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Publish Date: Dec 2006,   Pages: 111,   Report Code: ET-102
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Ultrasonic motors (USMs) belong to the class of piezoelectric motors. In this work the term USM will be used for the motor only (power electronics and closed loop control are not included). The system composed of the motor, power electronics and the closed loop control will be called the ultrasonic actuator or piezoelectric actuator. The working principle of these motors has been well known for at least 50 years. However, they gained widespread interest with the influential work of Sashida in 1982. Before that time, piezoceramic materials with high conversion efficiency and fast electronic power control of ultrasonic vibrations were not available. Through their specific advantages compared to conventional electro-magnetic motors, USMs fill a gap in certain actuator applications. A key advantage of USMs over electromagnetic motors is their compactness, i.e. their high stall torque-mass ratio and high torque at low rotational speed, often making speed-reducing gears superfluous. Additionally, with no voltage applied, an inherent holding torque is present due to the frictional driving mechanism. It is also worthwhile to mention that their compactness and the high frequency electrical excitation make quick responses possible. Besides that, USMs also offer a high potential for miniaturization. These actuators produce no magnetic field since the excitation is quasi-electrostatic.


This study focuses on key piezoelectric operated actuators and motors and provides data about the size and growth of the piezoelectric operated actuators and motors markets, company profiles and industry trends. The goal of this report is to provide a detailed and comprehensive multi-client study of the markets in North America, Europe, Japan, China, India, Korea and the rest of the world (ROW) for piezoelectric operated actuators and motors as well as potential business opportunities in the future. The objectives include thorough coverage of underlying economic issues driving the piezoelectric operated actuators and motors business, as well as assessments of new, advanced piezoelectric operated actuators and motors that companies are developing. Also covered are legislative pressures for more safety and environmental protection, as well as users expectations for economical piezoelectric operated actuators and motors. Another important objective is to provide realistic market data and forecasts for piezoelectric operated actuators and motors. This study provides the most thorough and up-to-date assessment that can be found anywhere on the subject. The study also provides extensive quantification of the many important facets of market development in piezoelectric operated actuators and motors in the world. This, in turn, contributes to a determination of the kinds of strategic responses companies may adopt in order to compete in these dynamic markets.Users of piezoelectric operated actuators and motors in developed markets must contend with twin pressures: to innovate and, at the same time, to reduce costs. New applications for piezoelectric operated actuators and motors have been proposed in recent years. This study condenses all of these business related issues and opportunities.


The piezoelectric operated actuator and motor market is an attractive and still-growing multi-million dollar market characterized by very high production volumes of piezoelectric operated actuators and motors that must be both extremely reliable and low in cost. Growth in the piezoelectric operated actuator and motor market continues to be driven by increasing demands in camera phones for autofocus mechanisms, data storage, semiconductors, microelectronics production, precision mechanics, life science and medical technology, optics, photonics, nanometrology, robots, toys, HVAC control system, and other applications.The piezoelectric operated actuator and motor industry is complex and fast moving, with manufacturers increasingly adopting a truly global view of the market. Around the world, consumers are demanding a high power density as well as extremely long cycle life. Against this difficult background, manufacturers have attempted to achieve growth through company mergers and acquisitions, and by implementing global strategies. Piezoelectric operated actuators and motors, once a technological novelty, have now entered the mainstream and are showing significant sales volumes.With this background of new emerging technologies and applications, iRAP felt a need to conduct a detailed study and update technology developments and markets. The report identifies and evaluates piezoelectric operated actuators and motors and technologies which show potential growth.


The market data contained in this report quantify opportunities for piezoelectric operated actuators and motors. In addition to product types, this report also covers the many issues concerning the merits and future prospects of the piezoelectric operated actuator and motor business, including corporate strategies, information technologies, and the means for providing these highly advanced product and service offerings. This report also covers in detail the economic and technological issues regarded by many as critical to the industrys current state of change. It provides a review of the piezoelectric operated actuator and motor industry and its structure, and of the many companies involved in providing these products. The competitive positions of the main players in the piezoelectric operated actuator and motor market and the strategic options they face are also discussed, along with such competitive factors as marketing, distribution and operations.


New applications are emerging for piezoelectric operated actuators and motors in applications including aircraft, automobile hydraulics and drug delivery. Among piezoelectric devices, piezoelectric actuators produce a small displacement with a high force capability when voltage is applied. They are used mainly in ultra-precise positioning and in the generation and handling of high forces or pressures, whereas piezoelectric motors use a piezoelectric ceramic element to produce ultrasonic vibrations in a stator structure. The elliptical movements of the stator are converted into the movement of a slider that is pressed into frictional contact with the stator. Depending on the stator's design, the resulting movement can be either rotational or linear.The virtually unlimited resolution and extremely fast response of piezo devices have made them a cornerstone of ultraprecision applications from nanometrology to nanomanipulation. Today a large variety of piezo-based positioning systems is available, from simple open-loop actuators, to complex flexure-guided nanopositioning systems and piezo linear motors. All piezoelectric drives are ceramic-based, and can operate in a vacuum; they do not produce magnetic fields nor are they influenced by them. It is actually difficult to differentiate the market between piezoelectric operated motors and piezoelectric operated actuators as these variants are used for same application in common products. For example in a digital camera, the auto-focus mechanism uses a piezoelectric operated motor but in camera phones, the same mechanism is operated by piezoelectric operated actuators.Commercialization of piezoelectric operated actuators and motors is likely to proceed in those markets where the specific advantages of high torque, high precision and lack of magnetic interference are particularly useful. When the costs can be lowered to competitive levels and remaining technical problems such as frictional wear can be solved, piezoelectric motors may also become candidates in areas such as automotive accessories, where very high volume markets are possible.Piezoelectric actuators have typically enjoyed wide use in semiconductor production and industrial devices requiring precision control. However, in recent years, the use of piezoelectric actuators in digital cameras and camera-equipped cell phones has grown rapidly. Driven by a focus on advanced functionality, the digital camera market has augmented the number of pixels in order to achieve improved resolution, resulting in an increase in compact products with zoom capabilities of 10x and greater. This invariably has led to a need for a stabilizing feature that prevents the blurring caused by hand movement. Piezoelectric actuators provide stabilizing compensation, as well as auto-focus lens drives and zoom features for various uses.The Summary Table A shows the market in current dollars for the piezoelectric operated actuators and motors for the years 2006 and 2011. The table also shows the share of each market segment. The two summary figures depict market shares for 2006 and 2011, respectively.

Major findings of this report are:
  • The global market for piezoelectric operated actuators and motors now equals US$5.27 billion and is expected to reach $10.66 billion by 2011.
  • Among the five markets, ceramic servo motor is the largest and most mature market. It is likely to grow at an annual rate of 11%.
  • The piezoelectric multilayer actuators and motors will see the highest growth rate, estimated to be 19.2 % annually.
  • The manufacturers of optics, photonics and nanometrology have been the major consumers of piezoelectric operated motors and actuators.
  • Life science and medical technology also constitute a high-growth segment of the piezoelectric operated actuators and motors. This market is expected to grow at 18.7% annually and could record an even higher growth rate if there is wider acceptance by end users. It is still going through a gestation period.
  • Over the projected period of five years, market share of piezoelectric operated actuators and motors will increase at the cost of electromagnetic motors.
  • In 2011, by type, there will be AAGR growth of 19.2% in mutilayer actuators/motors followed by traveling wave type ultrasonic motors (19.0%), motors for camera phones (16.6%), ceramic servo motors (11.6%) and bimorph piezoactuators (5.2%).
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