Rapid industrial development in high-growth regions, such as Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey as well as Brazil, Russia, India and China is driving the industrial bearings and couplings market, according to a new study from Frost & Sullivan. The Strategic Analysis of the Global Industrial Bearings and Couplings Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $22.06 billion in 2013 and estimates this to reach $26.76 billion in 2018. The study covers key end-user segments including mining, metalworking, material handling, energy, construction, and food and beverage.

Frost & Sullivan says the magnitude of the existing global installed base will strengthen the need for replacement and upgrades, adding to market demand. This push from developing economies is important as the market is technologically mature and seeing restricted growth in developed economies. This is particularly so in Europe and North America, owing to financial instability and reduced capital expenditure across end-user industries.

READ ALSO: How to Properly Mount Bearings—Best practices for improving the longevitiy and performance of your rotating equipment

“The swift expansion of the mining industry—the third largest consumer of bearings and couplings—in Africa will provide further momentum to the global bearings and couplings market,” said Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation and Process Control Research Analyst Guru Mahesh. “The emergence of mines in Indonesia will also pave the way for greater uptake.”

Despite this potential in developing economies, the focus on price as a product differentiator may lead to intense price pressures among manufacturers and bring down the value of the overall market in the short term, said Frost & Sullivan. The growing trend among consumers to opt for low-cost Chinese imports will compound this challenge.

However, as price and quality become standardized across the globe, customers will base their purchasing decisions on value-added services. Frost & Sullivan says creating maintenance-free solutions, such as lubrication-free bearings, will enable manufacturers to carve a niche for themselves in this dynamic landscape. Such solutions offer end-users the chance to save on service and replacement cost and avoids costly downtime.

“Offering a complete line of products with comprehensive services will be another feather in the cap of vendors looking to widen their consumer base,” said Mahesh. “Fluctuating currency exchange rates will encourage manufacturers to expand geographically, further extending their reach to high-growth regions.”