Despite short-term demand fluctuations, the author’s estimates suggest that the global metal bellows market is expected to cross the landmark figure of US$ 1 billion by 2025, expecting a recovery after a downfall in 2020.
The demand for metal bellows is highly subjected to the growth as well as the health of the end-use industries where these bellows are used.
Major end-use industries were already under immense pressure and were struggling hard in order to rebound their demand.
Several industry-specific regional factors were behind the truncated industry growth or decline. Aerospace & defense and automotive were the major industries that recorded a decline in the year 2019.
The outbreak of COVID-19 further aggravated the industry concerns to an unprecedented level.
For instance, the year 2019 was challenging for the aerospace industry, which compelled the industry giants to reconfigure their strategies.
The grounding of B737 Max, P&W 1100G engine series failure (A320neo), delayed the deliveries of upcoming aircraft programs such as B777X, and revised production rates of key aircraft programs; A350XWB and B787 due to cancellation of orders from China and other parts of the world, tumbled the market growth.
All these factors are not yet completed addressed and impacting the demand.
The outbreak of COVID-19 added fuel to the fire to the industry challenges, compelling OEMs as well as tier players to shut down their operations.
Both, Airbus and Boeing, are shutting down their operations as per the government instructions.
Concurrently, travel restriction or lockdown of major economies are severely denting the business of airlines, which, in turn, are requesting to aircraft OEMs to delay in aircraft deliveries or canceling their aircraft orders.
Similarly, the outbreak of COVID-19 further aggravated the concerns of the automotive and oil & gas industries.
However, the market fundamentals of most of the major end-use industries, such as A&D, where metal bellows are used, are strong and will help the industry to bounce back from this depression market environment.
Today, the world is skeptical about the possible loss due to COVID-19.
The virus is rapidly spreading across regions and jeopardizing the economic growth of the major economies.
Currently, lockdown is only a tactical method for fading its rapid spread.
All the major economies have already announced lockdown and shutdown of the manufacturing facilities, ready to be pushing their economies in a deep recession at the cost of saving their people.
As per the UNCTAD, the COVID-19 outbreak could cost the global economy up to US$ 2 trillion in 2020, causing a recession in some countries.
This will slow down the global economy, the YoY growth estimated to be under 2% this year. The COVID-19 is severely disrupting the supply chain, especially of the automotive, aerospace & defense, and oil & gas industries.
All the major industries have started projecting an initial impact of COVID-19 for 2020. The author’s estimates on the demand for metal bellows for 2020 and 2025 are based on those initial projections coupled, also backed by primary interview results.
The market is segmented based on the material type as titanium alloys, stainless steel alloys, nickel alloys, and others.
Titanium alloys are likely to remain the most dominant material type and are likely to witness the highest growth over the next five years.
Growing composites content in the aerospace industry supported by excellent compatibility of titanium with composites, increasing penetration of lightweight materials, growing usage of titanium alloys in the high-end cars to reduce weight and to gain high strength, and desirable properties of titanium concerning corrosion resistance and thermal expansion are some of the factors behind the superior growth of titanium alloys in the market.
Based on the product type, the market is segmented as edge-welded bellows, mechanically formed bellows, electroformed bellows, and others.
Edge-welded bellow is likely to remain the most dominant product type and is likely to register an excellent CAGR during the forecast period, whereas mechanically formed bellow is likely to remain the second-largest product type over the same period.
Edge-welded bellows are preferred for high-temperature applications, such as aircraft engines, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, oil & gas instruments, and medical device.
Based on the end-use industry, the market is segmented as aerospace & defense, automotive, oil & gas, semiconductor, pharmaceutical, and others.
Aerospace & defense is likely to remain the most dominant segment over the next five years.
Despite a downfall in commercial aircraft deliveries in 2019 and the expected decline in 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the market fundamentals remain strong with Both Boeing and Airbus holding huge order backlogs, translating to more than 8 years of production at the current production level.
Furthermore, the development of fuel-efficient variants (B777x, B737Max, A320neo, and A330neo) and market entry of OEMs (COMAC and Irkut) in the commercial aerospace business further assure a speedy recovery.
In terms of region, Asia-Pacific is projected to remain the largest and fastest-growing market for metal bellows during the forecast period.
The short-term market demand is challenging in the Asia-pacific region with China and South Korea being severely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
For instance, Airbus has temporarily closed its A320 and A330 completion centers of Tianjin, China.
However, the Chinese started showing an early sign of recovery with the reopening of assembly plants by Boeing and Airbus, automotive assembly plants, etc.
North America and Europe are also projected to generate sizeable demand for metal bellows during the forecast period.
The USA is the growth engine of the North American metal bellows market.
The country is the hub for the aerospace industry with the presence of several aircraft OEMs, metal bellow suppliers, and raw material suppliers. Similarly, Germany, France, the UK, and Russia are the major markets in Europe.
The supply chain of this market comprises raw material suppliers, metal bellow manufacturers, tier players, and end-users.
The key players in the market are Senior Plc., Freudenberg Group, EnPro Industries Inc., Witzenmann GmbH, Eaton Corporation Plc, U.S. Bellows, Inc., AESSEAL plc, Smith Group, Meggitt PLC, and MW Industries. Execution of mergers & acquisitions and the formation of collaboration with OEMs for the joint development of metal bellows are some of the strategies adopted by the major players to gain a competitive edge in the market.
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