Global heat treatment industry is an amalgamation of operations involving heating, holding, and cooling of metal in the solid state for the purpose of obtaining a particular desirable surface modification or metallurgical properties. The industry is projected to grow over the forecast period owing to its application in various verticals to achieve surface hardening, increase ductility and softness, obtain fine grain size, to improve cutting properties of tool steels, and to improve electrical and magnetic properties.
The major factor driving the market is the need to develop superior quality products. The use of heat treatment processes helps organizations to improve the structural accuracy of metal products by increasing its tensile and yield strength. Several companies across industry verticals such as automotive, aerospace, and general machinery often consider heat treatment processes to develop high precision products.
Most of the organizations are managing their manufacturing processes to improve its operational efficiency. Moreover, to make quality and cost-effective products that are competitive in the global markets, companies are now automating their industry operations. As a part of an operational strategy, integration of heat treatment processes with the production lines is carried out to increase the efficiency by manufacturing industries.
The installation cost is very high owing to varying requirement of different metals. Different furnace and temperature are required for treating a metal to improve its quality. The requirement of high initial investment cost is expected to pose restraint to industry growth over the forecast period.
Increasing automation is supposed to provide new avenues for market growth over the forecast period. Improving the level of furnace maintainability and controllability by applying Internet of Things (IoT) concept and systems integration is an opportunity yet to be explored. Changing trends to use vacuum furnace instead of a blast furnace is on the rise owing to its benefits such as eco-friendly nature and emits less carbon dioxide as compared to the traditional furnace.
The market is segmented on the basis service, equipment and application. By services, it is segmented as carburizing & carbonitriding, hardening, tempering, annealing, stress relieving and quenching. By equipment, it is segmented as carburizing & annealing, selective hardening, batch type furnaces, vacuum furnace, deep freeze, high-speed tool steels, and salt bath furnaces. By application, it is segmented into automotive, aerospace, mining & exploration, metallurgical & machining industries, oil & gas, and military.
The primary driver for the development of new equipment is shortening production cycles, reducing the carbon footprint, and making the operation profitable through proficient utilization of utilities. Low-temperature surface modification process, with their unique property little distortion will attract higher market shares.
North America is expected to be a key contributor to this market owing to increase use of vacuum and blast furnace in industries such as aerospace and automotive. Growing demand for military equipment due to increase in global safety concern is anticipated to propel this industry in this region.
Asia Pacific and Africa is projected to show rapid growth for the forecast period owing to tremendous growth in the industrial sector and increase in demand for vehicles and air traffic. Increase need for business operation efficiency is also expected to drive industry growth over the forecast period. Due to continuous economic advancement in countries such as India, China, Brazil, and Indonesia industries need to improve their product quality which is expected to show a positive impact on the growth of the industry.
Key industry players include Bluewater Thermal Processing LLC, American Metal Treating (AMT), Inc., Engineered Heat Treat, Inc., East-Lind Heat Treat Inc., Houston Heat Treat, General Metal Heat Treating, Inc., Pacific Metallurgical, Inc., Keith Company, Thermex Metal Treating Ltd., and Tri-J Heat Treating Company Inc.
In February 2013, Bluewater Thermal Solutions acquired Southwest Heat Treat, offering solutions to the oil and gas industry through its commercial heat treating business segment. This acquisition will help Bluewater Thermal Solutions to increase its customer base and provides significant end market diversification.
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