Projected to grow at a CAGR of around 7%, the bearings market is to witness a significant growth over the forecast period owing to increasing use of this mechanical component for smooth and proper functioning of machineries and vehicles. It is a major product for industries with heavy machineries and automotive sector. Technological innovations coupled with R&D initiatives in this sector are to fuel the market growth over next eight years.
Bearings provide for relative motion of the machinery with low friction and no wear & tear thereby improving energy efficiency is anticipated to boost the bearings market over the forecast period. Recent advancements in seal technologies and light-weight materials are to drive the market growth in the near future. Rise in the number of travelers using public transportation and rapid industrialization in emerging countries of Asia-Pacific and Middle-East are to drive the market in the next eight years. Furthermore, innovations in advanced materials, lubricants and looking for alternate uses of bearings helped bearings market to evolve significantly over the period of time.
Increasing use of high capacity bearings in end-use industries such as wind turbines, oil & gas, aerospace, construction and railway sectors is to further fuel the market growth. High requirement for tapered edge roller components in wheel, gearboxes and ceramic coated bearings in traction motor is expected to drive the market over next eight years. In Europe, a new generation of aeronautical bearings was introduced which have high oxidative and corrosive resistance and can withstand extreme environmental conditions. Furthermore, advancements in thermoplastic lined bearings and heat & pressure resistant bearings for use in renewable sector provide opportunities in this industry.
However, fluctuation in steel prices which is a major raw material used in manufacturing of steel poses a challenge to bearings market. Over the last few years, fluctuations in steel prices and moderate demand had a negative impact on the market. Moreover, a magnetic bearing which is a type of bearing also face challenge owing to its large size, high cost and its weight. Moreover, increasing production of global passenger and commercial vehicles is to provide opportunity in this market.
The market can be segmented on the basis of product type and application. On the basis of product type, the market can be mainly divided into plain bearings, ball bearings and roller bearings. Ball bearings market dominated the market in the near past and this trend will continue owing to smaller contact surface which reduces friction to a great extent. These bearings can be used with thrust and angular contact ball bearings as they spin very smoothly. There are other type of bearings which includes needle roller bearings, spherical roller bearings, magnetic bearings, plummer blocks, slim section bearings, sleeves, self aligning ball bearings and deep groove bearings. Deep groove bearings are simple in design, need low maintenance, non-separable and are suitable for high applications. Moreover, these bearings have a continuous raceway making them optimal for radial loads, which is also expected to drive the market in the near future.
On the basis of application, the market can consist of automotive, machinery, aerospace, railway, electronics, mining & construction equipment and agriculture sectors etc. The railway sector are anticipated to provide growth opportunities on account of bearings increasing used in metros, tramway systems, intercity trains and high speed trains. Technological improvements and various other benefits such as advanced bearing life, significant weight reduction, increased capacities to operate at increased speed and high temperature are anticipated to drive the demand of railway and aerospace sectors over the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific is anticipated to drive the market over the forecast period owing to rapid industrialization in this region especially in India and China. High industrialization in China has created significant demand for bearings in industries such as electronics, automotive and industrial equipment. Moreover, demand of bearings in developed nations such as US, Japan and Western Europe is anticipated to grow over the forecast period on account of increasing requirement for industrial equipment coupled with the rising demand for durable goods.
The major players in the market are SKF, JTEKT Corporation, NTN Corporation, Timken Company, NSK Ltd. and Schaeffler AG. These players make customized bearings and thus have dominated the market. Other players in the market are Danaher Corporation, Abm Advanced Bearing Materials LLC, Emerson Electric Co., Daido Metal Co., Ltd., Wanxiang Qianchao Company Limited, Federal-Mogul Corporation, Robert Bosch GmbH, Nachi-Fujikoshi Corporation, Cooper Roller Bearings Co., Ltd., Harbin Bearing Manufacturing Co., Ltd, RBC Bearings Incorporated and Luoyang LYC Bearing.
In June 2016, SKF had announced the consolidation of its manufacturing facilities in North America, including the closure of its sites in San Diego, California and Baltimore, Maryland to strengthen their position in North America, making them more competitive and better able to support their customers, by improving the utilization of their manufacturing assets. They also provided the foundation for investments in the further development of manufacturing processes and technologies.
Research Support Specialist, USA