IIoT-supported electro-hydraulic products: new opportunities

The rising demand for energy-efficient, easily operable, and smart sensor-embedded hydraulic systems that are Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-enabled is driving hydraulic manufacturing companies to expand their presence across the globe. The hitherto sluggish market will recover within 5 years as consumers across user verticals such as construction, material management, automotive, agriculture, and oil and gas exhibit willingness to invest heavily in integrated hydraulic systems.

Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation and Process Research Analyst Kiravani Emani says: "Key mobile hydraulic equipment market participants, including Bosch Rexroth, Eaton Corp, Parker Hannifin and Danfoss, are venturing into smart platforms, especially for the automotive, chemical and energy industries, embedding sensors in pumps, cylinders and even accessories such as hoses to enhance power density and control oil leakage from equipment. Electronic integration will continue to play a pivotal role in boosting demand for hydraulic products."

Global Mobile Hydraulic Equipment Market, Forecast to 2020, part of Frost & Sullivan's Industrial Automation and Process Control Growth Partnership Service programme, highlights the opportunities emerging as traditional hydraulic systems give way to electronically integrated ones. The study explores the magnitude of the impact on the industry owing to the operational excellence that consumers will garner through smart sensor integration in these systems.

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Despite low investment activity in major mobile vertical markets such as agriculture, construction, and oil and gas, which has contracted the revenue margins of hydraulic manufacturers, the overall market remains positive:

  • Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Germany exhibit high demand for mobile hydraulics, especially for the automotive segment;
  • Strong investment activity makes Asia-Pacific the most attractive region;
  • Adoption of smart hydraulics is bolstered by the shift toward Factories of the Future and smart machinery that can be wirelessly controlled and remotely monitored;
  • The largest product segment, hydraulic cylinders, is expected to see more integration with electronics and sensors;
  • Valves remain the second-largest segment, driven by user demand for directional, pressure, and flow control;
  • Hydraulic pumps account for nearly 18.2 per cent of total mobile hydraulic revenue and will witness positive demand until 2020;
  • The market for hydraulic motors will continue to grow for the next 5 years due to advanced capabilities such as high power density and ruggedness;
  • Hydraulic transmission is widely used in mobile applications, and demand is likely to increase from the off-highway segment.

To boost uptake, manufacturers must focus on educating consumers on the long-term benefits of electro-hydraulics systems, and position themselves as one-stop vendors for a holistic range of services from installation to maintenance and replacement.

Kiravani observes: "End users will continue to invest in purchasing or replacing products that help to reduce energy consumption, noise levels, and oil leakages caused during equipment operation. Hydraulic manufacturers who complement their product offering with service capabilities are likely to be a preferred choice for end users."

More analysis can be found at ww2.frost.com.

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