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The Europe ball bearings market size was USD 4.92 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 5.50 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 1.9% during the forecast period.
The market is experiencing lucrative growth opportunities as vendors and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are offering specific ball bearing applications that cater to various industry verticals. Specifically, ball bearing products in fit-for-applications have reached an advanced stage of sophistication, which is eventually minimizing the early failures of bearing applications. This is attributable to the fact that improper fits can degrade bearing performance as well as cause seizures from early failures and burns. To avoid such failures, manufacturers are working towards providing fit-for-application offerings to boost product penetration across diverse industry verticals.
COVID-19 Effect: Halted Manufacturing Activities in Major Economies to Restrain Market Growth
Europe is described as the epicenter of COVID-19, as stated by the WHO, owing to the dramatic rise in cases in the region. The COVID-19 pandemic is hampering various industries across the globe. However, the ball bearings market growth is experiencing a moderate impact of the pandemic. The flow of goods in this market has been affected slightly and is expected to dawdle for a short period of time, with operations anticipated to resume soon, given the nature of applications to which the market caters. There is a constant demand from various industries for ball bearings to ensure the smooth functioning of various machinery and equipment.
The highly affected countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Italy are estimated to recover slowly from the pandemic and are hence facing difficulties in restarting their economies. Having said that, these countries are expected to bounce back in a promising manner owing to their already mature markets and thus the impact of the pandemic is not likely to be long-term in Europe.
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Adoption of Innovative Materials for Manufacturing Bearings Units to Fuel Growth
The usage of advanced materials such as chrome and plastic in producing bearings is a major trend fueling the market growth. Precision engineered bearings are gaining demand across industries where metals such as chrome steel are largely cast off for manufacturing bearings. Moreover, in order to meet the critical requirements for extreme atmospheric applications, ball bearing companies are using ceramic & tungsten carbide material. This material is capable of sustaining in harsh environments and is corrosion-resistant. Its other features include high durability, ability to take high stress and heavy loads, low maintenance costs, and the ability to sustain in high-temperature conditions such as hydraulic valves is further fueling the market growth.
Investments in Industry 4.0 for Innovative Solutions is Driving the Market
The increasing investments in Industry 4.0 solutions across industry verticals is resulting in the adoption of smart interconnected systems to optimize plant operations and maximize productivity. For instance, in 2019, SKF’s automotive bearing business invested in Industry 4.0 for its hub bearing unit factories in Italy to augment the company’s innovation capacities. Moreover, manufacturers are designing innovative bearing assemblies that incorporate the bearing-attaching components to increase the reliability of the final product, thereby enhancing bearing performance. Also, advancements in bearing technology, including maintenance tracking and data sharing, are being constantly researched and developed for wider applications in the future.
Changing Trade Policies & Fluctuating Raw Material Prices to Hinder Market Growth
The market for precision ball bearings is rising within core manufacturing sectors such as automotive, industrial machinery, and construction. However, fluctuations in the availability of raw materials is a major factor that is limiting market growth. The preliminary materials required to produce bearings are steel and aluminum. However, changes in trade policies across Europe and demand & supply imbalances are impacting the cost of these materials. This is compelling manufacturers to reduce profit margins and lower the cost of producing bearings to sustain in the competitive environment.
High Demand from End Use Applications to Aid Growth of the Market
Based on product type, the market is segmented into self-aligning ball bearings, deep groove ball bearings, angular contact ball bearings, and others (thrust bearings, etc.).
The deep groove ball bearings segment is expected to be the fastest-growing segment attributable to the versatility, reduced upkeep, and cost-effectiveness of these types of ball bearings.
The self-aligning and angular contact segments are expected to showcase a similar growth rate. This is because these types support high processing speeds, reduce shaft misalignment, and provide precision and rigidity. Furthermore, both types have applications in numerous fields including vacuum pumps, woodworking spindles, high-speed rolling mills, printing machinery, and boat gyrostabilizers.
The others segment is expected to effect minimal changes in the market structure.
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Automotive to Remain the Dominant Segment in the Market
Based on application, the market is divided into automotive, industrial machinery, mining & construction, medical, and others (aerospace, etc.).
The market has witnessed significant growth over the past few years as a result of the extensive utilization of ball bearings in the automotive sector. The automotive industry uses ball bearings in various engine parts and other vehicular components.
The mining and construction segment is expected to exhibit steady growth over the forecast period. Increasing investments in mining technologies are expected to drive the adoption of bearings in mining applications across countries in Europe.
The increasing demand for industrial machinery from industries such as aerospace, construction, and food & beverages will bode well for the market.
Moreover, the application of ball bearings in robotic surgical devices is gaining momentum in the medical sector and contributing positively to the growth of the ball bearings market.
Based on countries, the market is categorized into the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Rest of Europe.
Germany leads the Europe ball bearings market share and is expected to remain dominant during the forecast period. This is attributed to the increasing demand for bearing products in industries such as automotive, construction, and food & beverage. Furthermore, Germany is home to a large number of manufacturing facilities and has a strong presence of leading automobile manufacturers such as BMW and Volkswagen along with massive public and private investments in industrial R&D.
Italy and the United Kingdom are expected to exhibit promising growth during the forecast period as a result of the increasing demand for mining, construction, and aerospace activities.
France and the Rest of Europe are also progressing steadily owing to the increasing investments in industrial machinery businesses across Europe.
Market Leaders are Focusing on New Product Developments
The participants in this market are making heavy investments in research and development activities, engaging in mergers & acquisitions, enhancing brand loyalty, and building a strong customer base. These companies are mainly focusing on developing technologically advanced ball bearings that can be used across several end-use industries.
The key market leaders such as Schaeffler Group, SKF Group, Timken, NTN Bearing Corporation, JTEKT Corporation (Koyo), and NSK Ltd. hold the commanding share in the Europe market. These companies have a wide range of products catering to diverse ball bearing applications. As a result, these key players are planning to supply tailored and customized bearings.
An Infographic Representation of Europe Ball Bearings Market
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The Europe ball bearings market report provides an in-depth analysis of the market dynamics and competitive landscape. It provides various key market insights, including recent industry developments, such as mergers & acquisitions, macro, and microeconomic factors, SWOT analysis, and company profiles.
Value (USD billion)
By Product Type
As per Fortune Business Insights, the Europe market value stood at USD 4.92 billion in 2019.
By 2027, the market value is expected to reach USD 5.50 billion.
The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 1.9%, exhibiting a low growth rate during the forecast period (2020-2027).
Germany is expected to hold a dominant market share, with its value standing at USD 1.64 billion in 2019.
Within the product type segment, the deep groove ball bearings segment is expected to be the leading segment in the market during the forecast period.
Investments in industry 4.0 for innovative solutions are driving market trends.
Schaeffler Group, SKF Group, Timken, NTN Bearing Corporation, JTEKT Corporation (Koyo), and NSK Ltd. are the major players in the market.
The automotive sub-segment is expected to drive the market.
The major players in the market constitute 55% - 60% of the market share, which is majorly due to their brand name and presence in multiple regions.
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