After several years of rapid growth, the pace of China's washing machine industry has slowed down significantly since 2012. Motor manufacturers have been deeply impressed. However, the inverter motor in the washing machine motor segment has sprung up in the market, and major motor manufacturers have turned their attention to this field, but the numerous technical routes have made those who have been in the industry for many years and the development of the industry. The decision-making level of the motor manufacturing enterprise with a keen insight is also “confusing”. The competition pattern in the washing machine motor market is perceived as “flowers in the fog”.
Overall market growth rate decline
As the power source of the washing machine, the market demand of the motor is closely related to the output of the whole machine. According to the statistics of the National Bureau of Statistics, due to the macroeconomic environment at home and abroad, in 2012, the total output of household washing machines reached 67.415 million units, an increase of 1.35% year-on-year. The growth rate decreased by 10.16% compared with the same period of the previous year, and the growth rate continued to narrow.
Affected by this, the year-on-year growth rate of washing machine motor sales is also slowing down. According to industry online data, in 2012, the total sales volume of washing machine motors in China was 102 million units, a year-on-year increase of 4.3%, and a year-on-year increase of 14.5% in 2011. China's washing machine motor production and sales data in the first quarter of 2013 also did not improve, washing machine motor enterprises achieved a production of 25.828 million units, an increase of 2.9%; sales reached 25.946 million units, an increase of 3.2%; of which, domestic sales of 17.388 million units, an increase of 4.7 %, exports 8.558 million units, a slight increase of 0.3%. It is worth noting that a large part of the increase in industry data in the first quarter of 2013 was due to the lower base of production and sales data in the same period last year. It is understood that the sales volume of washing machine motors in the first quarter of 2012 was 25.08 million units, a year-on-year increase of 6.8%.
In addition, the reporter learned from several mainstream motor companies such as Welling and Sanjiang Group that since 2012, the production and sales of washing machines in these enterprises have been better than the industry average, but the growth rate has not been as good as before.
Welling Motor's performance data shows that in 2012, Welling washing machine motor sales of 16.46 million units, export 16.84 million units, total sales increased by 2.0% over the same period last year. However, the turnover of washing machine motor was HK$3.17 billion, down 5.65% year-on-year. The main reason for this situation was the sluggish domestic market of washing machine motor, the significant decline in sales of related machine customers, and the decline in raw material prices, which led to a decline in overall motor prices.
“In 2012, Sanjiang washing machine motor sales increased by 7% to 8% year-on-year, higher than the overall level of the industry.” Sanjiang Group General Manager Huanyi Jun told reporters that such achievements have benefited from the transformation of business strategy and the active development of overseas markets. business. He said: "The positive development of the European motor market last year has brought us great benefits."
Analysis of the market situation of washing machine motor, Xiong Chunyang, general manager of Purd Motor Co., said: "The market situation of washing machine motor is closely related to the market of washing machine. The marginal effect generated by the various policies in 2012 after exiting the home appliance market is very obvious, and the whole machine market is relatively sluggish. In such a big environment, the sales volume of the Purchasing washing machine motor is basically the same as that in 2011, and it is very gratifying."
Last year's performance was good, but this year's sales situation has caused some concerns of Wang Kehang, general manager of Askoll (China) Motor Technology Co., Ltd. (Askoll): "At present, most washing machine motor companies' production lines are unable to operate at full capacity. Although I have not heard of any business failure, everyone is barely supporting. However, overall, the situation of motor companies is still better than that of upstream steel companies, and their days are even more difficult."
Policies and standards drive the development of variable frequency motors
Compared with traditional induction motors and series-excited motors, variable-frequency motors have obvious advantages in energy saving and noise reduction, and become representative of energy-saving motors.
On May 16, 2012, in the new round of national energy-saving products Huimin project, washing machines were included. This policy is a signal in the eyes of motor companies, marking the transformation and upgrading of energy-saving products in the washing machine industry. During the interview, the reporter noted that many washing machine motor companies are stepping up the development of new energy-saving and noise-reducing motors.
Zhou Yi, the business department of Nippon Electric International Co., Ltd., revealed to reporters that since the implementation of the energy-saving products Huimin project last year, the sales volume of inverter electric washing machine motors of Nikkei has increased significantly, especially the DD DC applied to the drum washing machine. Brush motor, the market performance is particularly prominent.
