The global flexible flow solutions market was valued at USD 42.00 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach USD 60.84 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 6.37%. The market has many applications in construction, automotive, aerospace, oil and gas, chemical and petrochemical, renewable energy, aerospace, and automotive industries, among many others. The oil and gas sector seems to have the majority share in the end users’ segment, as oil and gas transportation happens majorly through flexible flow systems. Further, increasing industrialization worldwide and application in household and commercial sectors primarily drive the flexible flow solutions market.
The flexible flow systems are designed to ensure a smooth flow of materials such as gases, liquids, and semi-solids are transported from point A to point B safely and securely. The applications of these systems are spread across multiple industries, including pharmaceutical, chemical, oil & gas, pump and paper, heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems, firefighting systems, and water treatment, among many others. Flexible systems can be designed and manufactured based on the needs of the industry. Based on the industry, the raw materials are selected to manufacture the flow system; for example, stainless steel is used across many industries such as chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and food & beverage, as stainless steel has the least reaction concerning chemicals and has no corrosive reactions.
MARKET TRENDS & DRIVERS
Increasing Demand for Renewable Energy
There has been considerable interest in renewable energy development in recent decades due to increasing global temperatures and extreme weather conditions. It is also one of the sectors witnessing huge investments and growing global support. Flexible flow systems are required at solar and hydropower generation plants. Flexible flow systems in hydropower generation play a very important role; these systems will transport water from the reservoir, pass through an intricate flow system, and then increase the speed of water through the turbine and then to the exhaust. The flexible flow systems in such industries require high efficiency as failure could lead to dangerous systems. Flexible flow systems must be equipped with leakage detection, pressure measures, and flow direction, among many others, to provide accurate results. Hence, such reasons are propelling the growth of the flexible flow solutions market during the forecasted period.
Rapid Growth of the Pharmaceutical Industry
The pharmaceutical industry plays a very important role in the well-being of humans. Significant steps in pharmaceutical research, along with many small steps, have enabled reductions in fatalities, for example, HIV/AIDS-related medication and several cancers, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases. Flexible flow systems are predominantly used in the manufacturing and research domains. The flexible flow systems enable the safe and secure transmission of chemical compounds from one location to another. These chemicals can be explosive if they react due to leakages or using the wrong materials. The industry is also highly regulated, making it mandatory to follow security protocols to ensure the general public's safety. Hence, such reasons support the growth of the flexible flow solutions market in the pharmaceutical industry. Further, pharmaceutical industries are also working to develop vaccines for various conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, requiring flexible flow systems facilities. The manufacturing facilities would require a state-of-the-art flexible flow system to ensure that the materials required for the manufacturing process are transported from one place to another without mishaps or leaks.
INSIGHTS BY COMPONENTS
The global flexible flow solutions market by components is segmented into hoses, assemblies & fittings, braid, and others. The hoses components segment will hold the largest market share in 2023. Different kinds of hoses have varying fixed or adjustable Gallon Per Minute (GPM) settings. These settings correspond to a specific discharge opening or tip size. Moreover, a conventional hose operates at the correct hose pressure of 100 psi when it has a fixed opening. The adjustable gallon hoses come in different settings, such as 30,60,95, and 125 gpm. The high-pressure hose, generally known as the UHO fire hose, ejects a steady flow of highly pressurized water onto a flame and may seem ideal in all situations, but this is not the case. The fire services use high-pressure firefighting hoses to combat fire beyond the nascent stage.
INSIGHTS BY HOSES
The hoses are responsible for transferring the materials from one location to another; hence, they have to be strong enough to withstand any conditions, such as low or high temperatures, when transporting material, among many others. The stainless steel stripwound hoses segment holds the largest market share and is projected to continue its dominance during the forecast period. The stripwound hoses are flexible, ideal for transferring abrasive materials, and effective in transporting high-temperature and viscous fluids. Furthermore, these hoses are an excellent choice for use as a guard, an open-ended exhaust hose, and for transferring dry bulk materials.
INSIGHTS BY RAW MATERIALS
The steel raw material segment dominated the global flexible flow solutions market in 2023. Stainless steel, steel, aluminum, cast iron, mercury, and iron are some raw materials used to manufacture different raw materials in flexible flow solutions. Iron and cast iron were some of the first to be used for manufacturing these systems as they are hard and malleable in a semi-liquid state. Iron is also widely available globally and can be easily procured as it has multiple uses. Due to their vast availability, these metals are comparatively cheaper than other metals. Furthermore, one of the ground-breaking innovations in the flexible flow solutions market is the introduction of lightweight PVC flexible flow. Integrating the PVC material in the hose helps to eject water at tremendous pressure and speed and can be used in any weather conditions. The rising demand for long-lasting life, heat resistance, and several advances have made PVC popular among manufacturers and end-users.
INSIGHTS BY END-USERS
The global flexible flow solutions market by end-users is segmented into chemical & petrochemical, oil & gas, steel, HVAC, energy & power utilities, automotive, renewable energy, aerospace, and others. The oil & gas end-user segment holds the most prominent market share in 2023. The global economy is majorly dependent on the oil & gas industry, and the demand for oil and gas consistently increases as global economies and infrastructure depend on petroleum-based products. Transportation and motor vehicle accidents, slips, trips, falls, fires, explosions, contact with objects and equipment, and exposure to chemicals, harmful substances, or environments are common in the industry. For instance, in 2021, at least four people were killed and 44 injured in a fire accident at the Indian Oil Corporation’s Haldia refinery in India. Expenses related to cleaning after the disaster, the start of manufacture at the plant, and losses incurred due to lost barrels during the fire or explosion incident are costs involved with fire at rigs. Reducing these fatalities and increasing safety measures drive the demand for flexible flow solutions.
INSIGHTS BY DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL
The global flexible flow solutions market by distribution channel is segmented into offline and online. In 2022, the offline distribution channel has the highest market share. Factors such as the broader reach in areas that lack better connectivity and high consumer trust associated with touching and experiencing the quality of products are driving the growth of this segment. Further, the online distribution channel allows manufacturers and vendors to have multichannel campaigns across various channels, such as third-party retailers and direct websites. High penetration rates of connectivity are expected to grow the online multichannel platforms' visibility during the forecast period.
APAC holds the most significant share of the global flexible flow solutions market, accounting for over 32% in 2023. The region is home to several industries, including manufacturing, services, automobiles, and electrical industries, consequently increasing the need for efficient and energy-saving flexible flow solutions, which have applications in multiple industries. While Japan and South Korea are major manufacturers and exporters of electrical appliances and automobiles, Singapore dominates in excellent construction facilities. Further, North America accounted for the second-largest global market share in 2023. Large-scale industries such as automobiles, construction, electronics, and aerospace are driving the flexible flow solutions market in the region. Also, numerous large-scale manufacturing and established IT headquarters in most economies aided the growth of flexible flow systems.
The global flexible flow solutions market is moderately segmented; however, it does encourage new entrants. Competitors are boarding their market share through product differentiation and technical integration into the systems. The manufacturers should also concentrate on renewable energy; power and energy utilities are one of the growing sectors in the market. Furthermore, there is intense market competition as players compete to gain market share. Due to the intensely competitive landscape, the flexible flow solutions market will likely witness increased consolidation. These factors make it imperative for vendors to distinguish their products and service offerings through a clear and unique value proposition. Otherwise, they will not survive the highly competitive environment. In addition, they must develop high functionalities and continue upgrading their products to keep pace with the latest technological developments, failing which they might lose relevance in the industry.