A good indicator of the health of the material handling equipment industry is how much business it's doing with its own component suppliers. Judging by the shipment of power transmission components alone, end users like you have a lot to look forward to when it comes to system performance.

According to a new report from The Freedonia Group, "Material Handling Equipment Market for Industrial Power Transmission Components," demand for industrial power transmission components from material handling equipment manufacturers is projected to increase 8.1 percent annually through 2008 to $170 million. This is above the forecast average pace for the industrial machinery market overall. This growth will be fueled by strength in key material handling equipment end-uses, such as the aerospace and electronics industries.

"These industries are expanding and modernizing their production facilities, often seeking lighter weight, higher accuracy in load accumulation, improved ergonomics and more safety features," the report says. "Safer and more ergonomically designed lift trucks will experience strong demand, as will pneumatic conveyors, which are finding expanding applications."

The material handling equipment segment accounted for nearly 11 percent of the industrial machinery power transmission components market in 2003. Industrial power transmission products are prevalent in many if not most types of material handling equipment. Products such as pulleys and sheaves, which are specifically designed to assist in the movement of large loads, have direct material handling applications. Other applications include oil-shear clutches and brakes for use in conveying equipment and palletizers; heavy-duty clutches and brakes for dock and pier handling equipment; mechanically actuated clutches and brakes used in hoists, industrial trucks and other in-plant vehicles; clutch/brake assemblies for cranes and other material handling systems; electrically actuated brakes for motor control in unit handling applications; fluid couplings for conveyor belt control; and sprockets and chains in conveyor drive systems and other material handling products.

There are also a number of specially designed power transmission products for niche material handling equipment applications. For example, caliper disc brakes for hoists and bridges are used in steel mills.

MATERIAL HANDLING EQUIPMENT MARKET FORINDUSTRIAL POWER TRANSMISSION COMPONENTS
(million dollars)
Item
1993
1998
2003
2008
2013
Material Handling Equipment Market
67
130
115
170
205
% Material Handling Equipment
8.8
10.7
10.6
11.0
11.5
Industrial Machinery Markets
765
1220
1085
1540
1790
Source: The Freedonia Group Inc.

For more information on this report, contact Corinne Gangloff at The Freedonia Group, 440-684-9600, or go to www.freedoniagroup.com.