Automated Manufacturing Processes and Self-Regulatory Solutions to Hasten the Growth of Heating Cable Market
Heating cables are used for several applications, primarily for freeze protection or to maintain or raise the temperature of pipes and vessels. Heat losses from pipes and vessels are retained with the help of thermal insulation. Gargantuan research and development initiatives are being pioneered by leading manufacturers in the heating cable market to fuel its growth. For instance, a series of new and improved heating cables are being engineered which are self-regulating in nature. These are industrial grade and ideal for high to low temperature applications and also have freeze protection properties. Some of these self-regulating heating cables have also found widespread use in the construction sector for easy to use low temperature applications. Self-regulating heating cables are more energy efficient and have a drastically low installation cost and maintenance expense. Their inherently unique design and capabilities are paving the way for profitable growth of the heating cable market.
Several new investments have been made in the robotisation and automation of the process used in the manufacturing of heating cables. The new and fully automated manufacturing lines will unwind heating cables from their spools and bundle them using binding strips. The record keeping and barcode tracking is also fully automated. The line production for heating cables with this method is said to be three times enabling manufacturers to save time and hasten productivity. This will streamline the cost of manufacturing and give impetus to the growth of the heating cable market.
Demand for heating cable is likely to remain high in both residential and commercial sectors. The growing needs for pipe freezing protection and maintaining constant wattage are bolstering the growth of the heating cable market. However, the needs for conforming to stringent regulatory standards may force heating cable manufacturers to modify their manufacturing strategies, which may also lead to increased manufacturing costs.
Nevertheless, the ever-evolving field of electrical heat tracing is facilitating the burgeoning global demand for heat cables, thereby playing a key role in the development of the heating cable market. Manufacturers in the heating cable market are developing reliable and high-quality electrical heating systems with heating cables manufactured using state-of-the-art technologies.
The positive growth prospects of the heating cable market are mainly attributed to the heating cable manufacturers introducing more resilient products and innovative services. Leading players in the heat cable market are focusing more on the specific end-user requirements associated with heat process piping and heat management systems.
Designing heating cables to suit individual end-user requirements is emerging as a popular trend in the heating cable market. Stakeholders in the heating cable market are investing more in research & development to launch the most efficient and economical heating cables to deliver apt heating solutions for residential as well as commercial end-users.
Heating Cables to Witness Steady Demand in Construction and Oil & Gas Industries
Heating cables or trace heat cables or heat tape are generally used for applications such as freeze protection, pipe heat tracing, viscosity control, temperature maintenance, anti-condensation, roof & roof gutter heating, and preventing cavitation. These applications can be residential, commercial, or industrial, and thus present broader opportunities in multiple industries, including pharmaceutical, petrochemical, oil & gas, power generation, food processing, and several other refineries.
Heating cables are broadly classified into two types, constant wattage heating cables and self-regulating heating cables. These categories are based on power supply and temperature variation. Constant wattage cables are composed of multiple constant electric power zones, whereas self-regulating heat cables have controlled power supply to the points across defined lengths of the cable. According to the end-user application, a specific type of heating cable is used. Further, manufacturers follow international standards, including IEEE standards 515 and 622, British standard BS 6351, and IEC standard 60208 in the design and installation of electric trace heating systems.
Construction Sector to Present Huge Demand for Heating Cables
Heating cables or trace heat tape is extensively used in residential construction, particularly in water pipes, flooring, roofs, windows, and in door and frame interfaces. They are usually installed with the intention of freezing protection and temperature maintenance. Particularly in colder regions where extreme temperatures obstruct water flow or burst pipes, electric freeze protection systems are installed. In roofs and gutters, these cables are installed for de-icing. In windows and other glass doorways, they are installed for de-misting or removal of condensation. Further, electric surface snow melting systems are installed in ramps, access ways, and footpaths for snow removal.
In addition, manufacturers have introduced heating solutions for concrete curing, especially for colder regions. For instance, Oglaend System has introduced concrete curing and frost protection solutions for regions such as Norway, where concrete construction becomes difficult during winter temperature that reaches -10oC.
Oil & Gas Industry Seeks Innovative Heating Solutions
The oil & gas industry consistently improves processing as well as extraction methods to enhance production efficiency. Differences in onshore as well as offshore environments present new challenges to the industry, such as smaller extraction fields with complex fluids and transportation of multiphase production over long distances. Failure to appropriately address these challenges can lead to significant intervention costs and substantial production revenue losses. On account of this, active heating technologies are widely accepted in onshore applications, whereas, subsea pipeline electrical heating and self-regulating heating systems are more popular in offshore applications to manage flow assurance. With declining oil & gas resources, efficient extraction and processing is a primary concern. For this, the demand for heating cable systems is projected to remain steady in the oil & gas industry.
Self-Regulating Cables to Dominate the Global Market
Due to the energy efficiency of self-regulating heating cables, their popularity outweighs the demand for constant heating cables, and hence, a majority of manufacturers offer self-regulating heating solutions. They are installed for a variety of applications in residential homes as well as commercial buildings. Further, self-regulating heating cables are highly effective against frost damage in pipework, and safer due to controlled heating. In addition, self-regulating systems are also installed at roof gutters, stairways, walkways, and other snow-exposed construction objects. Owing to such high demand, manufacturers have introduced flexible and versatile self-regulating freeze protection systems with reduced operational costs.
Key Company Developments
- Thermon Group Holdings, Inc. completed the acquisition of Thermal Technologies, Inc. in 2017. As Thermon is a word leader of highly engineered thermal solutions, this acquisition will expand its existing product portfolio and production capacities of heating solutions.
- nVent Electric Plc. recently completed its separation from Pentair Plc., and has launched itself as a separate business entity, which is a leader of heating solutions, including electric heat trace solutions.
Key companies in the global heating cable market include Raychem, SST, Thermon, Bartec, Wuhu Jiahong, Anhui Huanrui, Emerson, Anbang, Anhui Huayang, and Eltherm, among others.
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