Canadian Manufacturing

Digital shift and IIoT inch the global fluid power market toward recovery

Widespread stagnation of industrial activities subdued the demand outlook for fluid power equipment, says Frost & Sullivan

February 9, 2021  by CM Staff

Frost & Sullivan

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, 2020 Global Fluid Power Outlook, finds that the adoption of digital technologies and industrial internet of things (IIoT) will be imperative to lessen the overall impact of COVID-19 on the industry. Due to a growing need for remote monitoring and advanced analytics, participants are likely to shift to virtual field services and programs to meet the industry’s current demands.

“The global fluid power equipment industry is facing a short-term market contraction due to cumulative revenue declines from key end users— aerospace & defense, automotive, oil & gas and other manufacturing industries,” said Anand Gnanamoorthy, Industry Principal at Frost & Sullivan, in a prepared statement. “Shifting current business models by augmenting digital capabilities remains paramount to industry participants. Use of digital technologies and software to enable remote monitoring and field expertise services, as well as to secure new orders through digital marketing, virtual trade shows, etc., can lessen the impact of the current economic crisis in the industry.”

Gnanamoorthy added: “Market participants should assess the integration of electronic systems with fluid-powered equipment to improve the functionality of current product offerings. Similarly, with robots increasingly being used to reduce operational footprint, especially in the food and beverage, automotive and pharmaceutical industries, participants should diversify and expand their product line-up to include robot installations. In the coming years, competition will emerge as an essential component to meet the evolving needs of the fluid power equipment market. The increasing usage of superior digital technologies to offer turnkey solutions demands the establishment of a digital ecosystem.”

For further revenue opportunities, fluid power equipment vendors should explore these strategic recommendations:

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  • Tier I suppliers must gain electronic and software capabilities to meet the evolving demands of the agriculture industry.
  • Suppliers should focus on technology differentiation and hybrid electro-hydraulic systems to aid smart farming practices and capitalize on the rising demand for autonomous farm equipment systems.
  • Market participants should invest in R&D activities to develop advanced actuator and motion control functions for multifunctional robots, including unmanned guided vehicles (UGVs).
  • Companies should explore establishing partnerships or entering into mergers and acquisitions (M&As) with experts in automation and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to develop modular, plug-and-play robots.
  • Vendors should explore in-house additive manufacturing capabilities for faster part replacements, which will decrease lead times and enhance service performance.