Advancements in Material Engineering and Onset of Additive Manufacturing to Boost Market

Metal gears are used across a host of machinery deployed across an array of industrial domains, including wind power, material handling, metal & mining, food & beverages, and material handling. Metal gear components are increasingly being used to manufacture gears that are widely used in watches, furnaces, automotive equipment, motors, etc. In the current scenario, advancements in manufacturing techniques and availability of different alloys, metal alloys have emerged as one of the most common material used to produce metal gear components. However, consistent developments in material engineering have paved the way for a range of alternative materials for metal gear components.

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Ceramic and metal injection molding have gained considerable popularity over the past couple of decades– a trend that is expected to gain further momentum during the forecast period. The choice of materials primarily depends on two major factors– service condition and strength and with growing emphasis on research and development, the prospects of the metal gear component market are staring at a bright future. The booming industrial sector around the world, mainly in developing regions, including India and China is expected to provide a considerable boost to the growth of the global metal gear component market during the assessment period.

At the back of these factors, along with the growing interest in 3D printing to manufacture metal gear components, the global metal gear component market is likely to reach a value of US$ 308.6 Bn by the end of 2030.

Advent of New Alternative Materials to Provide Impetus for Market Growth

Market players operating in the metal gear component market landscape are aligning their operations in tandem with evolving industrial requirements and trends. For several decades, cast iron has remained a popular material choice among metal gear component manufacturers due to exceptional machinability, wearing properties, and ease of manufacturing complex shapes. Over time, alloy and carbon steels have gained considerable popularity, owing to the high strength value– a trend that is set to continue during the forecast period. As hardness is an imperative factor in gear design, market players are increasingly focusing on discovering new materials with optimum strength and durability.

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Ceramic and metal injection gears have garnered considerable popularity in the past decade due to the exceptional wear-resistant, particularly for small-size applications. In addition, ceramic and metal injection pieces are easier to manufacture in large batches and are comparatively easier to manufacture typical steel alloys.

Growing Demand from Automotive Sector to Propel Market Growth

Over the past couple of decades, at the back of the growing demand for improvement in vehicle efficiency and emission reductions, the automotive sector has witnessed consistent development. In addition, as automotive manufacturers continue to focus on rolling out lightweight vehicles, the design and production techniques are some of the key areas wherein considerable development has taken place. The advent of metal additive manufacturing (AM) has played an imperative role in revolutionizing the metal gear component market, as more number of market players are increasingly adopting 3D printing to gain a competitive edge. Alloy-specific materials are increasingly being produced using additive manufacturing techniques and as the industrial requirements in terms of quality continue to evolve, market players are increasingly turning toward 3D printing and additive metal manufacturing to gain an advantage. Stainless steel is likely to remain the most adopted material in the metal gear component market due to its lightweight and optimal functional and physical properties. The advent of 3D printing is expected to open up several new avenues for market players and provide considerable opportunities in the upcoming years.

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Demand for Metal Gear Components Falls amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is witnessed to have a strong impact on the growth of the global metal gear component market, particularly in 2020 and the first quarter of 2021. Although the manufacturing and supply of various metal gear components are likely to continue on track post delays and inactivity due to lockdowns enforced by governments around the world, the demand is expected to remain lower than usual due to an array of factors, including cost-saving measures, delays in orders, disruptions in supply chain, and growing market uncertainty. The market is expected to show signs of recovery in the last quarter of 2020 and gain further momentum in the first quarter of 2021.

Market players are expected to focus on research, new technologies, and materials to gain a competitive edge.

Analysts’ Viewpoint

The global metal gear component market is expected to expand at a moderate CAGR of ~4% during the forecast period. The market growth can be primarily driven by the booming industrial sector across developing nations, growing adoption of metal gear components in various end-use industries, flourishing automotive sector, evolving regulatory landscape across industries, advent of a range of new materials, and improvement in manufacturing techniques. The onset of 3D printing or additive manufacturing is another major factor that will provide a considerable boost to the growth of the metal gear component market during the forecast period.

