The demand for industrial fasteners in the United States is expected to increase 2.7% per year through 2023 to $16.5 billion, according to the Freedonia Group, an international business research company.
Given the fact that fasteners are used in the manufacture and repair of a vast array of durable goods, the market is mature and gains will largely stem from pricing growth. Additionally, because OEMs are the largest market for fasteners by far, an expected improvement in durable goods manufacturing will support demand gains.
Competitive pressure from alternative joining technologies, while still a factor in the market, is expected to have only a minimal effect on fastener use going forward. Much of the shift toward “light-weighting” has already begun in easily adaptable applications, so further technological development will be necessary before fasteners see competition in applications where they are more difficult to replace.
Key Findings in the Industrial Fasteners Study include:
● Growth in aerospace-grade fasteners to pass standard grade. Rising production of aircraft, and the widespread use of expensive fasteners in their manufacture, for both civilian and military use will cause demand for associated fastening products to grow. Military aerospace equipment will register particularly strong gains through 2023, the fastest of any major market segment, because of a sharp increase in military spending, which has been a priority of the Trump administration.
Increasing demand from end users beyond aerospace equipment for stronger, better performing fasteners will also support rapid gains.
● Motor vehicle and machinery production to generate significant fastener demand. Motor vehicles and machinery utilize a significant number of fasteners, and through 2023, these two markets will account for more than 40% of all additional fastener sales.
Demand for fasteners will be supported by:
1. Strong gains in light truck (a byproduct of changing consumer preference for SUVs) and medium and heavy vehicle production
2. A rebound in machinery production following a long period of decline
● Competition from alternative fastening technologies waning. The maturity of the fastener industry makes it susceptible to competition from alternative joining technologies. In some instances, manufacturers have replaced fasteners with adhesives and welding to shorten assembly time and, in the case of motor vehicles and some machinery, to reduce equipment weight.
However, much of this change has already occurred, and while equipment engineers continue to look for additional ways to improve productivity or reduce weight, the further adoption of other fastening systems to achieve these goals is slowing.