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17 January, 2022

Maturity limits growth of Europe’s belts and chains market

06 June, 2007

The maturity of Europe’s chain and belt drive market, and the absence of advanced technology, are limiting the potential for expansion, and manufacturers are finding it difficult to increase their market shares. This is a key finding of a new report which concludes that retrofitting, maintenance and repairs still offer prospects for expansion.

The report, by Frost & Sullivan, predicts that the European belt and chain drives market will expand slowly from $1,057m last year, to just over $1,100m by 2013.

"Competing for the existing customer base offers the only possibility for growth, apart from the few opportunities to focus on sophisticated technology such as direct drives," explains F&S research analyst, Satheesh Natarajan. "However, manufacturers are experiencing challenges in penetrating and establishing themselves in these niche markets."

Despite the maturity of the market, OEMs are continuing to focus on improving the design and the performance of their products, F&S reports.

According to Natarajan, the market is being driven largely by the end-users’ need for increased accuracy in motion control. Users are also switching to synchronous belt drives to boost their manufacturing efficiencies and productivity, while maintaining low costs. These drives allow better motion control and increase productivity by synchronising different plant functions.

Lower prices for direct drives are making the market more competitive, he suggests. Manufacturers of variable-speed drives are more affected by this restraint than those producing vee- and flat-belt drives.

F&S says that most end-users do not follow manufacturers’ recommended operation and maintenance instructions, thus reducing the lives of their belt and chain drives. This is helping to boost manufacturers’ sales.

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