Motion System Design
Bearing market rolls forward

Bearing market rolls forward

Domestic demand for ball, roller, and plain bearings is projected to expand 3% per year through 2013 to $10.6 billion, according to a new Bearings report from The Freedonia Group Inc., Cleveland. According to the study, sales increases for ball and roller bearings, including both mounted and unmounted types and associated parts, will outpace those of plain bearings, reaching $8.5 billion in 2013.

Sales of high value, large diameter bearings are expected to increase as wind energy and heavy equipment markets expand. Continued growth in the production of aerospace equipment and machinery will also support gains, though growth will be moderate. A recovery in motor vehicle production from the low levels of 2008, particularly in heavy truck and bus manufacturing, is also predicted to benefit bearing suppliers. Market gains will be dampened, however, as U.S. companies in a variety of bearing-consuming industries continue to move manufacturing operations offshore to save on labor costs, according to the study.

Besides roller-bearing sales, demand for mounted bearings and bearing parts is also expected to increase. Mounted bearing demand will get a boost from OEM simplification of production processes and maintenance requirements. OEM bearing applications, which account for 78% of all demand, are forecast to approximate the performance of MRO applications through 2013. Sales conditions will be particularly strong in the automotive and engine, turbine, and power transmission equipment manufacturing markets, according to the report. MRO bearing demand is expected to grow due to increasing maintenance expenditures for aerospace equipment and construction machinery. Bearings, published in September 2009, 267 pages, is available for $4,800. For more information, visit The Freedonia Group.

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