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The global welding consumables market size was USD 11.76 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 15.15 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 3.3 % during the forecast period.
The market for welding consumables is surging rapidly with a growing trend towards joining two dissimilar metals, demand for innovative and customized metals shapes/designs, rising fabrication, and applications in other intensive industries mainly manufacturing, automotive and oil & gas. Further, introduction of various welding technologies, mainly resistance spot and plasma welding, and high adoption of robotic welding solutions are the other major factors significantly contributing to the growth of the market. For instance, in September 2019, Yaskawa Motoman unveiled ArcWorld 50 Series streamlined with advanced welding functions, such as weld inspection and process monitoring. Besides, continuous development by manufacturers to introduce superior grades of raw materials with new characteristics is uplifting the welding industry.
Outbreak of COVID-19 Pandemic Slashed Fabrication Industry and Steel Demand
The spread of the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the labor market and on the global economy as a whole, which has dramatically changed the dynamics of the manufacturing and other various industries. China, being the central manufacturing hub and the epicenter of the pandemic, has considerably slowed down global business operations and created massive disruptions in regional and global value chains. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute data, US steel mills slashed production owing to halted activities in car manufacturing and were operating at around 50% of capacity compared with 80% in the previous year. Similarly, steel production in Europe reduced by 50% due to lack of new orders, falling by around 75%. Besides, the fabrication industry is also facing a downfall owing to complete shutdown of production units, delay or cancellation of construction projects, and lack of shortage of skilled welders at sites.
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Introduction of Smart Materials in Welding Industry to Boost the Market
There is increasing research to study the behavior of materials at the atomic level to join two different metals without losing their metal strength, corrosion resistance, and other performance factors. In such a scenario, energy-efficient and environmentally benign “smart” materials are gaining impetus in the market. Smart materials are embedded with computer chips to monitor the weldment’s lifecycle performance and serve multi-functional design. For instance, welding and joining of NiTi shape memory increases flexibility in terms of smart design for multi-functional systems. Moreover, integration of such materials requires less energy and reduces the pre-heating and post-heating processes. Incorporation of such technologies would be beneficial for product designers for simulations, manufacturers, and welders to improve the entire manufacturing cycle.
Demand for Welding Operations across Various Industries to Support Growth
The widespread usage of welding consumables across the construction, oil and natural gas exploration, automotive, and heavy engineering industries is driving the welding market. For example, in December 2018, ABB won an order worth USD 79 million for upgrading the Bab Onshore Field in Abu Dhabi. Similarly, Qatar has invested around USD 200 billion for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Furthermore, adoption of welding activity in the automotive industry is rapidly growing owing to the stringent environmental norms and standards. For instance, automotive manufacturers are rigorously focusing on reducing the weight of their vehicles by replacing many metal parts with plastic materials so that the engine can be downsized, resulting in reduction in fuel consumption, and hence, lower emissions. In such a scenario, welding of plastic requires special material consumables in order to sustain the overall welding processes while manufacturing and assembling the body parts of the vehicles. Owing to the aforementioned factors, the adoption of welding consumables is anticipated to widen in the coming years.
Fluctuation in the Availability of Raw Materials to Hinder the Market
Volatility in raw material prices is a major factor limiting the welding consumables market growth. The preliminary materials required to manufacture welding consumables include steel, aluminum, graphite, iron, and many more. Fluctuations observed in these materials prices are mainly due to changes in trade policies, imbalance in supply & demand ecosystem, volatility in foreign exchange rates, and heightened geopolitical risks. This further creates an adverse impact on manufacturers and disrupts the cost of production of consumables, compelling manufacturers to reduce profit margins in order to stay competitive in the global market. Apart from this, rising accidents at the workplace due to lack of availability of skilled welders is also restraining the market.
In addition, the welding industry is undergoing difficult times owing to retirement of experienced workers and the lack of incoming skilled workers. This situation is creating an adverse impact on welding-intensive industries, mainly heavy engineering, automotive, and construction. For example, in 2018, the automotive giant Fiat experienced trouble with their cars due to faulty welds in the frame of the vehicle owing to which Fiat had to recall 18,000 cars.
Besides, lack of skilled welders also has its effects on other industries. For instance, the United Kingdom was forced to hold up their USD 36.6 billion nuclear missiles, when it was observed that the missile tube had cracks. These factors are thus creating obstacles for the welding industry and further restraining the market growth.
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Solid Wires Holds Major Share Backed by Their Rising Penetration across Various Applications
Based on type, the market segments include stick electrodes, solid wires, flux-cored wires and SAW wires.
