Total demand for welding equipment and consumables is forecast to increase 6.4 percent annually to $7.1 billion in 2015. Gains in this market will be driven by continued recovery from economic recession experienced between late 2007 and 2009 in major manufacturing and construction markets. Growth will also be fueled by the increasing applications to which various types of welding can be applied. Although arc, resistance and oxyfuel welding dominate the market, emergent welding technologies such as electron beam, friction-stir, laser, ultrasonic and other welding methods have opened new markets and applications in industries such as aerospace, electronics, packaging and others. Although the most popular welding methods are used in mature market segments, and their demand is subject to the cyclical (and seasonal, in the case of construction) nature of individual markets, the diversity of welding applications mitigates the effects of cyclicality in any single consuming sector.
The welding equipment segment is dominated by arc and resistance welding systems, which accounted for a combined 42 percent of equipment demand in 2010. These will remain the dominant welding techniques through the forecast period, in part due to their successful integration with modern automation techniques that improve weld deposit rates and alleviate the shortage of skilled welders.
Welding consumables include electrodes, filler metal and industrial welding gases used in oxyfuel welding applications and shielding gases used primarily in arc welding applications. Consumption of these products is dependent on the amount of oxyfuel and arc welding activity, although arc welding is the dominant market driver. Demand for consumables, which will benefit from the economic recovery and the ubiquity of arc welding processes, will increase 6.3 percent annually and approach $2.2 billion in 2015.
Welding electrodes and filler metal dominate the consumables category, typically accounting for 69 percent of the total; oxyfuel and shielding gases account for the rest. Solid wire electrodes are the largest product category for electrodes and filler metal, although flux- and metalcored electrodes are the most rapidly growing products. Among the gases, oxygen and acetylene are dominant in metal joining and cutting applications. Argon is by far the dominant shielding gas, followed by carbon dioxide.
The manufacturing sector comprises the largest market for welding products, having accounted for 63 percent of consumption in 2010. Within manufacturing, fabricated metal products and transportation equipment are the largest consuming segments, recovery in which will help drive gains in consumption to $4.4 billion in 2015. The consumption of welding products by the construction industry will grow the fastest of any enduse industry. Based on recovery from a severe slowdown in 2008 and 2009 revitalized construction of structures, pipelines and civic projects will drive demand to $750 million in 2015, or nearly 11 percent of the market.
This new Freedonia industry study, Welding Equipment & Consumables, presents historical demand data (2000, 2005 and 2010) plus forecasts for 2015 and 2020 by product and market. The study also considers key market environment factors, reviews technology, assesses industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles competitors in the US industry.
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