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Gearbox and geared motor sales surge by 69%

10 October, 2012

Sales of precision gearboxes and geared motors were 69% higher in 2011 than in 2009 because of an increase in manufacturing output during 2010 and 2011. A new report from IMS Research predicts further growth in sales of these products, but expects precision gearbox sales to slow down during the period to 2016.

Demand for precision boxes surged as machine tool and industrial robot sales exceeded expectations in 2010 and 2011. The main drivers for this surge were a pent-up demand for machine tools, and renewed investment in industrial robots for new automotive production lines in the wake of the global recession.

Although precision planetary gearboxes accounted for most of the 69% increase in shipments from 2009 to 2011, sales of precision geared motors and right-angle gearboxes also recovered to pre-recession levels as a result of increased manufacturing output in North America and Asia.

“There are two reasons behind the strong growth in sales of precision gearboxes and geared motors,” explains IMS analyst Bryan Turnbough, “one being that demand for precision geared products continues to be more niche than standard industrial geared products, which allows for greater volatility in the precision geared products market. The other is that the standard geared products are continuing to be replaced by precision geared products in greater numbers due to growing demand for higher torque densities and precision.”
IMS expects revenues from precision geared products to grow by an average of 6.7% a year from 2011 to 2016. With machine tool and industrial robot sales slowing and the lingering weakness in the global economy, it expects sales of precision geared products to slow between 2012 and 2016.

Overcapacity resulting from the rapid increase in investments in new production facilities amid slow economic growth is also expected to be a factor in the slowdown of precision geared product sales. The markets for precision geared products sold into the machine tools and robotics markets are forecast to be the slowest growing areas, with CAGRs of 5.9% and 3.2% from 2011 to 2016.

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