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Bearings market looks to developing world for growth

21 November, 2014

Rapid industrial development in high-growth regions of the world is driving global sales of industrial bearings and couplings, which are expected to grow from $22bn in 2013 to reach $26.7bn by 2018. A new report from Frost & Sullivan says that this push from developing economies is important because the market is technologically mature and growth in developed economies in Europe and North America is limited.

Despite the potential in developing economies, it adds, the focus on price as a product differentiator may lead to intense price pressures among manufacturers and bring down the value of the overall market in the short term. The growing trend among consumers to opt for low-cost Chinese imports will compound this challenge.

However, as price and quality become standardised around the globe, customers will base their purchasing decisions on value-added services, Frost & Sullivan suggests. Maintenance-free technologies, such as lubrication-free bearings, will allow manufacturers to carve a niche for themselves in this dynamic landscape. Such products offer end-users the chance to cut service and replacement costs and to avoid costly downtime.

“The swift expansion of the mining industry – the third-largest consumer of bearings and couplings – in Africa will provide further momentum to the global bearings and couplings market,” says F&S industrial automation and process control research analyst, Guru Mahesh. “The emergence of mines in Indonesia will also pave the way for greater uptake.

“Fluctuating currency exchange rates will encourage manufacturers to expand geographically,” he adds, “further extending their reach to high-growth regions.”

Another factor driving demand for industrial bearings and couplings is the large installed base around the world which creates a need for replacements and upgrades.

The Frost & Sullivan report is called Strategic Analysis of the Global Industrial Bearings and Couplings.

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