The global precision gearbox market size is expected to reach a valuation of USD 4,042 million by 2030 growing at a CAGR of 8% during the forecast period (2022–2030). A precision gearbox is a mechanical device extensively employed to provide greater tolerance than standard gearboxes. These devices are machined to have more than 90% efficiency by varying the torque and changing the speed within specific limitations. Their use helps save space because they feature compact component architectures and are made up of two or more gears.
They work with low-frequency vibrations and are appropriate for low-speed operations. As a result, the precision gearbox is employed in various industries like robotics, medical, machine tools, material handling, and many more.
The use of automation technology across the manufacturing process is projected to increase demand for robot installation. Robotics are increasingly being used in industrial operations, allowing humans to focus more on cognitively challenging projects, reduce dangers associated with dangerous tasks, lower operational costs, and enhance quality.
According to an article published by the International Federation of Robotics in August 2020, by 2022, 4 million industrial robots will be operational in companies all over the world. Furthermore, governments and businesses worldwide are working on developing the necessary skills to operate with robots and intelligent automation systems. Policies and initiatives that encourage the employment of robots are critical in hastening the automation transition.
Robotics is becoming more common in industrial environments, allowing businesses to use the technology in various industries and stages of production. Many user-friendly and intuitive manufacturers are also installing and upgrading robots and automation technology. The demand for robots in industrial applications is expected to rise due to this. Likewise, labor is becoming increasingly expensive, and a shortage of skills among humans is driving the demand for robots.
Robots are capable of undertaking activities that are potentially hazardous to people and completing repetitive operations rapidly and consistently. In traditional articulated arm robotics, precision gearboxes are increasingly used to transfer rotational forces between axles. The gearboxes used in robotics are part of the robot arms' joints. The gearboxes control the motion's speed and direction. These precision gearboxes link the motor, which provides the driving energy, and the machine component responsible for carrying out the movement.
As a result, the global evolution of the robotics sector is expected to result in increased use of precision gearboxes, driving market growth over the forecast period.
Precision gearboxes are increasingly used to finish processes in major industries such as cement, sugar, paper, and rubber. Gearbox manufacturers concentrate on developing technologically advanced machinery that assists organizations in saving energy costs and efficiently completing industrial processes. Industrial gearboxes are becoming more popular in high-powered transmission systems and equipment because they are more efficient.
When fitted to the motor output shaft, precise gearboxes provide a mechanical advantage. Secondly, gearheads are also known as gear reducers; this speed reduction enhances system performance because many motors do not work efficiently at low RPMs. Further, a gearbox assists in matching motor and load inertia, resulting in a more responsive system.
Because smaller motors and drives are used, gearboxes multiply torque, match inertia and reduce speed to reduce system costs. In addition, in-line gearboxes are widely adopted for motion control applications since they have a higher torque output and less backlash than right-angle gearboxes.
For example, products that can endure temperature extremes and rigorous washdowns are required in the food-processing industry. Integrated gear motors are increasingly used to avoid the water and food-trapping motor gearhead seam. The developing benefits of gearboxes in various sectors such as food and beverage, material handling, packaging, robotics, machine tools, medical, and others are expected to drive the precision gearbox market forward.
Instead of a motor/gearbox combo, a direct-drive actuator is a motor. Removing the gearbox has several advantages, including reduced cost and complexity. Similarly, because there are no gears, there is no backlash. However, the device requires a motor to produce enough native torque at a reasonable speed.
Back-drivability of direct-drive actuators is advantageous in collaborative robots that must be moved and positioned by humans. However, the direct-drive actuators' impact tolerance makes them excellent for walking robots, as the impact from walking can harm the gears—the total deletion of the gearbox results in a lighter and less expensive system. The use of direct-drive actuators rather than gearboxes reduces costs by nearly half.
The demand for direct-drive actuators in robotics for industrial and non-factory applications is increasing due to benefits such as minimum system complexity, cost efficiency, and reduced maintenance service requirements. Also, new features such as amplified magnetics, structural-magnetic synergy, and thermodynamic anomaly are implemented in the actuators, allowing the mechanical design to work without gears.
As a result of removing the gearbox and continued development of direct-drive actuator systems, the product is expected to improve machine performance and gain high demand. This is anticipated to limit the growth of the precision gearbox market.
