will requiring reduced amounts of materials such as copper and steel. Such ICs find widespread application varying equipment including vending machines, refrigeration units, hospital equipment, filter fans, and systems for ventilation.

Shortage of Electric Industry Capacities Generate Challenges

The electricity sector of Australia has been struggling with insufficient capacity, which has also negatively affected the construction sector, and consequently the demand for ICs. Major companies of the country including Wilson Transformer Co Pvt. Ltd, and Downer Energy Systems Pvt. Ltd are focusing on their renewable products. On the other hand the Australian branch of ABB Pvt. Ltd is shutting down its operations in the country.

However, the successful acquisition of orders by Australian manufacturers, and financial support by the government for local players has managed to sustain a moderate rate of growth. Apart from renewables products, the demand for motor control ICs is limited on a local scale, owing to the country’s overcapacity. Australia is increasingly investing in solar and wind power facilities, which offsets the challenges of the IC production sector to an extent.

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