DC drive is an electric device used to control speed, direction, torque, and horsepower of a DC motor. It is a variable frequency drive that consists of separate armature and field circuits. The speed in DC motors is proportional to the armature voltage and inversely proportional to the motor flux; therefore, an increase or decrease in the applied voltage varies the speed of the motor. The field current can be decreased if speed larger than the base speed is desired. The motor flux can be decreased by lowering the current. Decreasing the electric field current also reduces the armature counter electromotive force. A larger armature current flows if there are smaller counter electromotive forces. The armature current increases the motor speed through the rise in the motor torque. DC drives are suitable for variable-speed machines and are generally simpler to use as compared to AC drives. DC drives are also less complicated due to single power conversion and less expensive for comparable horsepower ratings. The DC drive technology is efficient, dependable, and comparatively easy to use and implement. Hence, it is used to lower operational costs and increase the shelf life of electric equipment.
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DC drives are used in various industrial drive systems for precise control of machinery. The oil & gas sector is the leading end-user of DC drives. These drives are employed to control the speed of pumps and compressors in the oil & gas sector. Common applications of DC drives include cranes and trolleys, belts and conveyers, and compressors and pumps. DC drives are also employed in applications needing synchronization of multiple machines for continuous production. This includes pulp & paper and tire industries. These drives are largely used in locomotive applications, as they include thyristors with high power rating. DC drives are also employed in industrial blowers, machine tools, and fans.
Increase in demand for energy and electricity is driving the global DC drives market. Decrease in energy consumption due to the high efficiency of DC drives provides lucrative opportunities for retrofit applications in the manufacturing industry. The DC drives market can be segmented based on the strength of voltage (medium and low voltage) and power rating (low, medium, and high power). Demand for DC drives is high in the oil & gas industry. Other major end-users of DC drives are power generation, water & wastewater, and mining industries. The global DC drives market is highly competitive and fragmented with the presence of large automation companies and high number of smaller companies in the unorganized sector. China is the leading market for DC drives due to the rapid industrialization in the country. Other developing countries such as Brazil and India are also witnessing high demand for DC belt drives. Industrially developed countries are relatively mature markets. Thus, the DC drive market in such countries is expected to expand at a sluggish pace in the near future. Growth of the DC drive market in the Middle East is also anticipated to be moderate in the next few years due to the decline in demand owing to the slowdown in the oil & gas industry.
Key players operating in the belt drive market are Emerson Electric Co., Siemens AG, Rockwell Automation, ABB Ltd., Schneider Electric SE, Crompton Greaves Limited, Toshiba International Corporation Ltd., Danfoss Group, Parker Hannifin Co., American Electric Technologies Inc., GE Power Conversion, and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation.
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