The industrial automation market is also growing rapidly at the pace of recent advancements in cutting-edge technology. In particular, the global digital transformation (DX) trend of expanding automated production lines and introducing smart factories in high-tech industries such as semiconductors, displays, and secondary batteries is intensifying, and motion control technology is attracting great attention.
If you think about it, it's natural. While many companies are converging software and hardware based on various ICT technologies such as AI, cloud, and networks, clearly projecting the 'imagination' of software onto the 'vessel' of hardware can be seen as a core business in itself.
In fact, motion control is an essential technology for delicately and accurately controlling the position and speed of each solution, such as robots, machines, and conveyors. Technavio, a global market research company, estimated that the global motion control market will exceed a whopping $14,337.16 million (KRW 18,549.4 billion) by 2024, with a CAGR of 3.08%.
'Imagination with precision'
As the number of manufacturing and logistics companies considering digital transformation increases, it is assessed that the convergence of OT and IT is essential to accelerate the realization of digital transformation and increase flexibility, cost efficiency, and sustainability.
This is because new technologies that can integrate, control, and manage multiple devices through software are needed beyond existing hardware-based motion control solutions. This is why software-based control solutions that can replace PLCs and motion control boards have recently been in the spotlight.
Attention is focused on the actions of Movensys, a Korean company that developed the world's first software-based motion control platform. Movensys’ motion control platform ‘WMX’ is characterized by its ability to implement high-speed, multi-axis motion control of various manufacturing devices using only pure software in various OS environments. Additionally, WMX is expected to support Windows and Linux, so it can be run in a variety of environments.
Manage OT equipment with one PC
Movensys established a Korean corporation under the name ‘Soft Motion & Robotics’ in 2014 and launched WMX, launching a full-fledged motion control platform business.
The strength of WMX is that OT equipment can be controlled in real time with a single Windows-based PC without introducing additional hardware. With the advantage of being compatible with various industrial communications, it can be controlled from various production lines, and as a PC-based software, it can be combined with IT technologies such as AI and cloud, maximizing its usability.
Above all, it also possesses the technology to implement edge-computing and AI, which are considered important technologies in future smart factories. This is attracting attention as a solution with high market competitiveness in the current industrial trend that requires the convergence of OT and IT by supporting the use of field device information in ERP and software through compatibility with communication technologies such as 5G communication and TSN (Time Sensitive Network).
Building on the momentum, Movensys is supplying solutions to domestic and foreign semiconductor equipment and facility manufacturers, citing the advantage of simplifying the operation process of existing hardware controllers and enabling diverse motion control as a single platform.
Recently, we are also researching ways to support the establishment of efficient production lines and a stable digital transformation environment in various industries with no-code and low-code solutions that can be easily used even by non-experienced engineers. Based on this, the company plans to expand its business into global markets such as Taiwan and China while expanding into fields such as displays, AMR, smart devices, and secondary batteries.
Global market ambition, ongoing
Movensys' global market expansion strategy also took drive. A case in point is the signing of a business partnership agreement with Japan's Mitsubishi Electric, a global PLC leader, last May and the push to attract investment.
Through this, the two companies plan to carry out various collaborations, including mutual sales, exchange of engineer personnel, and joint product development at the Movensys R&D Center located in Boston, USA. Movensys plans to expand the application of production equipment by combining with various industrial networks, including Mitsubishi Electric's major CC-Link IE TSN and EtherCAT, and establish product sales channels based on Mitsubishi Electric's global sales network. We plan to expand and establish a presence in the global market.
Through this investment, Mitsubishi Electric plans to expand its servo business into various industrial fields by combining AC servo technology with WMX. The servo motor field is also showing an increasing trend in demand for motion control using industrial computers, especially in the semiconductor and electronic component manufacturing equipment markets. This means that the ‘needs’ of both companies fit exactly.
Prior to this, Movensys acquired Skylla Technologies, a U.S. startup related to intelligent autonomous mobile robot (AMR) control, in March of this year. This is the result of paying attention to the recent trend of increasing demand for software-type motion control solutions in the robot market.
It is evaluated that the first step has been taken to enter the AMR market in earnest. After the acquisition, Movensys is developing an integrated platform that can drive and control by applying AMR technology to the WMX platform to maximize the use of WMX at its Boston R&D Center in the United States. As the demand for AMR has recently increased in production and logistics sites, Movensys is also planning a project that can be actively utilized in logistics sites.
Movensys is also preparing to enter global markets such as North America, China, and Taiwan based on Skyra. I am determined to go anywhere that requires precise motion imagination. Motion control is targeting the $14.3 billion market that opens up in that split second.