ARE HOSES ON THEIR WAY OUT?
Gee that’s a good question. Sometimes it’s scary when someone mentions new technology and then casually explains how we are staring down the barrel of extinction. So, what are the threats to our hose industry?
- Hydraulics themselves are becoming more efficient, so smaller hoses and less of them in certain situations.
- Electrics are becoming smarter, so the ability to remove or reduce many hoses that once travelled all the way back to the engine area in large volumes, is a definite factor.
- 3D printers are evolving and where hoses ran the length of booms cavities, can now be created to carry oil from one place to another.
In reality, 3D printing is a long way off and full of challenges. It’s not even clear if 3D printing is a viable mass production option, as age old issues of maintaining flexibility throughout the operation of the machine remain.
We have been to some innovation expos over the past few years and unless someone is keeping an extremely good secret, there isn’t a lot of new technology in the pipeline to totally shake up our future. It looks fairly certain the hydraulic hose industry is here for a long time to come. The up and coming economies of China and India are gathering pace and mechanisation is becoming a priority. Europe, being a large manufacturer of construction equipment, is contributing to demand and of course the good ole USA is trying to attract manufacturing back into the motherland.
The truth is, demand for hydraulic hose is currently expanding at a global rate of approx. 4.6% or at least that’s the best guess and if you’d like to pay $3,500 you can get a full report on it all.
As for Australia, the experts say in 15 years time Sydney will have 9 million people, Melbourne 7 million and Brisbane 3 million so if you are in for the long haul, buckle up.