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Publish Date: Oct 2013,   Pages: 156,   Report Code: ET-119
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Piezoelectric actuators convert electrical energy into a mechanical displacement or stress using a piezoelectric effect. Since piezoelectric elements have excellent responsiveness and conversion efficiency from electrical energy to mechanical energy, various types of piezoelectric actuators utilizing the piezoelectric effect of piezoelectric elements have been developed in recent years. A piezoelectric actuator, which utilizes the piezoelectricity of crystal, has been used widely in a high precision positioning mechanism, since it can control a mechanical displacement at high speed. Piezoelectric actuators have the advantage of a high actuating precision and a fast reaction. Such actuators are components with a high electrical capacity, whereby only part of the electrical energy supplied to the actuators is converted to mechanical energy.

Applications for piezoelectric actuators and motors are based on the purposes and methods of use of systems to which they are applied. The new report has segmented the applications into eight distinct categories.

Piezoelectric actuators are developing into a large component market. Market pull is generated by

  • high demand for ultra-small scale precision motion devices used in manufacturing and inspection equipment, high volume, low cost autofocus assemblies required in phone cameras, and high volume, moderate cost ink printing cartridges used in printers.
  • demand for microactuator medical tools used in minimally invasive surgery and micro-grippers required in manufacturing microsized objects such as stents; and
  • demand for dynamically-driven, high temperature actuators for diesel injector valves in automobiles.

Cost, yield and reliability are important concerns for each of these applications. A number of these concerns relate to basic material science issues in the manufacture of the piezoelectric actuators for these targeted, diversified applications.

This report also deals with ultrasonic motors (USMs) that belong to the class of piezoelectric motors. Due to their specific advantages compared to conventional electromagnetic motors, USMs fill a gap in certain actuato 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.

Piezoelectric actuators are deemed good candidates for applications that require fine precision, low overall volume and mass, fast time response, low power consumption and low electromagnetic interferences. Piezoelectric actuators are widely used in the semiconductor and microelectronics industries, biology, optics, photonics, telecommunications, and metrology. Typical applications range from gene manipulation, vibration cancellation, fiber optic alignment, machine-tool alignment, and active damping, to hydraulic servo valves, shockwave generation, image stabilization, and wafer-mask alignment.


The report examines current products and application areas and provides extensive market data for 2013 and market forecast from 2013 through 2018. It also outlines the competitive landscape, evaluates market opportunities and risks, and anticipates future trends based on a series of factors. With a multi-dimensional and in-depth view of the world piezoelectric device market, this report is ideal for understanding current applications and markets, international market penetration, business expansion, or project feasibility analysis.

This study focuses on key piezoelectric-operated actuators and motors and provides data about the size and growth of these markets, along with 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 and the rest of the world (ROW) for piezoelectric-operated actuators and motors, as well as potential business opportunities. This report also deals with miniature actuators based on thin-film piezoelectric lead zirconate titanate (PZT), which is one of the most efficient electromechanical coupling transducer materials currently available for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Piezoelectric MEMS (piezo MEMS) are in use in radio frequency (RF) devices for communications and radar applications and in the emerging field of millimeter-scale robotics. The report also looks into lead-free piezoelectric materials such as bismuth ferrite, BiFeO3 (BFO), and others for construction of actuators used for medical applications. There is growing demand for lead-free piezoelectric actuators for medical applications. The report highlights ongoing research on alternative lead-free piezoelectric materials in order to replace lead-based materials to avoid health hazards.

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 are in development. Also covered are legislative pressures for increased safety and environmental protection, as well as users’ expectations for economical 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 on the subject. The study also provides extensive quantification of the many important facets of market development in piezoelectric-operated actuators and motors. This, in turn, contributes to a determination of the kinds of strategic responses companies may adopt in order to compete in these dynamic markets.


Piezoelectric devices, combined with the development of piezoelectric materials, have become a key enabling technology for a wide range of industrial and consumer products. The piezoelectric device market experienced robust growth in last two decades and sustained fairly healthy growth even during the global economic downturns. It will again witness strong growth in the next years, and certain application markets already enjoy double digital growth.

The industrial and manufacturing area is still the largest application market for piezoelectric devices, followed by the automotive industry. However, the strongest demand comes from medical instruments and information and telecommunication, which are gaining ever-increasing importance among piezoelectric device suppliers.

The piezoelectric actuator and motor market is an attractive and still-growing multi-million dollar market characterized by very high production volumes of actuators and motors that must be both extremely reliable and low in cost. Growth in the market continues to be driven by increasing demand in camera phones for autofocus mechanisms, data storage, semiconductors, micro-electronics production, precision mechanics, life science and medical technology, optics, photonics, nanometrology, robots, toys, HVAC control systems, and other applications such as piezo fuel injectors, ink cartridges in printers, micropumps, microgrippers. microsurgery tools and piezoelectric MEMS (piezo MEMS) actuators.

iRAP conducted this study in 2007 and later in 2009. However, with increased demand for these devices, and with improved and emerging technologies as well as 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 report covers technology, product analysis, manufacturers’ profiles, competitive analysis, raw material suppliers, electronics suppliers, system integrators, material and material cost analysis, market dynamics and patent status of leading players, to provide a complete picture of the status and growth of the piezoelectric actuator market on a global scale from 2013 to 2018.

