Automation Market CNC & Tool & Mechanical

Precision tool manufacturers achieve production increase in difficult times

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«In 2022, precision tool manufacturers were able to achieve the expected sales increase of 8 percent to around 9.9 billion euros,» said Stefan Zecha, chairman of the VDMA Precision Tools Association, at today’s annual press conference in Frankfurt. «However, the challenges for the predominantly smaller and medium-sized companies in the industry are becoming ever greater. This is because the burdens are increasing, for example in the costs of energy, personnel and raw materials. But also the bureaucracy with verification requirements for supply chains or sustainability. And the shortage of skilled workers is limiting our growth options,» Zecha added.

The export business could be increased slightly overall to over 6 billion euros in 2022. However, with significantly different development in the individual subsectors and by target country. Business in the Americas was a significant growth factor. By contrast, sales in China were disappointing. The German market reached a volume of 7 billion euros. It started well at the beginning of 2022, stagnated in the second quarter and then picked up again significantly in the second half of the year. In particular, the sharp rise in domestic production in the German auto industry in recent months and high production utilization in the mechanical engineering sector had a positive impact.

High inflation and the Ukraine war with all its consequences will continue to impact companies for some time to come. The expensive November 2022 wage settlement is also a burden for companies. Material bottlenecks and difficulties in the supply chain continue, and more and more countries are returning to protectionist measures. All in all, 2023 is expected to be another difficult year in all subsectors of the precision tooling industry. Zecha: «The increasing demand for tools in some customer industries at least gives us hope for renewed production growth of 8 percent overall.»

From September 18 to 23, 2023, the world’s leading trade fair EMO will also be the precision tool industry’s showcase to the world, with three key themes: «Future of Business,» «Future of Connectivity» and «Future of Sustainability in Production.» The Precision Tools Association will be in the midst of the tool manufacturers with an information booth. Among other things, the VDMA is once again organizing a technology forum where, in addition to members of the Precision Tools and Measuring and Testing Technology trade associations and research, interesting startups will once again be bringing new ideas to the industry. Two other important trade fairs for the industry are the Intec in Leipzig from March 7 to 10 with a VDMA joint stand and the Moulding Expo in Stuttgart from June 13 to 16, 2023. The VDMA will be represented with an information booth in Stuttgart and will address changing topics to trade visitors and exhibitors on a daily basis.

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