New Empirical Methods and Simulation Techniques
Edited by Pier Paolo Saviotti
Chapter 5: Evolutionary Patterns of Innovation and Product Life Cycle: Empirical Evidence from the Electric Motors Industry
Edmar Luiz Fagundes de Almeida INTRODUCTION The electric motor technology (EMT) is a mature technology. It was introduced in the market around 1880. The electriﬁcation of production processes has made electric motors the main consuming technology for electricity in industrialized countries. Today, in the United States for example, electric motors account for 70 per cent of the electricity demand in the industrial sector, and for about 50 per cent of total electricity demand. The EMT is by far the most important technology for stationary motorization. The motor population in the US was estimated to be about one billion motors in 1987 (EPRI, 1992). Every year millions of electric motors are sold to replace failed motors and for new applications. This represented a market of about $9 billion in 1997 in the US alone. For the European Community as a whole, the ﬁgures are not very different from those in the US. Electric motors are responsible for 60 per cent of industrial electricity consumption and 43 per cent of total demand (Energy Economist, 1996). The electric motor market was estimated to be $8.5 billion in 1995. Therefore, electric motor construction is an important industrial segment today. The EMT has been submitted to a standardization process since the beginning of this century. However, we have recently witnessed a process of technological de-maturity with important impacts on industry dynamics. This chapter analyses the main technological and economic factors contributing to this technological renewal and endeavours to show the main dynamics that drive...
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