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Demand for industrial fasteners to reach $14.8 billion in US in 2017

Cleveland, ON – Demand for industrial fasteners in the United States is expected to increase 4.3% per year to $14.8 billion in 2017. Gains will be supported by rebounding levels of motor vehicle manufacturing, a segment that makes up...


Cleveland, ON – Demand for industrial fasteners in the United States is expected to increase 4.3% per year to $14.8 billion in 2017. Gains will be supported by rebounding levels of motor vehicle manufacturing, a segment that makes up roughly one-quarter of all fastener demand. The fastest growth in fastener sales will be found in the construction market, as construction activity – both residential and non-residential – makes a strong recovery from the declines posted during the 2007-2012 period.

These and other trends are presented in Industrial Fasteners, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

The original equipment manufacturing market (OEM) for industrial fasteners will outpace growth in the maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) market, as US manufacturing output continues to recover from the 2007-2009 recession.

Machinery and aerospace equipment shipments are forecast to expand at improved rates. US fabricated metal product output will rise, and the ongoing trend of ‘reshoring’ in a range of industries will support increases in fastener demand.

While production gains in the motor vehicle segment will bolster fastener sales through 2017, ongoing trends in the industry toward vehicles designed with fewer fasteners in order to reduce costs and weight will temper demand. Growth in fastener sales in MRO applications will improve from the performance registered during the 2007 to 2012 period, as fixed investment rises and fastener-containing equipment sees more use with expanding production.

Competition from alternative joining technologies, such as adhesives, clinching, and welding, will prevent further gains in a number of applications. Moreover, fasteners are a mature product; while opportunities for value-added technological improvements certainly exist, they tend to be limited in many markets.

Growth in demand for standard fasteners is forecast to outpace that for aerospace-grade products through 2017. This will be a result of standard fasteners’ heavy use in the OEM and construction markets.

Externally threaded standard fasteners will remain the largest single product category, posting the fastest gains, along with application-specific products. Demand for aerospace-grade fasteners will improve from the growth registered during the 2007-2012 period, as aerospace equipment shipments accelerate.

Manufacturers serving this market will need to continue adjusting to the growing use of composites in aircraft manufacturing. Composite designs often require fewer fasteners, but provide opportunities for sales of higher value fastening products designed specifically for use with composites.

Industrial Fasteners (published 10/2013, 260 pages) is available for US$5,100 from The Freedonia Group Inc. at www.freedoniagroup.com.