The future of the precision gearbox market appears bright as the industry matures and adds new features and functionalities to its core. According to the latest trends, precision gearbox manufacturers concentrate more on torque, power delivery, and transmission, making the entire process seamless and straightforward.
The relevance of automated assembly and the usage of the precision gearbox is not questioned as the market works on aspects encircling industry 4.0; autonomous robots, simulation, system integration, internet of things, augmented reality, and so on. The primary foundation of the industrial revolution 4.0 is material handling equipment and its digitization.
As a result, increased research and development investments in the global market to innovate and design products per Industry 4.0 standards will likely provide attractive growth prospects for significant companies and help them gain dominance by creating a robust product portfolio.
The Covid-19 pandemic had an adverse impact on the market. Governments worldwide have imposed lockdowns and limitations on travel and logistics due to the outbreak. The temporary stoppage of production operations has hit the demand for the precision gearbox. After causing significant damage to the market's supply chain and demand order in the first half of 2020, the market has exploded in the second half.
This inverted dynamic results from the high demand for precision, which comprises precision transmission, precision clutch, and precision motor, to digitize diverse sectors' industrial areas. Its application in robotics and automation, vehicle transmission design, and the rapid expansion of the automobile industry have all raised its market demand.
The post-pandemic phase will be significant for the global precision gearbox market. The recovery can be hindered by supply chain disruptions, which will affect the market dynamics and the prices of the product. Furthermore, unfavorable financial conditions and ascended expenses due to distribution and transportation capabilities restrictions will challenge the global market. Also, limited production, support operations, labor shortages, and constraints for other end-user sectors, suppliers, and vendors may fail to meet the consumer demand. Overall, the recovery will be challenging for the global precision gear market.
The global precision gearbox market share has been classified based on the product, application, and regions.
The precision gearbox market has been segmented into harmonic, cycloidal, and planetary based on product. The planetary segment is expected to dominate the global market, and it is projected to reach USD 3,434 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 8% during the forecast period. Planetary precision gearboxes are small yet extremely powerful because of their rolling power. Also, the load can be dispersed throughout the planet's gears. These planetary gears also create a little backlash and have a high torque-to-weight ratio. Thus, its adoption mainly in robotics is likely to drive the market over the forecast period.
The precision gearbox market has been segmented into military & aerospace, food, beverage & tobacco, machine tools, material handling, packaging, robotics, medical, and others, based on application. The robotics segment is expected to dominate the global market, and it is projected to reach USD 1,006 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 9% during the forecast period.
The robotics industry is the primary user of precision gearboxes, and it is expected to increase in the near future. This is due to the growing usage of humanoid artificial joints and limbs and manufacturing robots that rely on precision gearboxes to balance and achieve extremely exact movements for various services and industrial tasks. Precision gearboxes are often used in the robotics industry since precise positioning is critical in this industry, and precision gearboxes offer that.
Thus, the precision gearbox market growth is likely to be supported by the development of the robotics segment.
The global precision gearbox market share has been segregated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Central, and South America, the Middle East, and Africa.
With a market value of USD 3,777 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 10%, Asia-Pacific is expected to be the largest market for the precision gearbox. Due to the region's rapidly growing manufacturing industry, which is shifting its focus to higher accuracy and lower operating costs, precision gear is in high demand. China and India, for example, are among the region's growing economies. Precision gearboxes are in increased demand in these locations due to a rapidly growing manufacturing industry that focuses on higher precision and reduced operating costs.
Demand for packaging, material handling, and machine tools is expected to rise as automation expenditure rises with the industrial sector's growth. Precision gearboxes are in high demand because of this. A crucial supply-influencing factor will be increased investment in regional manufacturing.
With an expected market value of USD 827 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 7%, Europe is expected to be the second-largest market for the precision gearbox. The adoption of automation technologies by prominent players in industries such as food & beverages, aerospace, military, and machine tools in established European countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy is likely to drive the market in Europe.
Precision gearboxes are commonly used to replace industrial gearboxes in the region due to their capacity to perform repetitive jobs with more uniformity and precision. Rapid growth in the packaging and packaging machinery industries in the United Kingdom and Italy is likely to open up new market opportunities in the future years. Packaging machinery from Italy and the United Kingdom is exported to the United States, Brazil, Australia, and other European Union countries.