For a manufacturing facility, maintenance is considered to be of utmost importance. Unplanned downtime can lead towards failure in terms of falling short of targets with irreversible adverse economic effects. Similarly in automotive or several other high-performance industrial machinery employed in agriculture, construction, mining, oil and gas extraction, wind turbines and others, apparatuses that sidelines frequent maintenances are an asset. As a consequence, tapered roller bearings that minimize friction in equipment and lead towards energy-efficient solutions has established itself as an integral component. The automotive sector stands out as the most lucrative marketplace for such bearing due to ample scope of application in drive trains, gear drives, wheel ends, and transmission. Another pivotal tapered roller bearing market growth driver is the application in the renewable energy sector as such bearings find extensive application in wind turbines. Unlike other bearings, the tapered shape allows the transfer of loads evenly while rolling that is apt for universal application for refinement of transmission shafts and rotating axles. Owing to automation and electrification of industrial machinery and drives, and automotive transmission, tapered roller bearing market vendors are also refining their output per the innovations in the adjacent industries. For example, in 2019, NSK Ltd., launched “NSK LCube II,” a tapered roller bearing for application in the transmission systems of electric vehicle (EV). Factory automation has augmented the pace of operation, eventually leading towards increasing load on machinery. Owing to such circumstances, several bearing market vendors are employing computer-aided engineering (CAE) to optimize their existing production units per modern parameters. For instance, at Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG, an OPTIK program, has been developed as an optimization tool for CAE models for designing of tapered roller bearings.
Such computer-assisted optimization process at Schaeffler has resulted in an ultralow friction (ULF) tapered roller bearing, and as the name suggests it offers very low friction torque that can be leveraged by a gamut of industries. Some of the most prominent end-user industries in global tapered roller bearing market are an automotive, heavy machine, construction, mining, aviation, agriculture, and energy. Chrome steel is the most fundamental raw material employed in the manufacturing of tapered roller bearings globally. As the global steel production is increasing year on year, the market is lucrative for new entrants owing to the abundant availability of raw material. According to the World Steel Association, global crude steel output escalated by 4.6% in 2018. The growth can be well demonstrated by the fact that in 2000 the output was weighed to be 850 million tonnes and in 2018 the figure was 1808 million tonnes. Similar to the technological innovations in bearings, the raw materials are also undergoing several transitions. For example, to enhance the endurance of bearings in high-temperature settings and hydraulic valves, tungsten carbide as a hard metal is used in manufacturing. Engineering plastics have also emerged as a substituent for metal for low-load situations. Owing to factors such as the little requirement of lubrication and faster manufacturing process, this is a disruptive trend in the market of bearings. An example of such application is, in the horizontal tail of Airbus A340’s carbon fiber bearings are employed to reduce its weight by 50%, and cut outlays by 30%. As a consequence of flourishing adjacent industries, abundant accessibility of raw materials and rapid innovations, the global tapered roller bearing market size was evaluated to be $112.45bn billion in 2018. Moreover, owing to factors such as factory automation and electrification of transmission in vehicles, opportunities in the market is progressing at a global CAGR of 5.42% during the forecast period of 2019-2025.
APAC leads the global tapered roller bearing market due to impeccable opportunities from its mining, automotive, agriculture, and construction sector:
APAC is reckoned as the leading marketplace globally in terms of demand for the tapered roller bearing. Owing to robust industrialization in economies such as China and India, this region had nearly half of the share in global demand, 46.47% in 2018. The dominance of APAC is attributable to several flourishing industries in this region adjacent to the tapered roller bearing market that includes automotive, agriculture, mining, and construction. Moreover, China, as a global leader in manufacturing, has a humongous fleet of machinery in industries that employ bearings. Another pivotal factor assisting APAC to sustain the lead is rapid development in the spectrum of renewable energy (wind energy), that is adding further impetus to the market growth.
Moreover, as per the Trade statistics for international business development, China is the second-largest importer of the ball or roller bearings. The import value for 2018 is indicated to be $3.7 billion. Other big importers from APAC are India with $1.2 billion, and the Republic of Korea with $1 billion.
A list of facts in support of the above declarations
· The global tapered roller bearing market is bifurcated into several end-user industries as mentioned earlier, but the automotive sector is the fastest-growing segment progressing with an application CAGR of 5.63% going through to 2025. The dominance of APAC in the global tapered roller bearing market is well connected to its dominance in the global automotive sector, both in ICE engine vehicles and electrical vehicles as well. According to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, 70.6 million passenger vehicles were produced globally in 2018, with India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand showing positive growth of 8.0%, 10.3%, 12.2%, and 9.0% respectively whereas China leads with 23.5 million vehicles unit. The growth in the adoption of electric vehicles is rapid as well in APAC. Government of India in 2019 approved the application for the enactment of scheme titled 'Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India Phase II (FAME India Phase II)' for endorsing electric mobility in the nation. Phase II witnessed exuberant funding worth $1.4 billion in 2019, tremendous growth from the budget of $128 million that was allocated to Phase I in 2015. China sustained its apex spot in global electric car sales recorded to be approximately 1.1 million in 2018, out of 5.1 million globally.
Moreover, with 2.3 million units, it also contained nearly 50% of the global electric car stock. APAC also had leading shares (34%) in global automotive transmission market demand in 2018.
· According to the World Mining Congress, global mining production in 2017 was 17.2 billion metric tons with Asia alone having 57.9% share of the global output. This has augmented the uptake of mining equipment in APAC, eventually leading towards growth of tapered roller bearing market demand. In the global mining equipment market size that was evaluated to be $100 billion - $105 billion in 2018, APAC had a substantial 35% share in global demand for the same year.
· According to the industrial development report 2018 by United Nations Industrial Development Organization, in 2016 China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, and Mexico were accountable for nearly 75% of the total manufacturing production from developing and emerging industrial economies. China alone had 55% of the total, from 15% recorded in 1990. FDI well supports the manufacturing hub in APAC flows as well. Asia is the largest recipient of FDI with $476 billion recorded in 2017. Existing humongous manufacturing infrastructure amalgamated with the processes of automation is proliferating the growth of tapered roller bearing market demand in APAC.
· The dominance of APAC in the global agricultural sector is another lucrative element for its bearing market, as agricultural machinery such as mowers, trailers, harvesters, and tractors are avid employers of tapered roller bearing in its mechanical configuration. In the global agricultural machinery market size that was evaluated to be $170 billion to $175 billion in 2018, APAC had a major share of 40% - 45% in global demand for the same year. With increasing population and depleting arable land, the agricultural sector is highly reliant on machinery for efficient production. India has the largest tractor industry accounting for 1/3 of global production and the share of agriculture towards the Indian economy is 14% of its GDP. Similarly, China has 9% of the universal arable land and is the hub for innovations; it is automating agricultural processes with enthusiastic employment of machinery.
A tapered roller bearing market companies:
Some of the key players operating in the global market are AB SKF, The Timken Company, NSK Ltd., Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG., NTN Corporation, Koyo Seiko, Nachi-Fujikoshi Corp., JTEKT Corporation, AST Bearings, LLC, NBC Bearings, and RBC Bearings.
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