Bearing market expected to keep rolling along in next three years
Ball, roller and plain bearing demand in the U.S. is projected to expand 3.0% per year through 2013 to $10.6 billion, according to a new report by the Cleveland-based Freedonia Group. 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.
Advances will be supported by sales of high-value, large diameter bearings as the wind energy and heavy equipment markets expand. Continued, albeit moderating, growth in the production of aerospace equipment and machinery will also support gains. Recovery in motor vehicle production from the low levels of 2008, particularly in heavy truck and bus manufacturing, will also benefit bearing suppliers.
According to the report, the strongest market gains through 2013 will be posted by roller bearings, benefitting from renewed strength in U.S. production of motor vehicles and from sales of advanced, high-value products for applications such as wind turbines and heavy machinery.
Demand for mounted bearings and bearing parts will also outperform bearing demand overall. Mounted bearing demand increases will be spurred by the desire of OEMs to simplify their production processes and reduce future maintenance requirements. OEM bearing applications currently account for 78% of all demand.