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VDW raises production output forecast for 2018

June 2018

In the first quarter of 2018, order bookings in the German machine tool industry rose by 22 per cent, compared to the preceding year’s equivalent period. Domestic orders were up by 39 per cent. Orders from abroad increased by 15 per cent.

“Our sector is continuing to turn in a highly dynamic performance during 2018,” commented Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director, VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association). “Last year’s excellent performance is being seamlessly progressed. Domestic orders remain the prime mover, more than double the demand from overseas.”

Dr. Wilfried Schäfer

Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director of the VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association)

Metal-cutting and forming technologies made equal contributions to the first quarter’s growth. Capacity utilisation was running at 93.4 per cent. The ongoing boom in almost all user industries worldwide had already driven production output and order bookings to a record high last year. Recording an increase of seven per cent, production output had in 2017 passed the 16-billion-euro mark.

“Based on a sizeable increase in orders last year, which is set to continue, we see potential for higher growth in production output in 2018 than was initially anticipated in February and are raising our production output forecast from five to another seven per cent growth,” added Dr. Schäfer.

The sector is confident that the global economy will continue to offer a good business environment for the industry’s investments. The upturn in demand, said the VDW, is based on a broad foundation of technologies and markets. High capacity utilisation necessitates capital investment in expansions and replacements.

“If bottlenecks in the production process, staffing and component deliveries do not become too serious, this ambitious target should be well within reach,” concluded Dr. Schäfer.

The German machine tool industry ranks among the five largest specialist groupings in the mechanical engineering sector. Its development is an important indicator for the economic dynamism of the industrial sector as such. In 2017, with most recently over 72,000 employees (status at the end of 2017, firms with more than 50 staff), the sector produced machines and services worth around 16.1 billion euros.

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