The global bearing industry is likely to witness significant growth over the forecast period. Surging need to improve energy efficiency in several application areas is expected to drive the demand for the bearings industry. Rapid innovations along with high investments in research & development (R&D) activities are anticipated to drive market demand over the projected period. Recent advancements in light-weight materials and seal technologies are expected to propel the market for high performance bearings.
Bearings help in energy savings by reducing friction and resistance between the moving machine parts in a wide range of machinery and industrial equipment. The global bearings market is mostly controlled by the steel price, which is chiefly utilized in the bearing manufacturing process. Owing to this fact, the bearings industry is negatively affected by the recent volatility in the steel prices. However, high-demand from various end-use industries such as aerospace & railway, construction & mining, agriculture, and electronics is majorly expected to surge the prices for the bearing industry.
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The bearing industry is majorly segmented into plain bearings, unmounted ball bearings, magnetic bearings, jewel bearings fluid bearings and roller bearings. These products mainly comprise of various components such as rollers, balls, cages, and rings. The industry is further segmented as per the end-use applications such as construction machinery, power transmission equipment, motor vehicles, aerospace equipment, oilfield machinery, and agriculture machinery.
Rising bearings demand in aerospace and railway applications offer significant growth opportunities. Surging demand for high performance bearings in aircraft engines is expected to favorably impact market growth over the forecast period. Ball bearings segment is expected to emerge as an area of high growth opportunities over the near future mainly due to its capability to reduce friction even across smaller contact surfaces. Additionally, ball bearings are also utilized to enhance thrust and radial load bearing capabilities owing to their ability to spin smoothly. Another important segment is constituted by the deep groove bearings. These products are also expected to witness high growth in near future owing to their low maintenance and simple design along with non-separable parts.
Surging demand for automotive components in cars is expected to fuel the market demand over the projected period. The aviation& railway sector is anticipated to witness rapid growth in near future. Further, rising usage for public transportation is also expected to be an important market driver for this segment.
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Recently, in the European market, a new generation of aeronautical bearings is introduced. These bearings can withstand extreme environmental conditions. These specialized bearings have high corrosive and oxidative resistance along with the ability to withstand extremely high temperature and pressure conditions. Advancements to produce innovative thermoplastic lined bearing materials are also expected to pave new opportunities. Such lining materials have very high wear & tear resistance along with significantly high load carrying capability. These factors are expected to open new growth opportunities, especially in the lubrication and grease applications. Furthermore, recent trend to develop heat and pressure resistant bearings for applications in the renewable energy sector is anticipated to widen the scope for this segment.
Asia Pacific was the most promising regional market in 2013. Rapid industry and infrastructure developments especially in the emerging nations of China and India are expected to drive the market growth in the near future. High industrialization in China has created significant demand for bearings in various end-use industries such as electronics, automotive and industrial equipment, making China one of the largest bearings markets.
High Demand for bearings in developed nations, mainly in Japan, Western Europe, and the U.S., is anticipated to grow at a high rate over the forecast period. In most of these developed nations, the manufacturing industry, especially the automotive sector, declined in between 2007 to 2009. Post-2009, however, the economic condition has stabilized in these nations and the industrial production is expected to grow positively in near future on account of which the sale of bearings is expected to grow at a higher rate. Growing need for industrial equipment along with the rising demand for durable goods is expected to contribute to rapid sales for the bearings industry. This trend is anticipated to grow the bearings demand by the manufacturers operating in Japan, Western Europe, and the United States.
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The global bearings industry is fairly diversified; however, the top six companies including JTEKT, Schaeffler Group, NSK Global, NTN Corporation, SKF, and Timken mainly dominate the market revenues. These manufacturers attain a competitive advantage by providing specialized bearings as per the desired customer specifications and application needs. These players also compete on the basis of product differentiation and application to attain a higher strategic advantage.
Other industry players include Advanced Bearing Materials, Rheinmetall, Barden, Daido Metal, Bosch (Robert) GmbH, Cooper Roller Bearings, Daido Metal Company Limited, Danaher Corporation, Emerson Electric Company, Federal-Mogul Corporation, Harbin Bearing Manufacturing Company Limited, Nachi-Fujikoshi Corporation, Luoyang LYC Bearing, RBC Bearings Incorporated, and Wanxiang Qianchao Company Limited.
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