Brushless motor manufacturers continue category buildup
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  • Suppliers increase the line’s share of their DC motor output, and direct R&D toward more-efficient and advanced types.

    China makers of brushless motors sustain initiatives to grow the category in response to the trend shift from traditional brushed kinds. They are taking advantage of climbing requirement in the home appliances, office automation, automotive, medical, instrumentation, industrial, military and aerospace fields. Companies look forward to the projected sales increase surpassing 15 percent by end-2014.

    At Shenzhen Power Motor Industrial Co. Ltd, brushless units will account for 7 percent from 5 percent of its total DC motor yield by year-end. Changzhou Yunkong Electronic Co. Ltd churns out the former type only.

    To complement expansion efforts, suppliers are pursuing product upgrades to keep up with overall developments in the line. They are preparing for the anticipated rise of sensorless and integrated units. The former helps improve system reliability, in addition to lowering manufacturing costs. This is because the number of electrical connections is reduced, problems with mechanical alignment are eliminated, and smaller and lighter configurations can be achieved. The use of indirect sensing of the back electromotive force, however, poses a technical difficulty at present. As a result, the technology is not widely adopted yet but its advantages are expected to prevail in coming years. For this reason, Shenzhen Power has allocated about 80 percent of output for sensorless units.

    Integrated varieties combine the motor and electronic driver in one packaging, eliminating the mismatch among components and wiring errors, enabling more-compact forms, and reducing total outlay. Shenzhen Power is among the few local companies that can produce this type, and it does so only to accommodate buyers’ requests. Globally, the subcategory is steadily gaining steam. Shipments are predicted to post nearly 12 percent CAGR between 2009 and 2015, according to IMS.

    In addition to advanced types, China companies are releasing coreless variants, which boast high power density, torque and efficiency, and a wide speed range. Without the iron core, the kind has low starting torque, and no torque fluctuation and cogging for smooth running. Enhanced volume power ratio, low temperature rise and lightweight configuration are its other advantages. Shanghai Mindong Mechanism Electron Co. Ltd has the BMP62, a series of 62mm coreless models.

    The worldwide segment is expected to maintain about 10 percent annual sales increase in coming years. This is encouraging domestic suppliers to raise theirgrowth targets in the months ahead.

    Shenzhen Power anticipates a 60 percent revenue increase by end-2014. It added one production line in February and plans to install another in June. Once both are operational, monthly production capacity will reach 30,000 units or a 60 percent boost. The company has taken on the manufacture of drivers as well. Previously, the components were outsourced.

    Changzhou Yunkong plans to raise sales by 30 percent this year. The maker said its current capability can handle the projected increase in requirement.

    Shanghai Mindong targets about 20 percent higher revenue and Shenzhen Xinhe Motor Co. Ltd, 15 percent. Both suppliers generate 50 percent of revenue from brushless motors.

    Mainland China has more than 200 makers of brushless motors, churning out one-third of global output. The majority of these companies are locally owned. The rest of the pool includes international players such as Nidec, Mabuchi, and Taiwan- and Hong Kong-invested businesses.

    Most suppliers are based in the Pearl River and Yangtze River Delta regions, specifically in Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.

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