The global bearings market size surpassed USD 103 billion in 2019 is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 9% from 2019 to 2027.
The global market for Bearings is projected to reach US$ 196 billion by 2027, driven by their indispensable and ubiquitous importance in machines.
Bearings enable rotational or linear movement; reduce friction between moving rotary components in various industrial products and mechanical components; in addition to supporting rotating parts for achieving desired motion; managing stress; and reducing energy consumption for machineries. The precision-made components enable machinery, operating at high speeds, to carry huge amounts of load efficiently and easily. Depending on the application, there are different principles on which these bearings are designed and run. Bearings mainly help decrease the impact of friction in moving parts, thereby reducing energy losses in the form of heat during the process. They reduce wear and tear between moving parts to a large extent, facilitating ease in power transmission. Attributes, such as safety, reliability, and longevity of most mechanical products are closely related to the accurate design and installation of bearings. Bearings are utilized by a broad range of industries, and are manufactured in different types and sizes. Application of bearings are enormous, ranging from unground bearings employed in roller skates to super precision bearings, utilized in aerospace machinery. The size range can be witnessed in extremely small bearings employed for computer drives and precision medical equipment, to extremely large bearings involved in mining and power generation applications.
Almost every load, vibration, and stress that influences a machine`s functioning should eventually be managed by the bearings. Bearings, therefore, become vital for proper functioning of the systems. The machine stops working if a bearing crashes. Additionally, as bearings face critical operating conditions, they serve as a critical point for sensing and evaluating the overall condition of machines. Efforts to improve offerings span from quality and cleanliness of raw materials used in steel plants and manufacturing techniques through to product packaging as well as logistics management to deter spurious products. While new designs and cage materials reduce heat generation and accelerate operations, the use of sophisticated designs extends overall lifespan of products. Manufacturers tightly control surface finish of internal components for extending service life of bearings. Recent advances also focus on addressing certain issues attributed to changes in operating conditions or requirements. Innovative options push existing capabilities of equipment under more severe operating conditions or address more stringent demands of end-use applications. New bearing materials including heat treatment and material chemistry overcome the negative impact of issues like hard particle contamination, inadequate lubrication conditions, water intrusion, hydrogen embrittlement and corrosion.
Rising utilization of bearing in railway, electric vehicles, and rolling mills
Railway industry is emphasizing on reduction of cost and enhancing more on increasing the life of rails. Bearings are used in railway gearbox to dampen the shocks and vibrations that are caused due to force generated by traction motor and wheels running on tracks. Thus, severe operating conditions increase the engine maintenance and down time. Recent developments in bearings have fueled the demand for bearing in the railway industry. For example, tapered roller bearings are used to support pinion shafts that require regular adjustments and expert maintenance has been developed that reduces maintenance cost and enhances cage strength.
Rising utilization of bearing in motor, demand for automotive electrification, and demand for bearing in continuously variable transmission (CVT)
Rising demand among people about environmental pollution has forced industries to reduce CO2 and harmful gas emissions from motors in industries. Motors that are used to operate pumps and compressors require more electricity; thus, high developed bearings are utilized in motors that reduce the mechanical loss during operations. Moreover, use of low torque bearings in CVTs in order to enhance reliability and fuel efficiency of vehicles have increased the utilization of bearing that offers enhanced ball strength and solid lubricating film.
Fluctuating raw material prices and high maintenance cost
The cost of raw materials remains the top overall concern for manufacturers. Raw material accounts for around 60-62% of a bearing manufacturer’s revenue. The raw material price of the automotive bearing continuously fluctuates as per the market economic condition. Such price volatility of raw materials is becoming a real challenge for companies to remain competitive and assure sustainable margins. Since, high grade steel and alloy steel are the primary raw materials used for manufacturing bearing, bearing price is highly correlated with the global steel price movement. Thus, fluctuation of raw material price creates challenges for the bearing manufacturers to manufacture a bearing for vehicle in comparative price and the quality. In addition, bearing needs regular maintenance to avoid failure and prolong their lifespan, which further increases maintenance costs. Therefore, the factors such as fluctuating raw material prices and regular maintenance cost are expected to hinder the growth of the automotive bearing market.
Rising concern about green vehicles and constant development in the automobile industry
Rising public awareness about environmental pollution and enhanced demand from consumers for fuel-efficient vehicles has led to development of EVs including fuel cell and battery EVs. Bearings that are used in EVs offer improved efficiency, operability, and shelf life owing to constant product development. Thus, product development along with rise in the sales of EVs is predicted to offer new opportunity in the global bearing market.
Based on product, the market is bifurcated into ball and roller. Ball bearings have a smaller surface contact and, therefore, help reduce friction to a great extent. They can also be used with thrust and radial loadings, ascribed to which, these products are increasingly being used in both four and two wheeled automobiles. Hence the segment is anticipated to witness healthy growth over the forecast period.
Roller bearings led the product segment in 2019 and is anticipated to continue its dominance and emerge as the fastest growing segment by 2025. These products reduce rotational friction, support radial and axial loads, and can sustain limited axial loads and heavy radial loads more efficiently than their counterparts. The widespread espousal of roller bearings by several industries, such as capital equipment, automobiles, home appliances, and aerospace, is estimated to positively impact the product demand.
In 2019, automotive segment held the largest market share, owing to increase in the automotive production, globally. Also, the demand for vehicles with technologically advanced solutions is escalating, thus, leading to rise in vehicle manufacturing that necessitates instrumented products.
The railway and aerospace segment emerge as the fastest growing segment by 2027, attributed to growing global travel, need to renew aging fleets owing to stringent environmental legislation, and fuel price pressure coupled with the availability of improved ways to assist global and local transportation systems. Demand from the railway segment is also anticipated to rise on account of accelerated railway construction in the developing countries. Further, surging demand for small single-aisle aircraft and helicopters from emerging economies is anticipated further drive the growth.
Asia Pacific is projected to observe the fastest growth in terms of sales, accounting for over USD 62 billion by 2027. China is one of the major markets, and the sales in the country are expected to catapult over the foreseeable years stimulated by the rapid expansion of machinery and motor vehicle production coupled with a strong aftermarket for industrial equipment and motor vehicle repair. Moreover, the robust construction and mining equipment market in India is estimated to facilitate the growth through 2027.
Europe is anticipated to witness favorable growth during the forecast period, owing to sustainable economic growth and increased investment. Furthermore, in the mature markets of U.S., Western Europe, and Japan, the demand is driven by the rebounding productions of motor vehicles and a healthy fixed investment environment.Increased sales of high value bearings, such as large-diameter, custom built bearings used in heavy machinery and wind turbines are also expected to drive the growth in North America. In Middle East and Africa, rapid development of city infrastructures is positively influencing the overall growth.
Competitors identified in this market include, among others:
Deep Groove Bearings
Mining & construction
Railway & Aerospace
Middle East & Africa