The accumulator market was valued at USD 472.46 million in 2019 and is expected to grow with a CAGR of 3.9%.
An accumulator also known as compressed gas accumulators or accumulator or hydro-pneumatic accumulators is a pressure storage reservoir, where a non-compressible hydraulic fluid is held under pressure that is applied by an external source of mechanical energy. In traditional accumulators, the external source can be spring and weight. The compressed gas is used to generate pressure in the accumulator.
An accumulator enables a hydraulic system to cope with extreme energy demands using a less powerful pump. Since these accumulators contain a fluid under pressure and a compressible gas, which exerts pressure, the system under these accumulators should be in equilibrium. A separating system is provided between the gas and the liquid to maintain this equilibrium and keep maximum pressure inside these accumulators.
The piston segment dominates the accumulator market during the forecast period. In the piston accumulator, gas and fluid are separated by a lightweight floating piston. The system is charged by a compressible gas, usually Nitrogen. Unlike the bladder accumulators, the piston accumulators are highly customizable and can offer larger volumes, higher pressures, and temperatures. Large-bore piston accumulators are widely used in applications involving massive energy and can maintain a working pressure of around 10,000 PSI. In line with this, the market is witnessing a high demand for these piston accumulators in the cranes, mobile construction machinery, and loading station applications. However, the piston accumulator can cost double the bladder accumulator, which may hamper its adoption and boost the adoption of other affordable alternatives.
The construction and agriculture segments hold the largest market shares. In the construction machinery, accumulators are used in excavators, loaders, dumpers, cranes, forklifts, and bulldozers. As these machines are largely used to lift heavy material and equipment, they require high energy that is immediately available, which makes the accumulators the material of choice. Since the parts in these machines go through continuous compression and rarefaction, there is an urgent need to keep the machinery parts safe from the uneven stress and shocks.
The accumulator helps in smoothening of pump pulsations and weight equalization, which is why it is used t boom suspension or ride control systems. In addition to this, the importance of proper maintenance and safety of the machinery among the builders has compelled them to use the devices that allow them to increase the ease and operability of these machines. This demand is met by accumulators, which are also available at optimized cost.
In the agriculture industry, these accumulators provide smoother and more economical operation of hydraulic systems in the seeding machinery. Since it is essential that the seeder tynes of these machines follow the terrain closely and be able to rise abruptly in case of obstacles like stones, to avoid being damaged. These abrupt rises and descend of the tynes is done by the compression and expansion of gas, respectively. Piston and diaphragm accumulators are the most widely used accumulators in the agriculture machinery.
Asia-Pacific dominates the accumulators market, while North America has emerged as the second-largest market during the forecast period 2023–2031. North America held a 26.23% share of the accumulator market in 2019 and is expected to grow with a CAGR of 3.3% on account of the increasing shale gas operations and rising drilling and well intervention activities, especially in the U.S. and Canada, which produce around 17.94 and 5.38 million barrels of oil per day, respectively.
As per the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the U.S. became the largest producer of crude in 2018, by contributing around 18% of global production. Moreover, the automotive industry is rapidly shifting towards hybrid and electric vehicles, owing to the increasing concern regarding climate change. This is likely to boost the demand for piston and diaphragm accumulators further.
Apart from the Asia-Pacific and North America, Latin America is likely to witness substantial growth for accumulators and is expected to grow with a CAGR of 3.9%. The regional market is largely driven by Brazil, Argentina, and Chile due to the rapidly expanding marine industry in these countries. The region is also known for merchant shipbuilding facilities and large export industry. Moreover, it is one of the largest exporters of food and beverages, such as meat and chicken, from the East Coast and fruit from the West Coast. It contributes significantly to the regional GDP, making marine as one of the most important industries for the region.
The increase in the oil and gas exploration and production process has flourished the regional floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) market, which is further led by Brazil. In November 2019, Petrobras began the oil and gas production in the pre-salt Santos Basin offshore Brazil by operating a P-68 floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO), along with its consortium members, which include Royal Dutch Shell, Total S.A., and Petrosal Brasil.
The Middle East market is primarily driven by the presence of a large number of oil fields. Saudi Arabia — the second-largest producer of oil in the world — produced around 12.42 million barrels of oil per day in 2018. The presence of leading players, such as Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest integrated oil and gas company, adds to the growth of the industry. The industry demands an advanced pipeline and drilling equipment, which is further likely to add to the regional growth of the accumulator market.
Africa, on the other hand, is witnessing significant growth in the construction sector, among which the transportation and real estate industries are leading the market. Additionally, improving disposable income of the individuals, budding urbanization, and growing construction activities in the residential and non-residential sectors in the region are adding fuel to the overall demand for accumulators.
Parker-Hannifin Corporation is one of the leading companies in the accumulator market that focuses on new product launches and costs to offer better quality products at competitive prices. For instance, in March 2019, the company announced an addition to the current EHV series with a new bladder accumulator at a global level. Additionally, the company has partnered with numerous raw material suppliers for uninterrupted supply and quantities enough to meet the requirements. Additionally, it operates through 336 manufacturing locations, and most of them are company-owned, whereas leased properties are consisting of distribution centers and administrative offices across several countries.
Bosch Rexroth AG is another one of the leading companies in the accumulator market, which primarily focuses on expanding geographical presence by appointing new sales partners and adopting the sales network of the acquired companies. It has a strong presence in Europe and Asia; however, African countries represent several future business opportunities for the company. In February 2018, Bosch Rexroth AG acquired Hytec Holdings (Pty.) Ltd., a leading player in specializing in the sales and marketing of hydraulic and automation solutions. Hytec Holdings (Pty.) Ltd. has around 40 branch operations in South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zambia, among others. This acquisition is likely to aid the company to expand its presence in sub-Saharan Africa.
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