The global ball bearing market size is growing with a significant CAGR during the forecast period (2023–2031).
A ball bearing mitigates rotational friction by carrying the load and ensuring smooth operation. A rolling bearing uses balls to retain the separation between bearing races. It consists of bearing rings (an inner and outer ring), a rolling element retainer, and a rolling element. A ball bearing’s function is to connect two machine members moving relative to one another so that the frictional resistance to motion is minimal. The three main parts in a ball bearing are two grooved, ring-like races or tracks and several hardened steel balls. Ceramic ball bearings are expected to witness substantial growth during the forecast period, owing to their ability to prevent electrical arching, reduce maintenance cost, prevent wear and tear from contamination and vibration, and lower operating temperature.
Thus, the demand for bearings is witnessing an upward trend in the manufacturing and heavy machinery industries. An increase in manufacturing output is expected to bolster the ball bearing market. However, value gains in this product will continue to be held back by intense competition from low-cost foreign suppliers.
|Market Size||USD in billion by 2031|
|Fastest Growing Market||Europe|
|Largest Market||North America|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
The railway sector is focusing on reducing costs and improving the durability of rails. In railway gearboxes, bearings are used to mitigate shocks and vibrations caused by force created by the traction motor and wheels rolling on rails. Consequently, harsh operating conditions increase engine maintenance and downtime. Recent advancements in bearings have increased bearing demand in the railway industry. For instance, tapered roller bearings are used to support pinion shafts that require periodic adjustments, and specialized maintenance has been created to reduce maintenance costs and increase cage strength.
Increasing public awareness and demand for electric vehicles have also increased the use of bearings in EVs. Bearings are developed to overcome lean lubrication circumstances, and the bearing size reduction has increased the gearbox's overall efficiency, hence increasing the driving range of EVs. With consumer preference shifting towards electric vehicles, developed countries are striving to reduce dependency on fossil fuels for transportation. Parallel to this, increasing awareness regarding carbon emissions across the globe will help boost the electric vehicle industry.
The ball bearing industry is focusing on the wind energy segment to implement its energy-efficient application. Wind turbines require larger, maintenance-free, high-quality bearings. Wind turbine gearbox bearings are frequently subjected to high rotating speeds and temperature changes. The gearbox of a wind turbine contains a number of bearing configurations. Deep groove ball bearings are mainly used for this application; with a range of internal clearances and materials, these bearings may be customized to accommodate high rotational speeds and temperature changes.
The prices of steel and aluminum have been extremely volatile over the past couple of years. The growing global economic activity has increased the demand for industrial commodities. Changes in trade rules, imbalances in the ecology of supply and demand, fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, heightened geopolitical threats in various regions, etc., have the ability to affect the pricing of steel and aluminum bearings.
Geographically, the ball bearing market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa (LAMEA).
North America is one of the leading ball bearing markets due to its increasing industrialization and technical advancements. In addition, various innovations in the aerospace and automotive industries have increased the region's demand for ball bearings. The increasing rate of passenger car production and commercial vehicles in North America drives the growth of the ball bearing market in the region. In the coming years, the rising demand for electric vehicles is anticipated to increase the demand for ball bearings. By 2025, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy in the United States has enacted legislation to increase fuel efficiency for automotive categories. There is an increase in miles-per-gallon standards for all automotive segments. This issue can be remedied with lighter ball bearings. In addition, OEM distribution channels would grow in the region as a result of improvements and upgrades to production facilities in the United States, consequently raising bearing demand in the region.
Europe is one of the leading producers of automobiles, and the region is anticipated to remain prominent throughout the forecast period. European automakers are also creating bearings for electric vehicles. The automobile industry uses ball bearings extensively to ensure the smooth operation of vehicles. For instance, in the case of steering, bearings provide essential support for the steering unit, which extends from the cabin to the engine compartment. The necessity of ball bearings in automobiles will allow for the steady expansion of this market. Moreover, Europe is home to some of the world's largest automotive businesses, enhancing their goods with next-generation automotive components, which favors this market. Due to the country's utilization of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies, Germany is projected to lead the Europe ball bearings market throughout the forecast period. In addition, numerous end-use sectors, such as food processing, construction, and pharmaceutical, are constantly increasing their demand for efficient bearing solutions, fostering the growth of the market in Germany.
Asia-Pacific is expected to witness significant growth in the ball bearing market due to improving economic conditions and gradually establishing a manufacturing base in rising economies such as China, Indonesia, and India. Installation of several rotating equipment in the manufacturing units of various manufacturing industries is also foreseen to bolster the market. The growth of the automotive market in China will be driven by the country's improving economy and rising incomes, particularly among middle-class buyers. In turn, this will increase the market potential for the bearing industry. China is also the world's largest manufacturer of car bearings at one of the lowest production costs. In India, government measures such as the "Make in India" initiative, which aims to enhance the nation's manufacturing sector, would also benefit the ball bearing market. Automotive component makers are increasing their involvement in India through various investments and the introduction of new products. In addition, the increasing demand for high-performance, lightweight vehicles with improved energy efficiency also contributes to the growth of the bearings market in India and China. In addition, the Chinese government has been pushing domestic car production, which has increased the demand for bearings in the area. In the coming years, the railway & aerospace application of bearings is anticipated to experience substantial growth because of the rising demand for light aircraft and the expansion of railway construction in the region.
The bearing market in Latin America is anticipated to experience moderate growth over the forecast period due to the expansion of the transportation industry and other industrial sectors. In addition, the revolution of the automotive sector and the digitalization of process industries will boost the market during the projection period. Collins Aerospace is expanding its presence in the Middle East and Africa by increasing its investments and creating new relationships in the region; the MEA is one of the fastest-growing markets for the aerospace and defense industry. In addition, the mining industry in the region is expanding fast due to the influx of international capital. The expansion of these industries is increasing the demand for bearings. Consequently, despite the low presence of large companies, the region offers enormous market growth potential for the future.
The global ball bearing market can be segmented on the basis of product, application, and end user.
Based on type, the market is segmented into - deep groove, angular contact, thrust, and self-aligning bearings.
The self-aligning segment is expected to hold a considerable share of the market as these bearings generate less friction than other counterparts, delivering higher speed with less heat. Their outer ring has a spherical raceway whose center of curvature coincides with the bearing's center. Thus, the inner ring, balls, and cage can freely revolve around the bearing's center while preserving alignment. They are ideally suited for applications where misalignment results from installation problems or shaft displacement. Self-aligning ball bearings find extensive applications in various industries, including textile, power machinery, heavy machinery, mining, and others.
Based on end-use, the market is segmented into process industries (general industries, mining, energy, construction, metal, cement, pulp/paper, and defense) and transportation (passenger cars, commercial vehicles, railways, civil aerospace, and others).
In railways, ball bearings are used for wheel axles, drive units, and traction motors. In particular, deep groove ball bearings are a durable solution for railway applications. The expanding railway industry and associated maintenance activities are expected to upsurge the demand for ball bearings during the forecast period.
Some of the key players in the ball bearing market are