The Air Starter Market is expected to grow at a considerable CAGR globally over the forecast period. Key drivers for this market are the compact size of air starters; compared to electric starters, and their ability to work in unsafe conditions. They also have higher power to weight ratio and require less maintenance compared to electric starters. Burgeoning oil & gas sector and aviation industry will open new avenues for this market on the forecast horizon.
The requirement of safe engine starting equipment in mining and offshore oil & gas industries will further augment this market. On the other hand, factors like steep prices of air starters, availability of cheaper alternatives like electric starters and variable frequency drives (VFDs), and grey markets providing inexpensive products are hindering market growth. Extensive applications of the competing battery technology will also pose to be a challenge in foreseeable future. The market ecosystem consists of OEMs (air starter, air tank, piping, compression medium), distributors and suppliers, end user industries, and the aftermarket services. As the air starter market caters to various industries including aviation, oil & gas, marine, and mining; it is a horizontal market consisting of various upstream and downstream industry verticals.
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Air starters can be for vane motors or turbine motors. Vane air starters work on the principle of positive displacement, while turbine air starters consist of a radial inward flow or axial flow turbine. The compressed air for air starters can be provided by bleed air from a running engine, auxiliary power unit (APU), or a portable gas generator. When a limited volume of starting air is required for a short crank cycle, vane starters are used. On the other hand, when large amount of starting air is available for a longer crank cycle, turbine starters are used. Air starters in general have larger operational life compared to electric starters. They have higher reliability, lighter weight, and are easier to build. Due to their simple and modular design, turbine air starters are preferred for large turbofan engines used in aircrafts.
The air starter market is segmented on the basis of end user industry, type, and the geographical region. The geographical regions for this market are North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and Middle East & Africa.
Market segment by Type, the product can be split into
- Blade Air Starters
- Piston Air Starters
- Gear Air Starters
Market segment by Application, Air Starters can be split into
- Oil & Gas
- Transportation & Power Generation
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Oil & gas industry currently holds the largest market share; with North America on the forefront. This can be attributed to the prolific use of air starters in mining and offshore oil & gas industries hue to their explosion proof operation and compact design. This trend is expected to continue in foreseeable future. On the other hand, the burgeoning demand for air starters for commercial and military aircrafts will result in the aviation industry having a stronghold on the market over the forecast period. Turbine starters have the highest demand and are deemed to dominate the market over the forecast period also; particularly in Europe and North America. Currently, North America has a chunk of the air starter market.
Key players in the air starter market are Ingersoll Rand, TDI, ASC, Powrquik, Austart, IPU, AM Airstarters, Cardinal Valley, TLD, Gali, Cummins, DSV, Sanei-Air, KH Equipment. The air starters market is a part of the larger parent market of air ground handling systems.