High efficiency, low cost, and long life of sliding bearings are some of the important factors that are driving the sliding bearing market for railway. Increasing railway infrastructure investments and technological advancements are also some of the key reasons for the growth of this market. The sliding bearing market is projected to reach USD 1,531 million by 2027 from USD 934 million in 2019, at a CAGR of 6.4% during the forecast period.
The sliding bearing market is dominated by a few global players and comprises several regional players. Some of the key players in the sliding bearing market are Schaeffler (Germany), SKF (Sweden), NTN Corporation (Japan), MinebeaMitsumi (Japan), Timken (US), GGB Bearing (US), and THK (Japan). The key strategy adopted by the leading players to gain traction in the said market was innovation and new product development. This strategy accounted for the maximum share of all the developments undertaken by companies in the sliding bearing market for railway from 2014 to 2018. For instance, in February 2019, GGB launched a new line of Tribological Polymer Coatings, TriboShield®, which improves the performance through better friction management in complex sliding surfaces, where traditional bearings cannot operate, leading to energy savings, simpler designs, and lower system costs. In July 2018, NTN developed oil seals with sealing and journal bearings with the short axial length for customers who need to shorten the journal length or are suffering from grease leakage issues with shield plates, contributing to a safer and more comfortable operation.
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Schaeffler (Germany) adopted collaboration and new product development strategies to sustain its position in the sliding bearing market for railway. For instance, in September 2018, Schaeffler and Perpetuum, a remote condition monitoring systems specialist in the rail sector, planned to revolutionize axlebox bearing maintenance by making axlebox bearings available to operators by kilometer or mile and ensuring the achievement of the planned maintenance intervals. Furthermore, Schaeffler introduced GS1-Standard Data Matrix Codes and a 100% rate of return for reconditioned axlebox bearings. This makes it possible to exchange data across companies and makes information available about every individual axlebox bearing and its reconditioning.
SKF (Sweden) adopted gaining supply contracts as a key strategy to gain new business ventures in the global market. For instance, in August 2018, the Moroccan rail operator, ONCF, placed an order with SKF for the delivery of 15,000 railway wheelset bearings over a period of 3 years for both passenger and freight rolling stocks. SKF was chosen because it was the only supplier who could meet the client’s strict technical specifications while being able to deliver ready-certified railway bearings on a lead time of just 3 months. Also, in June 2018, a Portuguese rail maintenance group opted for SKF’s low-maintenance wheelset bearings. It is taking delivery of SKF sealed, pre-greased TBUs (130x220 mm) as a replacement for the existing, similarly dimensioned TRB arrangement in Corail passenger coaches equipped with type Y32 bogies.
Sliding Bearing Market by Railway (Locomotive, Wagon, Coach, DMU, EMU, Light Rail, Metro & High-Speed), Type (Thrust, Radial, Angular Contact & Linear), Application (Engine, Brake, Bogie, Interior & Exterior), Material & Region - Global Forecast to 2027
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