Indian Bearing Industry: High In Demand

Indian Bearing Industry: High In Demand

The Indian Bearing industry has grown steadily over the past few years. The industrial segment has evolved rapidly since the time of industrial revolution and is regarded as the main hub of modern machineries. The bearing industry plays a crucial role in the automotive sector. The increase in the demand for high-speed engines & machineries, spanning over a large section of industry, has created a fresh challenge for the bearing industry. Today, there are several large and medium units which together manufacture over 100 million bearings every year in India. The manufacturing of innovative, durable, reliable products has led to the revolution in the bearing industry. The bearing industry has evolved significantly due to the expansion of production units in India.

The India bearing industry manufactures over 500 varieties of bearings. Considering this figure, the industry has a lot of scope for growth and development. The current Indian bearing industry is worth Rs.3,500 crores. In this, automotive segment accounts for 45% of the revenues, which amounts to Rs.1,350 crores and the remaining 55% is influenced by other industries through imports.

Considering the growth of automotive industry as well as other industries, India has a lot of potential to expand its business. The industry is expected to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years.

Due to high demand of commercial vehicles and two wheelers in India, the automotive sector is here to play an important role for the bearing industry. A wide range of bearings is used in the automotive industry for truck, tractors, commercial vehicles etc., which has added new dimension to its growth.

Globally speaking, China continues to manufacture low-priced bearings and replacing them with lucrative and reliable bearings. Indian manufacturers are facing a serious threat as this affects their growth and market share.

To overcome the quality imbalance, Indian manufacturers are investing more and more in research and development and adopting innovative technologies to increase the life of their bearings. They are constantly on a look out to manufacture reliable and economical bearings keeping in mind the current market scenario.

The growth of bearing industries in India has been stupendous since it made its foray in late 40s with small and standard bearings. At present, the India industry manufactures small and medium bearings mainly in five categories: ball bearings, cylindrical roller bearings, taper roller bearings, spherical roller bearings and needle roller bearings. The bearings are manufactured taking into consideration the designs and specifications needed by various industries.

The automotive bearing industry showed a steady growth of 27% in the year 2006. The anticipated growth rate was possible because of production of commercial vehicles in the automotive sector. Since 2004, the overall automotive industry has grown at the rate of 34% per annum. The bearing manufacturing is directly related to innovations in machine tools, process technology and use of highly reliable materials.

There has been an increase in the demand of automotive bearings in India but its rate of growth has been much sluggish as compared to the automobile industry. The bearing manufacturers are expecting a sustained growth of 15% mainly due to the rise in the number of two wheelers, passenger cars and utility vehicles.

However, commendable efforts have been made by some manufacturers to design and develop bearings, particularly large diameter ball and roller bearings to suit specific customer requirements.
The major applications areas are as follows:
  • Automobiles
  • Railways
  • Electrical Motors
  • Electrical Fans
  • Diesel Engines
  • Pumps
  • Machine Tools
  • Textile machinery and
  • Other heavy industries such as steel plants, sugar plants, process plants, heavy engineering industries, heavy earth moving equipment, cement plants, power generation units, etc.
The use of bearings depends upon the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Market and Replacement Market. The OEM market accounts for 60% of the total demand in the bearing industry; its influence is surely a significant one. The OEM market represents the demand arising out of the original vehicle and industrial manufactures.

The replacement market represents the demand arising on account of replacing the used and worn-out bearings. Replacement market accounts for 40% of total demand for the bearing industry. In the replacement market, the bulk of the demand comes from the industrial segment, including heavy engineering, textile machinery and consumer durables. They offer products that are relatively low-priced by seeking exemption from levies such as excise duty and sales tax.

The future of bearing industry in India is bright, especially in view of fresh investments in small car segment. After Tata announced its low-budget Nano, now Bajaj-Renault-Nissan have come together to launch its UL by 2011. Moreover, India is also poised to emerge as the fourth-largest light vehicle market in the world by 2014. These factors are sure to give further boost to automotive bearing industry.
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