Global in-pipe inspection robots market was valued at around USD 605 million in the year 2017 and is expected to reach over USD 2,450 million by the end of 2026 growing at a CAGR of more than 16.5% between 2018 and 2026.
Robots that are meant for inspecting the residues that are built up inside the pipe are known as in-pipe inspection robots. Such robots have the capability to send video feedbacks from the ground to the controller of the robot. By this, the users can verify the actual condition of the pipe and can also measure the thickness of the deposition on the walls of the pipe. In-pipe inspection robots have applications in water supply facilities, oil refineries, gas fields, and processing units, and several manufacturing plants.
The global in-pipe inspection robots market was valued at around USD 605 million in the year 2017 and is expected to reach over USD 2,450 million by the end of 2026 growing at a CAGR of more than 16.5% between 2018 and 2026.
Drivers and Restraints
Robots are being used increasingly in various verticals in order to reduce human intervention from work environments that are dangerous. In various industrial plants, the pipeline networks are inspected regularly for efficiency and security. The operations such as cleaning, maintenance, and inspection are expensive thus applications of robots appear to be an attractive solution. Pipeline networks are laid down for the transportation of oil and gas, drinking waters, etc. These pipelines face the problem of corrosion, aging, cracks, and various another type of damages. Thus keeping a check on these pipeline networks is very essential. Manual inspection of pipelines requires a lot of manpower. This incurs additional cost for the companies. Usage of in-pipe inspection robots, though expensive, works with accuracy and generates positive cash flow over a period of time. This is likely to boost the use of in-pipe inspection robots market over the forecast period. Moreover, the petrochemical industry is increasingly adopting pipeline transport. As the demand for oil and gas is increasing across the globe, it is expected that the pipeline network will increase in length in the near future thereby increasing the popularity of the in-pipe inspection robots market.
However, the in-pipe inspection robots market is expected to face some challenges such as high capital investment and inability to move in T-shape pipe. This is projected to negatively impact the in-pipe inspection robots over the forecast period.
Diameter robot product type segment registered the highest market share of over 37.09% in 2017 and it is also expected to grow at a high CAGR of around 17.62% over the forecast period. Diameter robots are capable of moving through very small pipes. This robot can be used to inspect and perform operations in various sizes of pipes ranging from 150 mm to 5000 mm. Hence diameter robots are being widely used in several applications and are projected to grow at a significant CAGR over the forecast period. In the coming years, welding pipe robot is expected to grow with the highest CAGR of over 18%. This is owing to the fact that automation has stepped in as an alternative to manual welding. Robotic automation along with the flexibility of the human operator anticipates increasing the demand for the welding pipe robot.
By application, gas pipelines accounted for the largest market share of 37.22% in 2017. The gas pipeline application was valued at USD 225.75 million in the year 2017 and is expected to reach over USD 881.29 million by the end of 2026 growing at a CAGR of 16.39% between 2018 and 2026. The growth in the usage of in-pipe inspection robots in the gas pipeline application is mainly due to the deposition of a wax-like substance on the walls of the pipelines. Such deposition occurs very often owing to change in the pipeline wall temperature. Moreover, the negative radial temperature gradient present in the flow may also result in deposition of a crystalline or wax-like substance on the walls of the pipeline. The deposition on the walls of the pipelines is more frequent in gas pipelines. Hence in-pipe inspection robots are widely used in the inspection of gas pipelines.
Asia Pacific is expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 20.23% over the forecast period. The growth in Asia Pacific in-pipe inspection robots market is owing to increasing investment in the transportation of petrochemical products through the pipeline network. This is estimated to create ample opportunities for in-pipe inspection robots in the Asia Pacific. North America held the highest market share of the global in-pipe inspection robots market in 2017. This is owing to the large network of pipeline in North America which accounts for around 2,325,032 km.
The report includes detailed profiles of the prominent market players that are trending in the market. The lists of the players that are compiled in the report are CUES Inc., Envirosight LLC, GE Inspection Robotics, IBAK Helmut Hunger GmbH & Co. KG., Medit Inc. (Fiberscope), RedZone Robotics, Inc., Inuktun Services Ltd., MISTRAS Group Inc., RIEZLER Inspektions Systeme GmbH & Co. KG, Xylem, Inc., and Honeybee Robotics, Ltd., among others.
The prominent market players maintain the competitive edge in the global market by making investments in the mergers and acquisitions and by increasing their product portfolio. On 11th December 2017, Xylem Inc. acquired Calgary-based water and oil and gas pipeline monitoring specialist Pure Technologies Ltd. for $509 million.