The COVID-19 pandemic has caused enormous ravages worldwide. Many other industries have suffered havoc caused by the pandemic. But, what is the situation for the linear actuator market? There is no doubt that this market has experienced some affectations somehow. But in the last years, the linear actuator market has experienced significant growth. Market research suggests that 2020 will not be much different.

Even before the pandemic, there was a projection for the market that predicted over 7% CAGR. This forecast for this growth comprises the period 2019-2027. This significant growth translates to more than $5 billion. We would observe this value by the end of 2027. The COVID-19 pandemic will surely affect this project. What adjustments does the above projection need to account for the pandemic? 

Major manufacturers account for as much as one-fourth of the global market of actuators. For example, Tsubakimoto Chain, Co. is a leading player in Asia. In North America, Progressive Automations has been a leading manufacturer also. These major players have been innovating for several years. They often come up with novel designs to meet the demand of their customers. This strategy has resulted in a steady growth in sales.

In particular, the manufacturing industry demands more precise actuators. Hence, manufacturers have been focusing on this sector of the market. As of 2020, electric actuators represent 25% of their revenue. These devices will surely increase their presence in the manufacturing industry. They have many advantages over traditional pneumatic and hydraulic cylinders.

High Demand from the Manufacturing Industry

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, actuator manufacturers were having solid sales. This was the result of automation in many manufacturing industries. Other types of industries also adopted automation. This speeds several of their processes. Some of these include:

  • Automotive industry. Electric actuators enable the automation of processes that need precise positioning. Moreover, electric actuators can move different parts of vehicles. This adds value to modern vehicles. Actuators create more comfortable environments for passengers;
  • Oil and gas. This industry uses actuators to automate valves. Likewise, fluid and water treatment plants automate some of their processes with actuators;
  • Defense and aerospace. Linear actuators automate different functions in airplanes and specialized vehicles.

This year, some operations of the manufacturing industry suffered severe disruptions. This is the result of the pandemic. But the efforts to automate production lines have not diminished. This can explain the steady growth of the electric actuator demand even in pandemic time. But the pandemic is not over yet. Market analysts still have to assess the impact of the pandemic until the end of the year. The effects of the pandemic could be considerable in North America by the end of the year.

Extractive Industries Are Slowing Down

Mining and other extractive industries have suffered the effects of the pandemic. With so many workers at home, production has plummeted. These industries have been big consumers of heavy-duty actuators. Pneumatic and hydraulic cylinders have found a niche in these working environments.

Hence, manufacturing electric actuators is more promising to keep sales afloat. But as seen, the sales of these devices depend on the global economy. The situation is still uncertain for most industrial sectors. But electric actuators have the potential to be in higher demand anyway.

Moreover, manufacturing electric actuators is not so expensive anymore. This technology is already mature. And the prices of the raw materials dropped.  Hence, the lower prices of these actuators will result in more sales. In fact, some companies are choosing to replace older cylinders with electric actuators.

Whether manufacturers will be able to keep their prices low is uncertain. The COVID-19 pandemic has made some raw materials unavailable. In other cases, the materials are available but at higher prices. Eventually, the manufacturers may increase the prices of the linear actuators.

Electric Actuators Represent a Promising Market

Nobody knows for sure when the current pandemic will end. Hence, established manufacturers and newcomers must focus on the most promising market. This is the electric actuator market. The demand for such devices will grow. They have several advantages that make them the best solution for many industries. Some of these advantages are:

  • Integration into an existing machine or production line is much easier. Electric actuators come with cables for the power supply. It also comes with connectors for the control system. Hence, one can simply install it and start working with it. In most cases, electric actuators are programmable or easy to control;
  • Linear movements are more precise. Electric actuators are very flexible. Their movement parameters (speed, torque, force) are fully controllable;
  • A much safer operation. Electric actuators do not contain oil. Hence, an oil spill would not happen with such devices;
  • Lower acquisition and maintenance costs. Installing an electric actuator is a rather simple task. There is no need to invest much money into it. Moreover, these actuators can operate for years without maintenance.

Hence, during the time that the pandemic will last, manufacturing electric actuators is the safest move.

About Author:

Hayley Mann is a technology enthusiast specializing in automation methods of ergonomics devices. Her engineering background helps her to create interesting articles on technical topics, making them understandable for all readers.