U.S. Gear Market to Grow 6.4% to $40 Billion in Sales

AGMA reports U.S. demand for gears will grow 6.4% after 3 years of decline; oilfield, mining and industrial machinery are the top three fastest growing markets for the industry.

American Gear Manufacturers Assn. (AGMA)

Total United States demand for gears will grow 6.4%, to $40 billion in sales, factoring in domestic consumption, exports and imports. The growth marks the first time in the past 3 years that the United States market is forecasting growth. In 2014, 2015 and 2016 the U.S. market receded by -5.2%, -8.8% and -16.6%, respectively. The forecast was shared at AGMA’s Spring Marketing and Forecast meeting held in Rosemont, IL, and was compiled by AGMA’s research partner, IHS Markit.

“It has been a challenging 3-year period for AGMA members domestically with our members working as hard as ever to mitigate the impact of this decline,” notes Matthew E. Croson, President of the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA). “This report is a welcomed sign that the market is ready to recover, with just about every major market that AGMA tracks poised for growth, meaning that all AGMA members should benefit from the recovery.”

As part of its report, AGMA tracks 11 major markets into which its members sell. The following is ranked in order of fastest growing for 2017:

  • Oilfield Equipment: 17.7% 
  • Mining Equipment: 11.5% 
  • Industrial Machinery: 11.4% 
  • Power Equipment: 11.0% 
  • Material Handling Equipment: 10.4%  
  • Machine & Other Tools: 9.1% 
  • Shipbuilding: 6.6% 
  • Construction Machinery: 6.3%
  • Aerospace: 5.7% 
  • Farm Machinery: -2.0% 
  • Railroad Equipment: -21.9% 

"While the forecast is a positive sign, members are still climbing out of one of the most challenging periods in our 100+ year history,” adds Croson. “Growth and optimism is needed, but this will continue to be an economic period that will challenge even the very best leaders as they try and determine where to put their resources to ensure consistent growth. AGMA is a platform for industry to come together, understand where markets are heading, and leverage our programs to ensure we have the tools to move forward together.”

AGMA’s new strategic plan includes a focus on developing awareness of emerging technologies that are poised to impact the industry. The plan includes a strong emphasis on educating, including developing new courses on new materials that design engineers can leverage to innovate their product line. AGMA also focuses on global growth, and will support members’ efforts to export, or grow domestically. Finally, AGMA has an emphasis on partnering with other parts of the supply chain, including bearings, couplings and motors, since many customers are now asking for a systems approach to the solutions they need.

“AGMA is changing, and making decisions that will ensure it remains relevant to its members for the next 100 years by emphasizing programs that support members’ innovation efforts,” reports Croson. “We are putting together programs and services that keep you aware of disruptive technologies, educate your design engineers on best practices, provide necessary business leads, and support your efforts to make connections on a domestic and global level. Now is a good time to be an AGMA member as we consider new ways to think about our market, our companies and our association, so we all can benefit from the recovering market, and ensure a healthy, long-term focus.”