MRO Magazine

Belt and pulley manufacturers continue to succeed in a competitive and mature market

Palo Alto, CA -- Competing within a very mature, very competitive market such as the industrial power transmission ...


Palo Alto, CA — Competing within a very mature, very competitive market such as the industrial power transmission market is not an easy task. Studies on this market indicate that the majority of the top five manufacturers within this market are only separated by less than 10% to 15% of the market share.

Also comparatively, data collected over the past 150 years indicates a vast reduction of the total market size. Therefore, while having a high-quality product is important, the availability to maintain customer relations and to go the extra mile for the customers is critical.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, North American Belt Drive Markets, finds the market earned revenues of over US$1,012.4 million in 2006 and estimates this to reach US$1,310.4 million in 2013.

“Rising raw material costs, encompassed with the flood of low-cost belts from the Asian markets, has dramatically affected the North American power transmission market,” says Frost & Sullivan research analyst Clint Adamkavicius. “Therefore, while having a high quality product is important, the ability to maintain customer relations and to go the extra mile for the customers is crucial within this ever-changing market.”

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Some technological advances, such as changes in polymer formations and overall design, along with the development of superior abrasion-free and dust-free belts with longer lives, helps accelerate market presence. As products become cost effective, there is a correlated spurt in growth.

As products become more cost effective, the market turns to some distinct factors that influence the acceptance of products. These factors are price, quality, delivery, and efficiency of the transmission drive, as well as the maintenance and effectiveness of the company’s distribution network.

“The industrial power transmission market is a very competitive realm and the glut of inexpensive, foreign-made belts and pulleys can perplex customers,” notes Adamkavicius. “Companies fully comprehend the need to retain existing clients and are going the extra mile to provide value-added services to improve overall customer satisfaction.”

Developments like e-commerce significantly influence business procedures in this segment, offering benefits such as a host of online tool sets and customer services. Customers receive assistance in choosing products to suit specific applications. Further, the formation of one-stop shopping distribution warehouses enables manufacturers to offer an expansive selection of belts and components from the same vertical market.

This intense competition gives rise to a highly price-sensitive environment, where large-to-small players compete to capture vital market share. A series of alliances, mergers, and acquisitions by larger manufacturers gives them a distinct advantage as they could offer a wider range of products and establish a better network of distributors. Smaller participants must explore niche market options to reinvigorate their businesses.

North American Belt Drive Markets is part of the Industrial Automation & Process Control Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following markets: hydraulics market, chain drive market, and water/wastewater transfer systems market. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. For more information about Frost & Sullivan’s Growth Partnerships, visit www.frost.com.