The solid wires segment holds a dominant position in this market in terms of revenue primarily owing to the demand for customized welding technique for joining dissimilar and non-metallic materials and rising consumption of steel. Moreover, the welding industry is now emphasizing on adopting simple and cost-effective welding solutions to safeguard the work piece from the external environment. In such scenarios, solid wires play a pivotal role as mild steel solid wires are usually plated with copper to prevent oxidation, aid in electrical conductivity, and help increase the life of the weld piece.
The adoption of stick electrodes, flux cores, and SAW wires is anticipated to widen owing to their properties that allow the welding of high-thickness materials, withstand high temperature, and resist corrosion.
Construction Segment to Grow Significantly Backed by Rising Government Initiatives for Infrastructure Development
The application segment is further categorized into heavy engineering, automotive & transportation, railways, construction activities, shipbuilding, and others.
The major factors witnessed behind the rapid rise of the construction industry are the government initiatives for infrastructure development, restructuring of existing residential and commercial projects, and increasing foreign direct investments in developed and developing economies. For instance, in March 2020, the Chinese government released investment plans and major infrastructure projects, wherein around USD 4.8 trillion would be invested to overcome potential pressure of COVID-19 outbreak and boost the dipping real estate business.
Automotive industry is anticipated to grow at a considerable rate owing to the growing trend towards customized cars, integration of robotic solutions in automakers manufacturing facilities for customized welding, introduction of smart and high-end factories and others.
Railways is forecasted to have a steady growth in the coming years owing to massive funding in upgrading existing and new transportation projects, rising disposable income, and government initiatives to improvise connectivity.
Heavy engineering is expected to grow at a moderate rate in the coming years owing to construction of high-end factories such as smart factories, Industry 4.0, widespread adoption of robotic welding across these industries, evolvement of new technologies, and others.
Shipbuilding is forecasted to grow at a slower rate with the rising adoption of two dissimilar metals in this industry, adoption of robotic solutions to develop critical parts of the ships, and rising impetus of corrosion resistive underwater chamber welding.
Asia Pacific Welding Consumables Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)
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The market for welding consumables is grouped into five major regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa and Latin America. They are further categorized into countries.
Asia Pacific dominates the welding consumables market share and is anticipated to grow the fastest in the forecast period owing to presence of organized and unorganized players operating majorly in China, India, and South Korea. Further, high adoption of smart technologies such as robotic welding and high influx of investments is propelling the regional market. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), leading domestic players in manufacturing, technology, and construction sectors are investing out of India, which in turn will fuel the market growth in the coming future. For instance, Larson & Turbo (L&T) is working continuously in investing into power equipment manufacturing, and on the other hand, Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL) is planning to export its products to Syria and Vietnam.
Following Asia Pacific, North America and Europe are expected to grow at a steady rate owing to the presence of major manufacturers operating in these regions. Additionally, the explicit efforts of companies in these regions towards technological developments, focus on the aftermarket services, and increasing investments in research and development activities are further contributing to the market growth.
The Middle East and Africa and Latin America are expected to grow at a moderate rate owing to sluggish adoption of advanced welding technologies, governmental focus on infrastructure development, and expansion of major manufacturers’ production facilities across this region to cater to the unattended market.
Key Players are Focusing on Training Welders to Create a Strong Brand Image
Key vendors are aligning with various welding associations and governmental bodies to train welders in advanced technologies. For example, Weld Australia is working with the federal and state governments as well as various Technical and Further Education (TAFEs) across the nation to train new welders and facilitate the upskilling of existing welders. Similarly, in March 2018, Lincoln Electric extended its education facility to provide advanced technical training for professionals, as well as a comprehensive portfolio of turnkey educational solutions.
An Infographic Representation of Welding Consumables Market
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The market research report for welding consumables provides an in-depth analysis of the market dynamics and competitive landscape. It provides various key insights including recent industry developments in this market, such as mergers & acquisitions, macro, and microeconomic factors, SWOT analysis, and company profiles.
Value (USD Billion)
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size of welding consumables was USD 11.76 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 15.15 billion by 2027.
In 2019, the Asia Pacific market value stood at USD 3.94 billion.
Growing at a CAGR of 3.3%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).
Flux cored wires sub-segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
Demand for welding operations across various industries is the major factor driving the growth of the market.
The Lincoln Electric Company, ESAB, and Kobe Steel are major players in the global market.
Asia Pacific dominated the market share in 2019.
Lack of availability of skilled welders is expected to hamper the market.
Construction application is expected to drive the market.
Emergence of smart materials is the top current market trend.
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