The U.S. market for gearmotors has been heating up recently, as more people replace traditional gear and motor units with integral gearmotor units. As new competitors enter the industry and change the competitive landscape of the gearmotors market, analysts expect this trend to affect in-line, worm, and shaft-mount gear drive markets. Presently valued at close to $400 million in the United States, experts expect the gearmotors market to experience a 7% compound annual growth rate from 1995 to 2005.

What's driving the market? Gearmotors are not a new product. In fact, they are commonplace in Europe. Although available in the U.S. for years, generations of plant managers preferred stand-alone gear and motor units, replacing each unit as it failed.

However, through the 1990s, many have grown to appreciate the fact that gearmotors are cost efficient, compact, easy to install, reliable, and available in many configurations. As a result of this interest, the competition is getting stronger. Since 1997, the market has seen more than a dozen entrants; mostly second- and third-line suppliers trying to capitalize on the market's growth or update existing products to meet current demands.