The global soft starter market was valued at USD 1672.70 million in 2019, and it is expected to reach a value of USD 2301.00 million by 2025, while registering a CAGR of approximately 6.22% over the forecast period, 2020-2025. Soft starters are one of the main start systems used, due to the characteristics to reduce initial current and minimize the mechanical stress on the structure. In some electrical installations by different reasons, due to a bad phase load division, it is possible to identify a voltage unbalanced and, in extreme cases, a great phase dropping.
The Mechanical soft starters include clutches and several types of couplings using a fluid, magnetic forces, or steel shot to transmit torque, similar to other forms of the torque limiter. Electrical soft starters can be any control system that reduces the torque by temporarily reducing the voltage or current input, or a device that temporarily alters how the motor is connected in the electric circuit.
- Demand for industrial pumps is increasing in several end-use industries dealing with water, chemicals, petroleum, wastewater, oil, sludge, slurry or food, due to their resistivity towards different hazardous chemicals and durability. The demand for industrial pumps is further propelled with increased deliverable pressure pertaining to time.?
- Industrial pumps such as centrifugal pumps are known for their extensive usage in refineries, hydrocarbon processing, water injection, and pipeline services. The growth of refineries across the world is expected to drive the demand for centrifugal pumps. For instance, In June 2020, Dharmendra Pradhan, Oil Minister of India, affirmed that India is planning to double its oil refining capacity to 450-500 million tonnes in the next ten years to meet the rising demand domestic fuel.
- Further, the deployment of a soft starter in HVAC units results in improved efficiency and longevity by reducing the inrush current needed for compressors to start by 60%. The growing applications in end-user markets like the data center market and growing construction business in major emerging economies have resulted in the growth of the HVAC equipment market, consequently the growth of the target market over the forecast period.
- According to Data Center Dynamics, the construction of new data centers will increase at about 9% per year through 2019, which is expected to impact the HVAC service market positively. For instance, Florida is now courting hyperscale data centers, where it is planning to invest in HVAC for frequent lightning storms, hurricanes, and managing heat loads.?
- However, due to the impact of COVID-19, the demand for soft starter significantly declined, owing to the shutdown of many industries. The appearance of Covid-19 in December 2019 in China and the gradual expansion of the epidemic drastically brought down the demand and price of crude oil. On 31 December 2019, on the date of reporting of COVID-19, WTI (West Texas Intermediate) oil future was trading at USD 61.06, and the price dropped to USD 23.36 on 23 March 2020. More than a 61% fall in the price of WTI crude sends a message of demand imbalance.
Key Market Trends Oil and Gas Industry to Drive the Market Growth
- Soft starter technology provides significant benefits for the pump, compressor, blower/fan, and centrifuge applications in the oil and gas offshore and onshore industry. The reduced start current minimizes stress on the electrical supply, particularly useful for remote applications, such as offshore oil rigs or isolated pumping stations.
- In the oil and gas upstream sector, the EPC market has primarily driven by the onshore segment, mainly due to lower investment requirement, lesser complexity, easier access to sites, and lower risk, compared to the offshore segment.
- According to IEA, the global demand for natural gas is expected to witness significant growth with additional consumption of 370 billion cubic meters (bcm) by 2022, up from 3,630 bcm in 2016, representing a growth of 1.6% a year between 2016 and 2022. The significant investment in the oil and gas sector is anticipated to provide the necessary demand for soft starter, thus augmenting the market growth.
- Besides, the increasing number of oil and gas projects in various countries such as the United States, Canada with abundant oil reserves, and oil sands resources could most likely provide robust growth opportunities for the market during the forecast period. The United States is one of the largest producers of natural gas and crude oil, accounting for around 14.1% and 20.0% of the global production, respectively, in 2019.
- Moreover, pipeline construction projects such as Jupiter Pipeline in Texas, Roanoke Expansion Project by Kinder Morgan, are destined to be completed by the end of 2020. The initiation of more such projects is expected to create a considerable demand for soft starters in the US over the next few years.
Europe is Expected to Experience Significant Growth
- Europe is attracting many foreign manufacturers, which is enhancing the market’s growth. Motortronics is one of the world’s largest soft starter and control manufacturing specialists with operations in the USA, UK, Korea, and China. In August 2019, Motortronics UK was established to spearhead the groups’ growth in the European market following the acquisition of Fairford Electronics in 2018. In November 2019, the company launched its largest range of soft starters, as a part of its European operation for motor control solutions.
- Further, major vendors are expanding their product portfolio, which is expected to drive the market’s growth positively. For instance, in November 2019, Siemens Smart Infrastructure expanded its soft starters portfolio for motors, with the launch of Sirius 3RW50 and Sirius 3RW55 Failsafe. The Sirius 3RW55 Failsafe soft starters are the first to feature the integrated Safe Torque Off (STO) function. The Sirius 3RW55 Failsafe soft starters are ideal for starting and stopping high-power motors’ operations with a rated output of 5.5 to 560 kilowatt (kW) at 400 volts (V).
- Aiitionally, the mining and quarrying activities are flourishing in the region, encouraging several market players to innovate and invest in capital. According to Eurostat, the mining and quarrying turnover in France amounted to USD 5,538.72 million in 2018 and is expected to reach USD 5786.7 million by the end of 2024. ?
- However, the COVID-19 has affected the production cacapacity of the vendors which is a major concerns revolving around global supply chains and can affect the growthb of the market. For instance, sectors such as the global wind industry stated they are already witnessing logistical delays.
Competitive Landscape The soft starter market consists market is competitive and is dominated by a few major players like Siemens AG?, Schneider Electric SE?, Eaton Corporation PLC?, ABB Ltd? and Rockwell Automation Inc. These major players, with a prominent share in the market, are focusing on expanding their customer base across foreign countries. These companies are leveraging strategic collaborative initiatives to increase their market share and increase their profitability. However, with technological advancements and product innovations, mid-size to smaller companies are increasing their market presence by securing new contracts and by tapping new markets.
- June 2020 - Eaton, a power management company, announced its agreement to purchase a new facility in Hodges, South Carolina, to establish a new home for Eaton’s busway product line, which is currently spanning three facilities across Greenwood County. The new facility’s investment can consolidate operations to one location to support the accelerated growth of this comprehensive portfolio of power distribution and control equipment solutions used in hospitals, data centers, factories, and commercial, residential, and industrial facilities.
- February 2020 - Aucom Electronics Ltd, has launched new addition to soft starter range, the EMX4 advanced soft tarter which is smaller in size and packed with smart motor control and protection features?.It also includes the Smart Card capability which transform it from super smart motor controller to complete system controller. It also includes starter, motor and system protection functions, complete with alarms to alert the user to any potential issues.
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