Electric drives are poised to experience widespread acceptance in the European packaging industry due to the attractive profit margins associated with their implementation. Economic recovery and increasing investments in packaging infrastructure, coupled with government regulations, will boost the adoption of electric drives by the packaging industry.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (motors.frost.com), Electric Drives Market in the European Packaging Industry, finds that the market earned revenues of €184.4 million in 2010 and estimates this to reach €272.6 million in 2017.
"The need to maximise profit margins, while maintaining the competitive pricing of the end product, is motivating the implementation of drives in the packaging production line," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Ramasubramanian N. "The shift towards energy-efficient machinery will increase the demand for electric drives in the European packaging industry over the next 7 years."
Surging energy costs have negatively impacted the profit margins of packaging manufacturers. "Methods to reduce energy consumption by coupling electric drives with inefficient motors and running them at optimally desired speeds helps reduce the power consumed by the motors," remarks Ramasubramanian. "This results in lowered production costs and, thereby, maximised profit."
New developments in drives technology will expand their role in packaging. At the same time the demand for packaged goods and growth in packaging applications will attract newer investments in packaging industry and thereby fuel the sales of drives in the industry. The rise in automation activities across Eastern Europe in countries such as Bulgaria, Hungary and Poland will heighten demand for drives in packaging applications.
Creating awareness about the benefits of electric drives in the packaging industry has been a challenge. Against a climate of continued austerity, convincing end-users to implement drives in their production line has been a challenge for drives manufacturers.
"Most end-users are unaware of the potential benefits of using drives and are not readily willing to implement them in their production line," states Ramasubramanian. "Only 50% of the motors used in European packaging applications have drives attached to them, underlining the importance of awareness raising strategies."
In addition to benefits related to energy conservation, end users need to be made aware of other advantages, such as reduced downtime and enhanced productivity.
"Drives that are compatible with existing packaging infrastructure and customised drives for specific packaging applications such as drives that meet the cleanliness standards in food and beverage packaging industry are expected to experience higher demand than generic, multipurpose drives," concludes Ramasubramanian. "Market participants, therefore, have to focus on sustained research and development initiatives to meet the specific demands of varied end-user industries involved in packaging."
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