News from Germany - Machinery & Equipment

Forecast for 2012 - Mechanical Engineers Remain Optimistic

Gloomy economic forecasts aside, Germany’s mechanical engineering industry is booming - with German Engineering Federation (VDMA) president and CEO Thomas Lindner expecting a production surplus of four percent in 2012. This would represent a slight improvement on the previous 2008 record year results of EUR 197 billion. The VDMA has also confirmed its growth forecast of 14 percent for 2011, with sales volume expected to hit the EUR 188 billion mark.

Manufacturers were operating at nearly 90 percent capacity in July 2011 - a positive trend which was also reflected in employment figures. The mechanical engineering industry in Germany currently employs around 923.000 people, with 10,000 new jobs expected by the end of the year. Orders rose during the first seven months of 2011, exceeding the previous year's volume by 21 percent. The VDMA nevertheless forecasts a slight decrease of orders in the months ahead, with the positive trend set to continue but with smaller growth rates for the coming year.

Despite downwardly revised global economy forecasts, the global economy will continue to grow, with forecast corrections for industrial production and investments expected to remain moderately smaller but robuster than the wider economy. Major industry clients including the automotive and aircraft sectors are planning a number of strategic investments in new markets, technologies and models. For this reason, the VDMA remains optimistic and expects further growth in the mechanical engineering industry for the year ahead.

Sources: Produktion, Spiegel Online

German Robotics and Automation Industry Expects New Sales Record

Record sales figures are expected in the German robotics and automation sector. "We expect to reach for 2011 a new sales record of EUR 10.3 billion" stated Thilo Brodtmann, CEO of the German Engineering Federation Automation + Robotics (VDMA Robotics + Automation). Robotics and automation sector turnover in Germany will record an increase of 37 percent on 2011 figures.

The assembly and handling technology sector will surpass EUR 6 billion turnover in 2011 - recording a surplus of 42 percent. With EUR 2.7 billion, the robotics sector will experience an increase of 38 percent. In doing so, the two subs-sectors will record their highest growth rates to date. The sales volume of the image data processing sector (which witnessed above average growth of 32 percent in 2010) will increase by a further 20 percent to reach EUR 1.5 billion in 2011. All three sub-sectors are forecast to record their highest turnover volumes to date in 2011.

The continuing rise of orders recorded in the country's robotics and automation sector within the first seven months of 2011 will ensure a further turnover growth rate of seven percent - reaching EUR 11.1 billion in 2012. Although the German Engineering Federation projects a slight decrease in orders for the upcoming months, the positive automation technologies trend will continue. According to VDMA Robotics + Automation, the positive trend for robotics and automation technologies is an international one and noticeable in a number of industry branches, most specifically the automobile, pharmaceutical, and food & beverage sectors.

Source: Produktion

Continued Strong Forecast for the Machine Tool Industry

The German Machine Tool Builders' Association (VDW) has confirmed its forecast growth rate of 30 percent for 2011. Mr. Martin Kapp, Chairman of the VDW, stated: "The international machine tool industry is in excellent health and demand continues at a very high level."

Orders rose by 91 percent during the first seven months of 2011 - the highest on record. Booked orders in June 2011 reached a record high of 9.7 months, supporting production well into 2012. Exports increased by more than a third in the first-half of 2011 compared to the previous year.

After the significant reduction in capacity utilization in mid-2009 to below 70 percent, machine tool manufacturers were once again operating at 95 percent capacity levels in July this year. This trend is also observable in employment figures. At the end of the first half-year 2011, more than 66,000 people were employed in the sector - an increase of almost four percent on the previous year's figures.

Investment budgets for the machine tool industry's major client sectors remain high internationally; more than 14 percent in 2011 and a projected 11 percent for 2012. Large clients from the automobile and aircraft industries in particular are planning numerous strategic investments in new markets and technologies. The German machine tool industry will benefit from this positive trend and the VDW therefore expects further growth for the German machine tool industry for the upcoming year.

Source: VDMA

Yasakawa Makes Multi Million Euro Investment in Germany

The Japanese Yaskawa Corporation, one of the world's leading manufacturers of industrial robots and drive technology with annual turnover of around EUR 3 billion, is investing around EUR 12.5 million in its new representative headquarters in Allershausen, near Munich. The area will cover some 14,000 square meters and is situated right by the Allershausen exit from the freeway. The new headquarters should be ready for use in August 2012.

