Due to technological advances and an increasingly diverse range of products, pumps can be found in a multitude of commercial applications from water/wastewater treatment plants and pipelines, to medical devices and jet engines.
According to B2B International1, Asian demand for pumps will continue to outpace other regions due to new infrastructure and heavy industrial spending. Meanwhile the shift in energy production from coal and nuclear to natural gas and renewables will also be a big driver of innovation. Pumps will also increasingly have to operate under more extreme conditions such as higher pressures, broader temperature ranges, and in more remote and hostile environments.
End users are turning towards pumps which can be adapted to existing foundations and which can be maintained while running, thus reducing downtime and integration costs.
Global demand for fluid handling pumps is projected to increase 5.5% per year to $84bn (€71.6bn) in 20182. In developed nations an improved environment for fixed investment spending will enable pump-using manufacturers to invest in expansion and upgrade of facilities, while across developing nations increased investment in water infrastructure will spur gains as access to water supply and sanitation systems is expanded.
Growth in oil production will also provide opportunities, especially in newly developed areas requiring infrastructure development.
The Asia Pacific region will generate 44% of new pump demand through 2018, based on advances in fixed investment expenditures and construction spending. China will account for 23% of all new global pump demand between 2013 and 2018. Central and South America are expected to post the strongest annual gains, benefiting from ongoing industrialisation, although the US will remain the largest national market through to 2018.
Pump demand in the process manufacturing market will benefit from greater standards of living, particularly in developing regions where there is increased access to water supplies and improved sanitation.
Freedonia say centrifugal pumps will continue to be the most commonly used pump design due to their varied pressure and load handling capabilities – including the ability to handle liquids with high solids content – and relatively low maintenance costs.
Demand for positive displacement pumps will outpace the industry average due to growth in process manufacturing activity, while demand for aftermarket parts will benefit from rising manufacturing activity, mainly in harsh environments such as those encountered in the chemical industry.
A good example of a recent deal in this space saw pan-European private equity firm Silverfleet Capital acquire Pumpenfabrik Wangen GmbH, a German manufacturer of progressing cavity and twin-screw pumps.
Wangen’s products are used in particular in the handling of highly abrasive and viscous substances, as well as solid-fluid composites, in the agriculture, biogas, construction equipment, food and beverages, naval and wastewater industries. Silverfleet Capital’s investment will enable Wangen to continue to grow internationally and further penetrate its key end markets with new product portfolios.
1: Pumps, valves & compressors, B2B International
2: World pumps – Freedonia Group