Welding Equipment & Consumables

Growth will be fueled in part by an increasing number of welding applications, such as ultrasonic welding for joining dissimilar materials or the welding of nonferrous metals in aerospace equipment.

US demand to rise 6.4% annually through 2015

Demand in the US for welding equipment and consumables is forecast to increase 6.4 percent annually to $7.1 billion in 2015. Gains will be driven by continued recovery from the economic recession experienced between late 2007 and 2009 in major manufacturing and construction markets. Growth will also be fueled by the increasing number of applications in which various types of welding can be used, such as ultrasonic welding for joining dissimilar materials or the welding of nonferrous metals in aerospace equipment. Although arc, resistance and oxyfuel welding dominate the market, electron beam, friction-stir, laser, and ultrasonic welding methods have found use in aerospace, electronics and packaging applications. The most popular welding methods are used in mature market segments, and demand for them is subject to the cyclical nature of individual markets, although the diversity and number of markets in which welding is used mitigates the effects of this in the welding industry overall.

Arc & resistance welding systems to remain dominant

The welding equipment segment is dominated by arc and resistance welding systems, which accounted for a combined 70 percent of equipment demand in 2010. These will remain the dominant welding techniques, 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 primarily dependent on the amount of arc and oxyfuel welding activity, though arc welding is the dominant market driver. Demand for consumables, which will benefit from both 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 accounted for 73 percent of all consumables in 2010, with oxyfuel and shielding gases accounting for the rest. Solid wire electrodes are the largest product category for electrodes and filler metal in dollar terms. However, emergent consumable products such as flux- and metal-cored electrodes are the most rapidly growing product segment, having gained increased acceptance in the general marketplace. Among the gases, oxygen and acetylene are dominant in metal joining and cutting. Argon is by far the most commonly used shielding gas, followed by carbon dioxide.

Study Scope

This study analyzes the $5.2 billion US welding equipment and consumables industry. It presents historical demand data for the years 2000, 2005 and 2010, and forecasts for 2015 and 2020 by welding technology, product (e.g., arc welding equipment, resistance welding, oxyfuel welding, laser beam welding, welding electrode and filler metal, shielding gases, oxyfuel gases) and market (e.g., manufacturing, construction, energy and power generation, repair and maintenance).

The study also considers market environment factors, details industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles 29 industry players, including Lincoln Electric, Illinois Tool Works and Praxair.

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