Increasing consumer demand and spending are fostering exponential growth in the manufacturing industry. Manufacturers are increasingly relying on automation to enhance their production capacities. The need for quicker movement of materials within manufacturing facilities has paved way for the adoption of conveyor belts. Thus, the conveyor belt market is expected to mirror the manufacturing and associated sectors in terms of growth.
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Trade wars, recession, and developed economies’ inclination toward protectionism have seen fluctuations in manufacturing activities; however, financial bailouts and the emerging middle class in developing economies are expected to offset the adverse impact, bolstering the growth of the conveyor belt market.
The conveyor belt market is pegged to be in between the growth and maturity phases. Industries using conveyor belts carry routine inspections and have trained their staff in maintenance, which has increased the lifespan of conveyor belts to a significant extent. A number of companies operating in the construction, F&B, and mining sectors have set up operating units in developing economies, which are expected to act as tailwinds for market growth in years to come.
Manufacturers are focusing on producing conveyor belts with lower outages due to electrical or mechanical issues. They are likely to extend maintenance and consultancy services to their clients in a bid to maintain their market share and increase client retention.
Innovation drives the conveyor belt market. The expansive applications of conveyor belts across a diverse range of industries demand innovations that cater to evolving needs and provide efficiency enhancements. Conveyor belt manufacturers are investing in new developments to capture larger shares and gain a competitive edge. Direct drive technology, active conveyor belts, and smart conveyor technology are a few such developments providing traction to the market.
Players are exploring the applications of IoT and AI for tracking the movement of goods and materials. Smart conveyor technology is one such product. It comprises a system of carts asynchronously and individually routed along the tracks and leverages advanced motion control technology for real-time programming.
Modern conveyor belts come with a monitoring system that aids the operator in identifying faults on the conveyor system whenever it is subjected to high loads. For instance, ContiTech, a subsidiary of Continental AG, has developed a monitoring system called Conti MultiProtect, which gives a detailed picture of the conveyor belts at any given time without breaking or interrupting the operations.
Consumer preference has been observing a shift from offline to online. Doorstep delivery, attractive discounts, aggressively marketing, and favorable government initiatives drive the growth of e-commerce. In light of the e-commerce sector’s widespread reach, consumer goods manufacturers are partnering with giants such as Amazon to cater to a larger customer base.
Manufacturers have gradually moved from manufacturing one product for a region to manufacturing more consumer-centric products, which is accelerating the demand for these products. Stronger demand has created a need for larger warehouses and more efficient handling equipment such as conveyor belts. The use of taller pallets for goods storage also bolsters the demand for these belts in storage facilities.
Conveyor belts find use in sorting and handling operations across the F&B sector. Thus, the F&B sector’s growth is expected to influence that of the conveyor belt market. The F&B sector has been observing exponential growth in the last few years, primarily due to an emerging middle class, rising disposable income, and the increasing number of cafeterias, restaurants, and food outlets and kiosks in malls.
Today’s fast-paced lifestyle has seen growth in the consumption of bottled water, particularly among millennials. As per the International Bottled Water Association, bottled water consumption grew from 12.8 million gallons in 2016 to 13.7 billion gallons in 2017, marking a considerable increase. The consumption will further increase with urban expansion depleting and polluting freshwater sources, which will provide a fillip to the conveyor belt market.
In construction, conveyor belts are used in sorting, meshing, and transporting materials such as cement, bricks, steel. Infrastructure and city beautification projects are bolstering the construction sector and, in turn, positively influencing the conveyor belt market.
Conveyor belts play a crucial role in material handling across industries, primarily due to their unparalleled speed and efficiency. In the cement industry, they are used for carrying rocks and limestone blocks, provide high impact resistance. They also find use in the steel industry. Thus, the conveyor belt market is expected to trail the growth of the construction and steel markets to some extent.
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Asia-Pacific’s food and beverage, mining, construction, steel, and cement industries drive the regional conveyor belt market. The region has some of the largest reserves of natural resources, such as steel, coal, limestone, gold, and diamonds. Mining and exploration activities bolster the adoption of conveyor belts.
Economic growth and employment opportunities have improved per capita income, leading to an upsurge in the consumption of food, beverage, and consumer goods. The IMF estimates that Asia-Pacific grew 5% during 2018–2019, which underlines the region’s growth potential. Currently, Asia-Pacific accounts for a substantial value share in the global conveyor belt market.