The global Precision Ball Screw Market size was valued at USD 1,823 million in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 2,852 million by 2031, growing with a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Precision ball screws are mechanical devices that convert rotational motion to linear motion. In terms of accuracy, precision, and efficiency, it outperforms traditional acme lead screws. It has a high efficiency in motion transfer (more than 90%) because it converts sliding friction to rolling friction. Precision ball screws are widely used in the semiconductor, medical device, and aerospace industries because of their high load-bearing capacity, positional accuracy, and repeatability. Furthermore, it allows for cost and weight savings in the overall design of a mechanical system.
Growth in the semiconductor, aviation & aerospace, and healthcare industries are expected to generate possibilities for market participants. However, fluctuations in raw material costs, such as steel and iron, impact producer profitability, limiting the expansion of the precision ball screw market. Furthermore, the increased need for robotics, particularly surgical robots and aerospace equipment, is likely to provide prospects for precision ball screws.
Precision ball screws are increasingly being adopted in the aviation and aerospace industry, owing to their reliability in providing linear motion. For instance, precision ball screws are used in flap actuators of aircraft to efficiently control the movement of wings and tail. It is also used in actuators for braking systems, motion sensors, and steering systems of space crafts & aircraft. These applications make precision ball screws an indispensable component for the conversion of rotary motion to linear motion in the aviation and aerospace industry. Further, the aviation & aerospace industry has shown significant growth in the past, and it is expected to grow significantly in the future. For instance, in September 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which comes under the US Department of Transportation, released a report according to which international revenue passenger miles (RPMs) are expected to grow by 2.3% annually from 2020 to 2040. This is expected to accelerate the precision ball screw market during the forecast period.
Precision ball screws are extensively used in the semiconductor industry for applications such as semiconductor wafer transport systems and actuators. In addition, high-precision ball screws are used in steppers, which are used for manufacturing of ICs (Integrated Circuits). Further, there has been significant growth in the industry in the recent past, and it is projected to grow significantly in the future. For instance, according to data published in July 2020 by SIA (Semiconductor Industry Association) based in the US on worldwide sales of semiconductors, there was an increase of 5.8% in semiconductor sales from May 2019 to May 2020. Furthermore, according to a report published by World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) in June 2020, the semiconductor industry is anticipated to register a growth of 6.2%. These scenarios are expected to boost the growth of the precision ball screw market during the forecast period.
Precision ball screws are generally made up of carbon steel, alloy steel, and stainless steel. The steel price often fluctuates owing to different government taxes and demand and supply. In addition, fluctuations in foreign currencies affect the price of steel, which impacts the profit margin of suppliers. For instance, in February 2020, the ministry of steel of the Indian government released a report. As per the report in February 2020, steel exports of India declined by 17.8% compared to January 2020, owing to a hike in domestic prices. These kinds of scenarios are expected to restrain the market growth during the forecast period.
International Organization for Standardization and Deutsches Institut für Normung have imposed accuracy standards for precision ball screws for positional and transport applications. Lead accuracy is of utmost importance in the medical field. This has created opportunities for players in the precision ball screw market to develop precision ball screws of high lead accuracy. For instance, MPS Microsystems, based in Germany, offers a range of high-precision ball screws for positioning less than 5 µm. In addition, technological advancements such as industrial robots, 3D printing, and factory automation also create opportunities for innovations in precision ball screw products, which will accelerate the growth of the market during the forecast period.
The global precision ball screw market is segmented into type and application.
Depending on the type, the market is divided into ground precision ball screws and rolled precision ball screws.
The ground precision ball screw has the largest market share and is growing with a CAGR of 5.6%. They are manufactured by abrasion process, which is executed on a material blank by rotating it longitudinally between two machining centers, which consist of hard abrasive cutters. Ground precision ball screws are used where high precision and accuracy are required, such as in robotic surgery, medical equipment, and aerospace applications. Ground precision ball screws are increasingly being adopted in aerospace, advanced medical equipment, and robotic surgeries owing to their high precision and high positional accuracy. Growth in aerospace and diagnosis equipment industries is expected to push the demand for ground precision ball screws during the forecast period. Moreover, growth in investments in the aerospace industry drives market growth.
On the basis of application, it is categorized into the semiconductor, medical, laboratory, and others.
The semiconductor application segment dominates the market and is growing with a CAGR of 6.4%. Precision ball screw is used for linear motion in semiconductor equipment such as printed circuit board (PCB) and integrated circuits (IC) manufacturing machines, circuit board plotters, PCB Milling machines, dicing machines, panel prober table units, glass substrate conveyor equipment, and glass edge polishing units. The rise in the adoption of precision ball screws in semiconductor manufacturing equipment can be attributed to features such as positional accuracy, reliability, and high precision. Furthermore, the growth of the semiconductor industry is anticipated to accelerate the market growth during the forecast period.
The global market for precision ball screws is divided into four regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Europe, and LAMEA.
Asia Pacific dominates the market and is growing with a CAGR of 5.5%. Asia-Pacific countries such as India, China, Vietnam, and Indonesia are experiencing rapid industrialization, which is fueling market expansion. For example, in July 2018, the Indian government announced the establishment of a special economic zone in Telangana state for aerospace and precision engineering in Hyderabad. Similarly, the Chinese government announced a plan called "Made in China 2025," in which the government set a goal of reaching $ 305 billion in semiconductor industry output by 2030. The government of India is taking strong initiatives to transform the Indian economy. Plans such as Make in India have majorly contributed to the growth of semiconductor fabrication plants in the country. Such factors are expected to accelerate the growth of the precision ball screw market.
The North American market for precision ball screws is growing with a CAGR of 4.2%. There is a rise in demand for precision ball screws in North America attributed to the growth of the semiconductor, medical device, and aerospace industries. The US witnessed a noticeable increase in research and development activities in its aerospace industry. Furthermore, many manufacturers offer a wide range of precision ball screws to sustain intense competition and improve their product portfolio. For instance, HIWIN Corporation offers precision ball screw series, namely, FSV, FSW, FDV, FDW, FSI, and RSI, for medical devices and other machinery. Such factors are expected to drive the growth of the precision ball screw market in the region during the forecast period.
The aerospace and medical devices industries are witnessing significant growth in Europe. Moreover, growth in the European semiconductor industry offers lucrative growth opportunities for manufacturers of precision ball screws. The aerospace sector has been experiencing significant growth in Europe over the past few years. For instance, in January 2020, under the Harpia program, the government of Poland signed a procurement contract of $ 4.6 billion to purchase 32 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II combat aircraft. This is expected to boost the aerospace sector in Poland, which, in turn, would boost the growth of the European market during the forecast period.
Latin America is witnessing growth in foreign trade owing to industrialization, which drives the demand for precision ball screws. Moreover, Middle Eastern countries are witnessing a rise in the adoption of technological advancements such as industrial automation, IoT, and robotics. As precision ball screws are indispensable components for robotic equipment, the aforementioned factors are anticipated to drive the market's growth. Furthermore, Africa is witnessing industrialization as it has become the new investment avenue for global investors and multinational manufacturing companies. In March 2018, the African Union launched the African Continental Free Trade Area, one of the largest free trade areas, which aims to unlock manufacturing potential and facilitate industrialization to drive sustainable growth and jobs in Africa. Such factors are projected to drive the growth of the precision ball screw market in the region.
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