Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Frost & Sullivan forecasts steady growth for global mechanical seals market

August 13, 2013
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Holding fast against the ongoing economic turmoil, the global mechanical seals market is expected to grow at a steady pace over the long-term across all major end-user industries, according to a new Frost & Sullivan report.

The report also found that continued patronage from the oil and gas, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, together with the expanding base of pumps and compressors in the emerging BRIC economies, will stand the market in good stead.

The report, “Global Mechanical Seals Market,” says that the market earned revenues of approximately $2,691.5 million in 2012 and estimates this to reach $3,558.4 million in 2015.

“Expansion into emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia, China and India is expected to be a major driver of growth in the current economic environment,” said Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation & Process Control program manager Ashwin Annareddy. “With the market in North America and Western Europe reaching maturity levels, the focus is expected to shift to after-sales services and product enhancements.”

Well-established EU norms for energy recycling and efficiency have placed the onus on pump suppliers to consistently introduce novel product features. The EU also has strict guidelines related to fugitive emissions through equipment leaks. In America, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air emission standards require specific work practices for equipment leak detection and repair.

Manufacturers in these regions therefore have to improve product reliability, functionality and lifecycle. Demand in these mature regional markets will be sustained on a platform of innovative design features, improved pump and motor efficiencies, higher price-performance ratio and prompt after-sales service.

One of the key threats to market growth is the increased adoption of seal-less magnetic drive pumps. Oil and gas, chemical and petrochemical industries require mechanical seals to be API 682 standard compliant. However, compliance to this standard requires substantial R&D investment, which regional seal manufacturers are unable to provide.

Increasing customer satisfaction also poses a significant challenge to pump manufacturers. End users now expect not just timely delivery of a high-quality product, but an array of effective services to back their product purchase.

“With mechanical seal reliability being a critical purchase criterion, R&D into different materials of construction, value-based design engineering, on-site system support and value sharing hold the key for effective communication of enhanced value to end users,” said Annareddy. “Overall, manufacturers need to develop a broad product portfolio and strong service backup, while boosting penetration into emerging regions.”

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