UK Gaskets, the ins and outs

A part of the fluid containment and control products industry, UK gaskets and seals, as well as worldwide, are omnipresent in the field of mechanical engineering, as devices designed to act as a bond between two mating surfaces of a mechanical system, to ensure against leakages of liquids or gases into sensitive inner working machine components. The devices also perform the added function of protecting machine components from impurities by preventing the accumulation of dirt and grime between the matched components.

As vital machine components, they play critical role in influencing machine function and durability of machine installation. Diverse end-use applications range from automobiles, industry machinery (construction & related equipment, general purpose machinery, engines, turbines & power, HVAC & service equipment) to electrical & electronic equipment (instruments, computers, appliances, marine & rail, and aerospace), among others.

 

A dip in demand..

Economic recession has resulted in a dip in demand for UK gaskets and seals, not surprising, given the fact that fortunes in this market are tied to the health of key end-use industries. Demand for UK gaskets and seals plummeted to hurting levels, during the years 2008 and 2009. Tempered growth in the market dipped sub-zero in the year 2009, flagging the hostile business environment in most application markets. The recession brought out the automotive industry, one of the largest end-user of gasket and seals, as a major causality with automobile production and sales nose-diving.

Plant closures, capacity idling, and scaling back of operating capacity in the auto industry sent ripples of broad based declines across all of the upstream component markets, including gasket and seals, which find application in vehicle manufacturing as engine gasket, camshaft and auxiliary shaft seals, water pump seals, trans axle seals, and oil seals, among others. Reduced frequency of maintenance and repairs of automobiles also resulted in reduced demand for replacement aftermarket purchases of automotive gaskets and seals.

Slowing levels of economic activity, which exerted a disproportionate impact on industrial production, as a result of reduced manufacturing, commercial activity, and supply surpluses, resulted in a less urgent need for new plant establishments, and capacity expansions thus impacting both new and replacement demand for industrial machinery seals, such as, machinery rotary seals.

 

Realigning with demand

The recession, which had caused the market’s growth fundamentals to splinter, has now started to realign with demand already showing signs of recovery. Recovery in GDP growth, incomes levels, discretionary incomes, rise in consumer/business confidence, rebound in manufacturing activity and restoration of health in most end-use markets is currently reviving growth in the market. Replenishing of depleting inventories in the supply chain as a result of resurging production activities on wings of improving end-user demand will additionally help perk up demand for gasket and seals.

Technology developments that bring about incremental improvements in mechanical strength, and sealing capabilities, and the sheer diversity of application areas for gasket and seals provide a quick and easy road for recovery. Improving economic conditions will unleash pent-up demand as hitherto postponed purchase decisions resurge to provide commercial opportunities.

 

Contact us today

Stephens Gaskets are committed to providing the best service and high quality products. If you’d like more information on gaskets or to place an order with Stephens Gaskets, please contact 0121 544 5808 or email sales@stephensgaskets.co.uk.

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Stephens Gaskets Limited
Units 1-4 Alston Road Oldbury Oldbury, West Midlands B69 2PP
Phone: 0121 544 5808 Fax:121 544 4188, E-mail: sales@stephensgaskets.co.uk