Global AFP/ATL composites market is subjected to grow at a promising CAGR of 10.8% to reach US$ 3.1 Billion in 2026.
Development of systems with greater layup rate, expansion in untapped and growing markets, and execution of mergers & acquisitions are the key strategies adopted by the major players to gain a competitive edge in the market.
Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) and Automated Tape Layup (ATL) are the processes that use numerically controlled machines to lay a single or multiple layers of composites in the form of fabrics or tows onto a mold in order to give certain shapes to form a part or structure. These are generally used to manufacture large components in the aircraft industry such as fuselage sections, wings, and nose cone.
These automated manufacturing processes come with multiple advantages such as fast speed of material deposition, in terms of fibers or tapes, depending upon the structure as well as the technology opted to produce the components, as these processes are less labor intensive, which means they do not depend much on the operator and are efficient in manufacturing larger components.
The incessant growth in the demand for AFP/ATL composites was ceased by the Covid-19 in 2020, causing severe changes in the demand in the near term. In numbers, the AFP/ATL composites market logged a massive decline of -33.9% in 2020, creating a lag of at least five years in the market.
However, the long-term market outlook is still salubrious, backed by strong fundamentals, especially huge order backlogs of Boeing and Airbus, assuring continuous production of at least 7 years at the current production rates.
Furthermore, there has been a paradigm shift from traditional heavyweight materials to advanced composite materials in the wake of their countless advantages including lightweight, excellent strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance, etc.
AFP/ATL Composites Market Share by Resin Type
Based on the resin type, the AFP/ATL composites market is segmented as thermoset composites and thermoplastic composites. Thermoset composites are expected to remain the most dominant material type in the market during the forecast period, whereas thermoplastic composite is expected to experience faster growth during the same period.
All major aircraft AFP/ATL composite applications, such as fuselage and wings, are manufactured using carbon epoxy composites. Also, thermoset composites are widely used in key automotive applications such as roof, bumper, body frame, and enclosures for a battery pack.
AFP/ATL Composites Market Share by Automation Type
Based on the automation type, the market is segmented as AFP composites and ATL composites. AFP composite is expected to remain the larger and the faster-growing segment of the market during the forecast period. AFP achieves greater precision over ATL and fulfills flexible part design requirements as well as can be an effective technique for shorter course placements.
In terms of regions, North America is expected to remain the largest market for AFP/ATL composites during the forecast period. B787, F-35, B737 Max, and A220 are the growth engines of the region's demand for AFP/ATL composites. The upcoming aircraft variant; B777x, is likely to add new revenue pockets to the region's market. Key players in the region are Spirit AeroSystems, The Boeing Company, Northrup Grumman, etc.
Europe is expected to remain the second-largest market during the forecast period. The region is the largest AFP/ATL composites market for the automotive category. Presence of a large number of high-end auto OEMs coupled with high penetration of carbon composites is the prime factor, driving the region's market.
The market for AFP/ATL composites is gradually consolidating with the leading companies are engaged in M&A activities. Also, private equity firms are keenly investing in the industry by acquiring mid-to small-sized companies.
For instance, Spirit AeroSystems acquired the select assets of Bombardier Aerostructures and aftermarket service businesses in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Casablanca, Morocco, and Dallas, the United States.
Along with the acquisition of these three sites, the company also acquired the complete work package for the A220 wing manufacturing process and technology.
The supply chain of this market comprises several nodes including raw material suppliers, prepreg manufacturers, AFP/ATL composite part manufacturers, distributors, and OEMs.
The following are the key players in the AFP/ATL composites market.
Airbus Group SE
AVEL robotics SAS
The Boeing Company
Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd.
Leonardo S.p. A.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Premium Aerotech GmbH
Key Topics Covered:
1. Executive Summary
2. Market Environment Analysis 2.1. Penetration of AFP/ATL Composites in the Total Composites Industry in 2020 (Value Basis) 2.2. Market Segment Share in 2020 2.3. Supply Chain Analysis 2.4. Industry Life Cycle Analysis 2.5. Market Drivers 2.6. Market Challenges
3. AFP/ATL Composites Market - The COVID-19 Impact Assessment 3.1. Pre-COVID vs Post-COVID Assessment 3.2. Key Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the AFP/ATL Composites Market 3.3. COVID-19 Status in Major Countries
4. Market Assessment 4.1. AFP/ATL Composites Market Assessment (2015-2026) (US$ Million and Million Lbs.) 4.1.1. By Resin Type Assessment (Thermoplastic Composites and Thermoset Composites) 4.1.2. By Automation Type (AFP Composites and ATL Composites) 4.1.3. By Region (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and RoW) 4.1.4. By Countries (10+ Top Major Countries) 4.2. AFP/ATL Thermoplastic Composites Market Assessment (2015-2026) (US$ Million and Million Lbs.) 4.2.1. By Resin Type Assessment (PPS, PEEK, and Others) 4.2.2. By Fiber Type (Carbon Composites and Glass Composites) 4.2.3. By Application Type (Aircraft and Others) 4.3. AFP/ATL Thermoset Composites Market Assessment (2015-2026) (US$ Million and Million Lbs.) 4.3.1. By Resin Type Assessment (High-Temperature Composites, Epoxy Composites, and Others) 4.3.2. By Fiber Type (Glass Composites, Carbon Composites, and Others) 4.3.3. By Application Type (Aircraft, Automotive, and Others)
5. Competitive Analysis 5.1. Market Share Analysis 5.2. Regional Competitive Landscape 5.3. Major Players, their Product Portfolio, and Competitive Advantages 5.4. Mapping of Major Players by Automation Type 5.5. Geographical Presence 5.6. New Product Launches 5.7. Strategic Alliances: Mergers & Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, etc. 5.8. Porter's Five Forces Analysis 5.9. Strategic Growth Opportunities
6. Strategic Growth Opportunities 6.1. Market Attractiveness Analysis 6.1.1. Market Attractiveness by Resin Type 6.1.2. Market Attractiveness by Automation Type 6.1.3. Market Attractiveness by Region 6.1.4. Market Attractiveness by Country 6.2. Emerging Trends 6.3. Growth Matrix Analysis 6.4. Strategic Implications 6.5. Key Success Factors (KSFs)