Yaskawa's investment decision is a sign of the global market leader's intent to significantly increase share in the European industrial robot market. Mr. Koichi Takamiya, President of Yaskawa Europe GmbH, claims that the new headquarter in Germany will allow Yaskawa Corporation to be nearer to the European customer and accordingly operate in a more flexible manner.

Source: Produktion

Endress + Heusser Expands Competence Center for Liquid Analysis

Endress+Hauser Conducta has made a total investment of more than EUR 15 million in two building projects over the past three years. These new investments demonstrate the company’s commitment to its location in Gerlingen, Germany, which can look back on several decades of successful business.

The company now has in excess of 20,000 square meters floor space at the Gerlingen site. As well as further production and office space, a new laboratory and a seminar center have been added. Dr. Manfred Jagiella, managing director of Endress+Hauser Conducta, stated that "our objective is to continue to grow and to create new jobs."

Endress+Hauser Conducta is a leading international supplier in the field of liquid analysis measurement. Numerous international product and business awards and prizes - including the Manufacturing Excellence Award 2010, TOPJOB 2011 and Best Marketing Company Award 2011 - are proof of the company's innovative powers. Endress+Hauser Conducta relies on the competence and skills of over 550 employees at their headquarters in Gerlingen near Stuttgart, Germany, and at their sites in Waldheim and Gros-Umstadt, Germany, Anaheim, California, and Suzhou, China.

Source: Automation.com

GA Pack Builds Aseptic Packaging Material Production Facility in Germany

Greatview Aseptic Packaging (GA Pack), the second largest supplier of roll-fed aseptic packaging material in the world, will invest EUR 50 million in building a new European production facility in Halle (Saale), Germany. The new production site marks an important milestone in the company's international growth strategy. The facility will create approximately 110 new jobs.

Peder Berggren, Director, International Business at GA Pack, said, "With the new facility, we are significantly expanding our activities in Europe and thus the penetration of the largest regional market for aseptic packaging in the world. This commitment helps us grow our market share, further broaden our customer mix and capture part of the rapid growth in the international aseptic packaging market."

Halle was chosen for its optimal mix of competitive location factors. As Peder Berggren explains: "The production site offers excellent railroad connections and motorway access, and is located conveniently close to Leipzig airport. A significant number of professionals also live in the area. What won us over, though, were the authorities of Sachsen-Anhalt and Halle, who have shown great professionalism and eagerness to win this project. They have made it very clear from the start that, together, we can create a win-win-situation."

The production of aseptic packaging material in Germany is scheduled to start in 2012. The factory in Halle is expected to have an annual production capacity of approximately 4 billion packs by the end of 2013, and create work for at least 110 skilled employees.

Quelle: GA Pack

Shenyang Machine Tool Group Builds European Headquarters in Berlin

Shenyang Machine Tool Group (SYMG), one of the world's top three manufacturers of machine tools, has announced plans to establish its European headquarter in Berlin, Germany. Torsten Brumme, CEO of subsidiary company Schiess GmbH will become the new European CEO. According to Mr. Brumme, the project will start with between 20 and 30 people.

The new headquarters will be ready for operations at the beginning 2012, with Berlin set to serve as a development center. "The attractiveness of the city and the many universities will help us to find qualified development engineers", said Brummer. SYMGs' decision to invest in Berlin reflects the growth strategy that the corporation has set itself for Germany and the European market. "We envisage to develop joint-ventures with suppliers." Brummer added. New acquisitions of additional companies is also an option.

With turnover of EUR 1.3 billion, SYMG is one of the world's top three manufacturers of machine tools. The company employs 18,000 people and is the biggest producer of metal-cutting machine tools in China. SYMG's main sites are located in the Chinese cities of Shenyang and Kunming, as well as Aschersleben in Germany, and delivers to more than 80 countries and regions. The company's customers come from a variety of key industries, including automotive, aerospace and the railway industry.

Source: Wirtschaftswoche

Sumitomo Invests EUR 5 Million in Germany

Sumitomo Electric Hartmetall GmbH plans to expand its production site in Lauchheim, in Germany, with a new development and demonstration center. The company plans to invest around EUR 5 million in new buildings and equipment for training, demonstration and testing activity purposes.

This investment marks an important milestone in the company's international growth strategy. This is a sign of the great importance that Sumitomo attaches to Germany and the European market. The company claims that the new investment in Germany will not only secure existing workplaces, but will also further strengthen the Sumitomo brand.

Source: Produktion

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