This study provides the most complete accounting of the current market and future growth in piezoelectric actuators and motors. The study also provides extensive quantification of the important facets of market developments in emerging markets for these actuators and motors, such as China.


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 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 industry’s current state of change. It provides an overview of the piezoelectric 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 market, and the strategic options they face, are also discussed, along with such competitive factors as marketing, distribution and operations.


Audiences for this study include marketing executives, business unit managers and other decision makers in piezoelectric-operated actuators and motors companies and companies peripheral to this business. The study will benefit existing manufacturers of actuators and motors who seek to expand revenues and market opportunities through new technology such as piezoelectric-operated actuators and motors, positioned to become a preferred solution for many applications. This study also will benefit users of piezoelectric-operated actuators and motors who deal with actuators where electromagnetic field generation is an issue and operational performance parameters and space are important considerations, such as in autofocus lens mechanisms of camera phones, nanometrology, precision linear/rotary drives, drug delivery systems, antenna array deployment, and other fields such as piezo fuel injectors, ink cartridges in printers, micropumps, microgrippers and microsurgery tools, MEMS piezo, micro air vehicles.


A confluence of new piezo-based technology has breathed new capability into the nano- and micropositioning world. Piezoelectric actuators are widely used in the semiconductor and microelectronics industries, biology, optics, photonics, telecommunications, and metrology. More specifically, piezoelectric actuators and motors have been widely applied to eight distinct application areas, including:

  • high-precision micron to nanoscale motion-related applications;
  • autofocus mechanism (AFM) kits in phone and digital cameras;
  • microscope applications for image stabilization and autofocus;
  • automotive fuel injectors;
  • accurate fluid flow applications such as micropumps, piezo valves and microblowers;
  • piezo ink cartridges used in printers;
  • medical/surgical instruments and portable ultrasonic diagnostic devices; and
  • miscellaneous applications such as mini-robots (used as micro air vehicles and unmanned air vehicles), hard disk drives, textile engineering, Braille reading devices, active vibration reduction devices, MEMS piezo actuators, and others.

Piezomotors and actuators typically eliminate any need for gear reduction because they drive loads directly. One way to understand how a piezomotor generates motive force is to examine the SQUIGGLE® motor. It can move with 1,000 times more precision than an electromagnetic motor while hitting nanometer resolutions. In contrast, electromagnetic motors struggle to give micrometer resolution.

Piezo actuation is increasingly suitable for applications formerly addressable only by magnetic motors, and the technology offers significant benefits in terms of size, speed, fieldless-ness, reliability, vacuum compatibility, resolution and dynamics. These benefits, in turn, enable significant advances in existing and new applications. Examples of these applications abound. For instance, optical assemblies of escalating sophistication require multiple axes of nanoprecision alignment that must remain aligned for months of round-the-clock usage. Another example is emerging nano-imprint lithography methods which demand exacting positioning and trajectory control and must retain alignment integrity under significant physical and thermal stresses. Applications range from cell phone cameras to endoscopy and fluid delivery mechanisms, requiring exceedingly small but stiff, responsive, and reliable positioning of optics, probes and shutters. Until recently, these conflicting requirements had no solution.

Major findings of this report are:

  • The 2013 global market for piezoelectric operated actuators and motors was estimated to be $11.1 billion, and the market is estimated to reach $16 billion by 2018, showing an compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7% per year.
  • The market for piezoelectric-operated actuators and motors in micron- to nanoscale (ultra-small scale precision motion) related applications will be the largest segment in 2013 and projected to grow with a CAGR of 7.6%.
  • The second big segment is autofocus mechanism (AFM) kits used in phone cameras and digital cameras..
  • The third major segment includes microscope lenses autofocus and zoom mirror adjustment, image stabilization for ultra-precision imaging and resolution enhancement which is estimated to grow with a higher CAGR of 15.3%.
  • The remaining is a market mix segment consisting of fuel injectors used in automotives, micropumps, piezo valves, microblowers, piezo ink cartridges used in printers, medical surgery instruments, portable ultrasonic diagnostic devices-mini-robots (used as micro air vehicles), unmanned air vehicles), hard disk drives, textile engineering, Braille reading devices, active vibration reduction devices (e.g., adoptronics), MEMS piezo actuators and similar products.
  • Industrial and manufacturing is still the largest application market for piezoelectric devices, followed by the automotive industry. However, the strongest demand comes from medical instruments and information and telecommunication, which are gaining ever increasing importance among piezoelectric device suppliers.
  • The manufacturers of optics, photonics and nanometrology equipment have been the major consumers of piezoelectric-operated motors and actuators.
  • In terms of types, bulk PZT material-based piezo actuators and motors have the highest market share.
  • In terms of regional market share, North America leads, followed by Europe, Japan, and the balance for China and the rest of the world.
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