Price Pressures Compel Pump Manufacturers to Explore Fresh Applications and New Markets

Escalating inflation rates and price pressures are increasingly driving profit margins of positive displacement pump manufacturers down, putting a damper on the channeling of funds toward R&D for new product technology development.

Fresh demand expected from key developing segments including wastewater, water, pharmaceuticals and food and beverages are likely to offset saturation levels -- particularly in traditional applications -- and boost future market growth.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, "North American Positive Displacement Pumps Market," reveals this market totaled revenues worth $1,602.6 million in 2002 and is poised to expand to $2,082.5 million by 2009.

Future success for manufacturers lies in innovating and finding new applications for products, as well as developing a strong global distribution network.

"Market share leaders are competing more aggressively as they encounter undercutting from lower priced but inferior quality imported products flooding the market," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Achyuta Ghosh.

Large OEM customers are driving prices further downward through selective bidding for projects.

Participants are working to address these challenges by improving manufacturing practices, outsourcing components, and shifting base overseas to China and Latin American countries.

"Moving production offshore allows participants to capitalize on lower manufacturing overheads and relaxed regional environment laws," says Ghosh.

Established companies with worldwide distribution networks stand to gain greatly from this trend. Increasing focus on industrial and infrastructure developmental activities in Asian and Latin American countries translates into higher growth rates. To hold their own against the heavyweights, smaller companies need to ramp up global distribution as well.

New applications for pumps include coating french fries with sugar to enhance browning, in liquid cooling systems for hi-tech computers housing powerful microprocessors, and in hydrogen cell technologies for automobiles.

Heightened concerns for safe drinking and industrial water as well as pollution prevention and control issues are feeding demand from the water treatment industry.

Construction of new plants, upgrades of plants and processes, better water management techniques, and the latest "sewer mining" concepts are also providing additional impetus to growth.

Sustained demand for positive displacement pumps is likely to stem from the biotech and pharmaceutical segments as they continually search for improved and advanced drugs.

This ongoing growth opportunity analysis is part of Sensors and Process Controls Subscription, which includes market insights on Process Management, Emerging Sensor Technologies and Process Equipment. Frost & Sullivan also offers custom growth consulting to a variety of national and international companies. Executive Summaries and Interviews are available to the press.

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