The plain bearing market has been growing at a steady pace due to the increasing demand for motor vehicles, oilfield machinery, and construction work. A wide range of equipment used in the energy, aerospace, railways, automotive, farm and gardening, construction, and oilfield sectors make extensive use of plain bearings.
The primary factor driving the growth of the global plain bearing market is the growing demand for motor vehicles worldwide. In addition, the rising demand for bearings in the defense and aerospace sector is aiding the growth of this market. Rising technological innovations are, however, making these bearings more durable and this hinders aftermarket sales. The growing number of counterfeit products is also hampering the growth of the plain bearings market globally. On the bright side, the introduction of smart bearings is expected to provide new opportunities manufacturers of plain bearings in the near future.
The global plain bearing market was valued at US$9.5 bn in 2015 and is expected to reach US$16.2 bn by 2024, registering a CAGR of 5.8% therein.
Based on end use, the global market for plain bearings is broadly bifurcated into the automotive and industrial sectors. The industrial sector is further segmented into chemical, agriculture, food and beverage, pulp and paper, aerospace, and others. Recent trends show that there is a steady year-on-year rise in the production of motor vehicles and thus the automotive industry accounts for a considerable share in the plain bearing market.
In the industrial segment, the construction sector holds a major chunk of the market in certain regions. In addition to the construction sector, oilfields and the aerospace industry are expected to contribute to the growth of the plain bearing market during the forecast period.
Geographically, Asia Pacific has been leading the plain bearing market and is expected to retain its lead throughout the forecast period. Continuous urbanization and the growing demand for automobiles in developing countries such as India and China is driving the Asia Pacific market. In addition to this, the falling prices of bearings bode well for the market in this region. South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Japan have also been witnessing rapid growth in the automotive sector and many plain bearing companies in these countries are opening up manufacturing facilities in order to cater to the growing demand. The rising demand for infrastructure development is boosting the use of plain bearings in the construction industry, TMR finds.
The Rest of the World segment includes the Middle East, Africa, and South America. The Middle East has proven to be a lucrative region for the plain bearing market owing to its thriving construction and automotive industries. In 2012, NSK opened its new branch NSK Bearings Gulf Trading Co. in Dubai, UAE. Countries in the African continent, such as South Africa, have been observing an increased level of industrialization and this is expected to boost the demand as well as market for plain bearings in the coming years.
South America is mainly dominated by Brazil and has several conducive factors contributing to the plain bearing market in the region. The ongoing development in the construction sector is the primary demand driver for journal bearings.
The key players operating in the global plain bearing market include SKF Group, The Timken Company, Schaeffler AG, NSK Ltd, NTN Corporation, RBC Bearings, Inc., JTEKT Corporation, AST Bearing LLC, GGB Bearing Technology, and Brammer Plc
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