Huang Qiuhong, general manager of the inverter technology company of Hefei Rongshida Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd., is very optimistic about the market development prospects of inverter motors. He pointed out that as the country's support policies for energy-efficient appliances continue to be introduced, the demand for high-efficiency DC inverter motors will increase significantly. “Last year, our company's motor sales increased by 30% overall, which has a lot to do with the growth of the inverter washing machine market,” he said.
In addition to the propensity to stimulate the policy, more and more stringent washing machine energy efficiency requirements also provide more development opportunities for inverter motors. "With the increase in energy efficiency requirements of the washing machine market, the market share of induction motors for ordinary pulsator washing machines will gradually decrease, and the market for DD or DDM DC brushless motors will become more and more prosperous." Changzhou Yatong Jiewei Motor Co., Ltd. General Manager Fang Wei told reporters.
The reporter learned that BG12021.4-2004 "Electric washing machine energy consumption limit value and energy efficiency rating" revised standard "electric washing machine energy consumption, water consumption limit value and grade" is currently being published in the WTO / TBT, is expected to be officially released in the second half Implementation. According to the standard approval draft, the unit's power consumption, unit water consumption, and washing ratio have been greatly improved compared with the original standard. In addition, the biggest change in the standard is to change the original full load test to a combination of full load and half load test.
In response to the differences between the old and new standards, Hefei Sanyo has used the traditional motor and variable frequency motor to do the bottom test. The result is excited by Huang Qiuhong. He said: "In the semi-load test, the variable frequency motor can play a greater role. Because in this test condition Under the ordinary motor can not adjust the water flow and power consumption in a timely manner, and the variable frequency motor can be changed step by step, so it can be changed at any time, which is more energy-saving. This is very beneficial for us who have strong technical strength in the field of variable frequency motor. We are looking forward to it. At the same time, Huang Qiuhong clearly told reporters that according to the requirements of the new energy efficiency standards, if the pulsator washing machine wants to reach the level 1 energy efficiency level, it is almost impossible to achieve without the frequency conversion motor.
Similarly, Fang Wei also sees this market opportunity: “The implementation of the new washing machine energy efficiency standard will definitely promote the sales of inverter washing machine motors. This trend can be seen from the customer order situation. Haier, Little Swan, Whirlpool inverter motor model purchase The number is growing."
Coexistence of multiple technical routes
Frequency conversion technology is gradually prevailing in the field of washing machines. Washing machine companies participating in the domestic market competition are putting more resources on frequency conversion technology. Under this situation, more motor companies will inevitably devote themselves to the development and production of frequency conversion products. It is understood that many motor companies can provide inverter washing machine motors, including foreign motor companies, such as Askoll, Nippon Electric, Hangzhou Matsushita Motor, Yatong Jiewei, Samsung, LG, Hefei Rongshida Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. Motor factories, etc., also have domestic traditional washing machine motor manufacturers, such as Welling, Sanjiang Group. Liu Peng, Marketing Manager of Welling Motors, told reporters that Welling, which has always focused on traditional motors, is also actively developing washing machine inverter motors, and mass production, for the US washing machine.
Numerous technical routes in the field of frequency conversion make it impossible for companies entering this field to select a single technical route for tracking.
It is understood that the current frequency conversion motor on the market mainly has two types of DC inverter and three-phase inverter induction motor. DC frequency conversion is divided into DD (direct drive) DC brushless motor, DDM (with deceleration clutch drive) DC brushless motor, belt There are three types of transmission type DC brushless motors, and there are several technical alternative routes in the field of variable frequency motors.
The person in charge of Welling Motor Technology introduced several technical routes to the reporter: "The European market will continue to be dominated by drum washing machines, and the motor will be converted from a series motor to a three-phase variable frequency induction motor and a belt-driven DC brushless motor; North American market The drum washing machine is growing rapidly, and it will replace the state of the mixing washing machine to drive the growth of related motors; Asia is dominated by Japan and South Korea, and the washing machine motor will be converted to the DD DC brushless motor; in China and Southeast Asia, the motor will be converted to DC, III. Phase conversion induction motor direction conversion."