Metal Gear Component Market: Overview

  • The global metal gear component market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of ~4% during the forecast period, owing to the rise in demand for consumer goods, including common house appliances, electronics such as smartphones; automobiles, two wheelers, coupled with an increase in purchasing capacity of the population
  • Advances in metal refining, processing, production, and manufacturing over the last decade or more coupled with new analytical technologies, emerging product modalities, and an influx of a new generation of composites, alloys, and polymers are expected to lead to new developments in material science

Drivers of Metal Gear Component Market

  • The metal gear and its components undergo various refining and several hardening processes, which, in turn, makes metal gears hard. The teeth of two gears engage together while transmitting power from the engine to the required mechanism, which reduces the amount of power losses during motion. Moreover, high corrosion resistance, high tensile strength, and abrasion resistance, owing to enhanced hardness attribute to longer life of metal gears. All these factors are driving the metal gear component market.
  • Per capita income is the measure of the amount of money earned per person in the concerned geographical region. Business trends enabled through e-Commerce and logistics, advancements in manufacturing technologies and machinery, and foreign direct investments and government initiatives to improve the living standards of the population in the country are propelling economic growth globally.
  • Rise in per capita income indicates an increase in the purchasing capacity of the population, which, in turn, leads to the increase in sales of consumer goods, home appliances, electronics, automobiles, and several other products. This fuels the demand and production of goods mentioned above, which offers lucrative opportunities for manufacturers and investors in the supply chain of the metal gear component market to expand their business.

Challenges for Metal Gear Component Market

  • Disruptions in supply chain catering to the automobile industry, owing to shutdown of production and manufacturing facilities, and raw material shortage caused by the coronavirus pandemic across the world, is estimated to contract the market in 2020. However, the market is anticipated to recover by increasing production volume of vehicle components as well as vehicle production from 2021.
  • Mechanisms in metal gear require consistent lubrication and cleaning. The smudge formed due to dust and old lubricant can cause abrasion to the outer surface of gears, which may cause more friction during the operation of the machinery. Moreover, metal gears need to be cleaned periodically, as moisture may lead to corrosion of exposed surface of gears. The corroded surface causes more friction between two gears, which in turn may overheat the gears in motion, leading to failure of the gears.
  • In case of failure of a gear in the machine, the entire machine stops working and consequently, the dependent process/ production may stop. Raw material processing and the entire process of manufacturing metal gears and their components comprises numerous steps, which add to the final cost of the metal gears. All these factors are expected to hinder the metal gear component market.

Metal Gear Component Market: Segmentation

  • Based on material, the metal gear component market has been segmented into steel, brass, aluminum, iron, and powdered metals. Steel is likely to be highly lucrative segment during the forecast period. This is primarily due to worldwide adoption of steel for the manufacture of metal gears, as steel provides high resistance to temperature, corrosion, and abrasion. Moreover, it is available at a cheaper price.
  • In terms of industry, the automotive industry is anticipated to dominate the global metal gear component market. Increase in per capita income coupled with various automakers slashing vehicle prices to overcome economic losses, owing to global automotive slowdown in 2018 and 2020, can be attributed to the rise in demand for high performance and fuel-efficient vehicles. This, in turn, is leading the automotive industry segment to account for a significant share of the global metal gear component market.

Metal Gear Component Market: Regional Analysis

  • In terms of region, the global metal gear component market has been segregated into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America
  • Asia Pacific dominated the global metal gear component market in 2020. It is anticipated to hold a leading share during the forecast period due to rise in production and sale of various consumer goods, increase in import and export of commodities, owing to flexible government policies, and increase in production of vehicles in China, India, Indonesia, and Japan. Furthermore, increased demand for electric vehicles across Asia Pacific is anticipated to boost the automotive industry and consequently, propel the metal gear component market in the region.

Metal Gear Component Market: Competition Landscape

  • Key players operating in the global metal gear component market include
    • American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    • Amtek International
    • B & R Machine and Gear Corporation
    • Bharat Gears Ltd.
    • Circle Gears & Machine Corporation
    • Cone Drive Operations Inc.
    • Dupont
    • Dynamatic Technologies Ltd
    • Eaton
    • Franz Morat Group
    • Gear Motions,
    • GKN PLC
    • IMS Gear GmbH
    • Kohara Gear Industry Co., Ltd.
    • RENOLD
    • Robert Bosch GmbH
    • RSB
    • Showa Corporation
    • Taiwan United Gear Co., Ltd
    • Univance Corporation
    • Universal Auto Gears LLP
    • Varroc Group,
    • ZF
  • Key players at the global level are expanding their footprint by engaging in mergers & acquisitions with several players in the market. For instance, in September 2016, Cone Drive announced the launch of Harmonic Solutions products, which offer the ultimate in gearing precision and represent a significant move into the robotics industry, boosting their status as a global leader in terms of precision motion control technology.

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