• Part of the international demand has passed from Asia to America.
• The domestic market continues its gradual recovery with a significant rise in consumption. It is the ideal moment to launch a national Renove Plan in addition to the Basque one.
• AFM companies, taken together, have exported 80% of their production, and the machine manufacturers, 88%.
• Additive manufacturing technologies have been integrated into manufacturing technologies as a whole, with the arrival of ADDIMAT, the new association operated by AFM.
• The sector’s congress will hold its twentieth edition in San Sebastian.
The Machine-Tool and advanced manufacturing technology sector has managed to maintain its 2014 turnover at a very similar level to the figures reached in 2013. Despite the uncertain start and irregular development in 2014, the sector has registered a slight setback of 0.2% at the end of one of the most uncertain financial years of the last few years. The metal cutting subsector has grown (+8.5%) but its figures have been negatively affected by the decrease in metal forming (-25%). The other sectors, namely components (+4.3%), other machines (+24.3%), tools (+11.3%) and machining (+3%), have experienced variable improvements. Worthy of note is the tool-making sector with its good performance on the domestic market, whose industry has started to notice a recovery.
Antxon López Usoz, President of AFM, states:”We are experiencing a situation of uncertainty, in which our most important export markets are suffering more than they should, especially Germany, whose demand has been affected by the situation in Russia. China, too, whose change in growth model is hampering investment, and India, which is going through two very difficult years, although it seems to be starting to take off again. The good news is that, as a sector, we have managed to offset this situation by conquering markets in the USA, United Kingdom, France, Italy and Mexico, as well as the incipient improvement of the domestic market”.
Exports, which in 2013, registered a historical high, fell by 4.8% in 2014, mainly due to the drop supported by metal forming (-32%) despite the increase in the metal cutting subsector (+5.3%), just like the other subsectors. If we analyse the export data until the month of October, we can see that China once again heads the 2014 sales abroad (22%), followed by Germany (11%) and the USA (6%), and then Mexico (5%) and France (5%). They are followed by Portugal, United Kingdom, Russia, Brazil and Italy.
As mentioned above, the 2014 market trends suggest a deterioration in capturing markets in the Asian area, which in the case of China, and due to the long order maturing periods, has still not been reflected in the exports. Orders in 2014 grew by 2.1% with a good final quarter of the year. The start of 2015 appears stable in terms of activity. In terms of orders, the main markets are Spain, USA, Germany and China.
Spain is the most important market for the second year running, domestic consumption shows an encouraging growth of 42% and although it is progressing slowly, it offers improvement perspectives. Lopez Usoz declares: “For the smaller companies, the situation is improving slightly, with a more dynamic domestic market, and this is a good sign for all, in general. In any case, we insist on recalling that the group of companies that we represent is very diverse and that the more internationalised companies with capacity to invest in R&D and with more specialised products, are the ones that support the ups-and-downs better.”
The Renove Plans applied in the Basque Country have proven to be effective in improving production capacity and in renewing the machinery pool, leading to believe that a good move would be to make it extensive to the entire country in 2015.
The President of the association, Antxon Lopez Usoz states: “We trust that 2015 will be a stable year in terms of conquering markets and in turnover. To this end, the recovery of investment in the domestic market must be consolidated. We thank the Basque government for its commitment, with the new and successive recently published Renove Plan. We know that the central government shares the sector’s way of thinking and we believe that now is the time to add momentum with a national Renove plan. The SMEs in Spain need to start an equipment renewal process, which is vital for them to be competitive in the future.
On the other hand, we would like to bear witness to an early resolution to the conflict in Russia, which, per se, is relevant for the sector, but is also relevant indirectly as it would represent a re-launch in our main customer, which is the German motor.”
CREATION OF ADDIMAT
ADDIMAT – Spanish Association of 3D and Additive Manufacturing Technologies – was created on 17 December last. This is a new initiative created by AFM, the dean of industrial associations. “We have managed to assemble 40 companies in just one month. It is encouraging to start a new project where new companies emerge every day. Additive manufacturing is a magnificent growth channel for industry and at AFM we wish to play a leading role in this new revolution”, states the President of AFM and President of ADDIMAT.
20 MACHINE-TOOL CONGRESS
The sector will be holding its twentieth congress from 10 to 12 June. It will deal with questions such as Industry 4.0, Laser, additive manufacturing, cutting and treatments, Automation and Robots, “Zero defect” manufacturing, as well as novelties in components and tools. San Sebastian will be the venue for this new edition of the veteran congress dedicated to advances in production technologies and manufacturing.