"We will consider the possibility of various technical routes, because we have customers of these kinds of technologies, we must fully take care of the needs of customers." Liu Peng said.
"There are so many alternative routes because each of the technical routes of the inverter motor has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it has not yet formed a perfect unified solution." Huan Yijun bluntly said, "The future technical trend of the washing machine motor has not yet been unified. It may take a few years of development to be clear. For this, we also feel that there is no clue that only every motor can be used to meet the requirements of different faction manufacturers."
Specifically, the three-phase variable frequency induction motor is more energy efficient, less noisy, and saves material usage than the series excitation motor. The company that follows the Japanese and Korean DD DC brushless motor route believes that the three-phase inverter induction motor is a transitional product, and the DC variable frequency motor is 10% more efficient. Huang Qiuhong pointed out from another point of view that the three-phase variable frequency induction motor has a large noise and cannot meet the needs of the middle and high-end market, and the DC brushless variable frequency motor has obvious advantages in this respect. However, he also pointed out that the use of DC brushless inverter motor solutions in the whole plant requires a large number of modifications to the washing machine production line, and enterprises that build new production lines are more suitable. He analyzed: "Many motor production lines have been changed from the series of series motor, so they have been changed to three-phase inverter induction motors."
Wang Yuanhang told reporters that the belt-driven DC brushless motor and the washing machine enterprise have good compatibility with the existing production line, and the efficiency is higher and the rotation speed is faster. However, Huang Qiuhong has different views on this product: “With belt drive, this method has already produced efficiency loss. After calculation, it is about 3%. In addition, compared with direct drive motor, belt drive type DC brushless The motor has many components added and the failure rate is higher."
Industry development needs to be standardized
"The competition in the motor industry has entered a stage of white heat, and the profit of induction motor is too thin. The original intention of the enterprise to actively transform the frequency conversion field is to find new profit growth points." Huang Qiuhong told reporters that because the frequency conversion motor has certain technical thresholds, Small motor companies cannot enter this field immediately.
It is understood that due to the low manufacturing threshold of induction motors, in some towns and towns in Jiangsu and Zhejiang, an industrial cluster consisting of many small enterprises has formed, resulting in a mixed situation in the induction motor market.
"In fact, the profit of induction motor is already very low. If the price drops again, it can only cut corners." Huanyijun expressed his concern to the reporter. He said: "Under the current situation, the development of enterprises like ours exists. Many disadvantages. For example, if we set up a development team that requires dozens of people, or even more, it is a big expense. When we develop products to market, the whole machine factory will purchase through bidding, which makes small enterprises There is room for drilling. Small companies take back our products from the market to imitate and propose lower bid prices. We have become a product development room for others."
In addition, for the impact of the one-year washing machine energy-saving products Huimin project on the motor field, the responsible person of a motor company has its own opinion: "The new model will go through a long period of time from development and testing to final market introduction. The time, and last year's energy-saving products Huimin project rushed, many washing machines can not respond, in addition to those large companies with technical reserves, many companies can only start from the existing technology, the product is simple to make some improvements, immediately declare, there is no Use more efficient inverter motors."
Wang Yuanhang believes that the economic situation is not good, the industry should not rely on short-term policy stimulus, and should gradually realize transformation and upgrading. Only a long-term mechanism can truly promote industrial development. He said: "This short-term stimulus can only lead to companies blindly launching production line construction projects, and finally these production lines have become the burden of enterprises."
In addition, some business leaders believe that in the case of a small expansion of the overall market size, competition is nothing but mutual killing between enterprises, and will eventually be reflected in the product price system.
In response to the current status of such industries, motor companies are looking for ways to achieve better development. Wang Yuanhang pointed out that enterprises should not blindly expand production, but should continue to develop new products and take a differentiated development path. He said: "Under the current trend, washing machine motor enterprises are difficult to survive simply by mass production of single-class motors. Askoll DC brushless motors used to produce only outer rotor products, and now have developed inner rotor products, which have improved high-end products. structure."
The Central Army told reporters that their current development strategy is "multi-variety, small batch" route, no longer only stare at everyone's electric motor, as much as possible to pick up some new small home appliances orders to make up for the losses of other industries. He said: "These products have high development and production costs, but the profits are very good, and there are more orders in overseas markets."