The European Market for Pneumatic and Hydraulic Equipment

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 1 March 1999




(1999), "The European Market for Pneumatic and Hydraulic Equipment", Assembly Automation, Vol. 19 No. 1.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited

The European Market for Pneumatic and Hydraulic Equipment

The European Market for Pneumatic and Hydraulic Equipment (Report 3491)

Frost & Sullivan's new competitive benchmarking study offers unique insight into hydraulic and pneumatic equipment markets

Keywords Hydraulics, Pneumatics, Survey

A new competitive benchmarking study by Frost & Sullivan, the international marketing consulting company, identifies improved customer service, product innovation and more competitive prices as the key forces driving growth in the European market for hydraulic and pneumatic equipment.

The study gives prominence to the fact that continued R&D into new technologies, products and solutions to existing problems in the hydraulic and pneumatic equipment market is essential for any company that wishes to retain their competitive edge.

According to Maria McFaul, research manager at Frost & Sullivan, the main trends that are fuelling competition in the hydraulic and pneumatic equipment markets encompass improved customer service, increasing standardisation, miniaturisation as well as more competitive prices and stricter quality standards.

"Despite the fact that the hydraulic and pneumatic equipment market is relatively mature, we still predict significant potential and scope for product innovation and improvement in the technologies currently in use", Mrs McFaul continues.

Since the recovery from recessionary forces, both the hydraulics and the pneumatics markets have been characterised by positive revenue growth rates. The total European hydraulic and pneumatic market was worth US$8.34 billion in terms of revenues in 1997.

Driven by sustained demand in the vehicle manufacturing, food and packaging, and chemical industries, the European hydraulics and pneumatics market is expected to reach US$11.46 billion by the year 2004.

Product innovation, especially in the areas of miniaturisation and electronic interfacing, and the need to replace obsolete equipment, represent further factors contributing to a rise in revenues.

The European market for hydraulic and pneumatic equipment is served by a wide variety of competitors. Many large multinational companies operate in the market offering a broad spectrum of products and an established network of subsidiaries and distributors.

A wide variety of more specialised, medium-sized companies are also active in the hydraulics and pneumatics industry. These companies offer a narrower product range and often concentrate their activities on specific regions and/or niche markets.

Mrs McFaul adds: "The hydraulics and pneumatics market is highly competitive and manufacturers are under pressure to offer not only competitive prices, but also a reliable after-sales service, good customer service and the ability to deliver the products as quickly and as reliably as possible".

The largest product sector in the overall hydraulics and pneumatics market, hydraulic pumps and motors, is forecast to retain its leading position throughout the study period. Pneumatic valves and cylinders, which accounted for an estimated 11.7 and 10.0 per cent respectively of total revenues in 1997, are the two fastest growing sectors, with compound annual growth rates of 6.3 per cent and 6.5 per cent respectively.

Standardisation of equipment is anticipated as the need to conform to stringent quality standards will favour more standardised equipment, Frost & Sullivan's study adds: the standardisation process should benefit market growth, at the same time; however, it is expected to lead to fiercer competition, which is forecast to result in price reductions throughout the market.

Increasing miniaturisation of products is expected to continue as smaller-sized equipment provides the benefits of lower prices, easier installation and reduced leakage. Greater demand for smaller and easier-to-install valves is anticipated to continue.

Customers are increasingly demanding equipment from complete systems builders, which can provide them with all the required equipment incorporated in a package. In order to meet this demand, the majority of the larger manufacturers in the market now offer complete systems.

Other issues relating to product development identified in Frost & Sullivan's latest study include continued technological innovation and development, increasingly stringent quality standards and the ability to offer a complete range of products.

For further information contact: Frost & Sullivan Public Relations Department. Tel: +44 (0) 171 915 7824; Fax: (0) +44 171 730 3343;

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