The market for electrically actuated control valve assemblies was estimated to be $298 million in 2011, far smaller than the market for products using air as the power medium. However, according to IMS Research, recent advances in electric actuation technology have dramatically increased the addressable market base for these products. As a result, IMS expects the market for electrically actuated control valves to experience CAGR growth of 13.4 percent through to 2017, more than twice the rate of any other control valve type, doubling in size, exceeding $630 million by 2017, representing more than 10 percent of global control valve assembly revenues.
IMS Research says pneumatic actuation still represents the dominant market for control valves in 2011, as air power was required for approximately 93 out of every 100 valves sold during the year. This is despite the generally accepted advantages of electric actuators, which include higher efficiency and greater levels of control. However, IMS Research says failsafe limitations, increased integration complexity, fragility perceptions, and a higher price tag have provided an effective barrier for many end-users considering electric actuation over traditional pneumatic actuation. This has severely limited the applications in which it was feasible to use electric actuators. As a result, the global market for control valve assemblies using electric actuation was estimated to represent little over 6 percent of global control valve revenues in 2011.
IMS Research notes recent developments in electric actuation have seen a dramatic increase in the customer base for these products. Rugged electric actuators with armored cables and water-resistance capability have expanded the instances where it is feasible to use electric actuation. The ability to now fail-open, fail-close, or anywhere in between, has also expanded the market base to include a variety of fail-safe applications, which have further increased the ability of electric actuation to compete with air power in control valve markets.