The global steel cords market forecast is set to pick up pace between 2022 and 2028, driven by the comeback of the automotive industry after the COVID-19-induced setback. With the acceleration of Industry 4.0, smart factories are likely to feature automatic conveyor belts that deploy these products. Development of latest technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and machine learning is redefining the manufacturing industry, fueling the automated steel cord conveyor belt industry.
As tire manufacturers are developing more sustainable products, the usage of steel cords for tire reinforcement is expected to increase. These products minimize the overall weight of the tire as well as the rolling resistance, ensuring a longer tire life with enhanced adhesion, at an affordable cost. Several vehicle manufacturers are integrating super-tensile and ultra-tensile strength products in their latest models, owing to the focus on lower fuel consumption.
By product type, the industry share can be bifurcated into zinc coated and brass coated segments. The brass coated steel cords market share is expected to register a high CAGR through the forecast timeline, owing to the high corrosion resistance and outstanding strength of these solutions. These components are extensively used in radial tires because they cannot be easily punctured. Higher fuel savings, lower costs, heavy load capacity, and longer service life are some product benefits. The expanding trade & transportation industry across developing economies is favoring product uptake.
By application, the steel cords market share is divided into heavy equipment tires, car tires, light truck tires, aircraft tires, cargo truck tires, conveyor belts, and others. The industry share from the conveyor belts segment is slated to accrue a significant revenue through the assessment timeline. High-performance steel cords are deployed in conveyor belts for heavy mining operations as well as other material handling applications. These products offer exceptional impact resistance, minimal internal friction, and reduced cost-per-ton of material.
Europe steel cords industry size is increasing year on year, triggered by the growing consumption of green tires across Germany, Italy, Russia, and France. In sync with its ambitious climate goals, the European Union (EU) introduced a new labelling scheme for tires, which was enforced from May 2021. Under the new label, wet grip, fuel efficiency, ice grip marking, and snow grip marking are some new additions.
The presence of several major automakers including Volkswagen, Peugeot, and Renault, will increase product use. Accelerated investments in the European tire industry for developing fuel-efficient, cost-saving, and sustainable solutions will translate to a higher deployment of steel cords for tires over the next six years.
Several industry participants are deploying latest technologies for manufacturing high-quality products. They are offering customized solutions to cater to the application-specific demands of the end-users. For example, the Continental steelcord products such as Flexsteel and Phoenix Phoenocord use steel cords of different sizes and numbers as per the desirable operating tension. Bekaert, Kordsa Global, Somi Conveyer Beltings Ltd., Xingda International Holdings, TOKUSEN KOGYO Co., DuPont, Hyosung, Usha Martin, NRC., and Apollo Conveyor Pvt. Ltd. are some major steel cord manufacturers.
The logistics and transportation industry has been thriving since the outbreak of the pandemic, driven by the e-commerce sector, which witnessed a surging demand for consumer goods during lockdowns. Numerous tech companies are leveraging digital logistics tools for mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on their supply chains.
As several transport fleet owners have been focusing on optimizing their assets, including tires, for limiting emissions, product use is likely to see an upward trend. Successful implementation of robotic systems across factory floors is expected to ensure that emerging economies continue to fuel steel cords industry up to 2028.