Tel.: +34 943 309009
Fax +34 943 309191
During his presentation, “Machine tool and advanced manufacturing: power in numbers”, offered by ‘Los Viernes de la Cámara’ (Fridays at the Chamber), a business meeting organised by Cámarabilbao and Euskaltel, the director general of AFM defended that machine tool is a strategic sector that encompasses know-how and production capacities from many industrial sectors. He stated that “no modern and competitive industry exists without machine tool”.
Ortueta underlined that “manufacturing machine tool provides a country with industrial know-how and a high technology level. It is a small sector, but one that decisively contributes to productivity and competitiveness”.
The machine tool sector is the third major producer and exporter in the European Union, behind Germany and Italy, and the ninth in the world. It exports more than 75% of its production to the most demanding markets.
Xabier Ortueta also talked about key factors in terms of technical and scientific knowledge competitiveness, and skills that afford solutions. Those factors are: “qualified, competent and prepared” people; technology (AFM invests 5% in R&D&I) in order to achieve greater productivity and efficiency; innovation (industry 4.0) to boost the customer’s value; and internationalisation (selling on the five continents), with the challenge of generalising it and achieving diversification of as many people as possible.
On the situation of the sector, the director general of AFM recalled the moments of crisis and the “transit through the desert” above all in the domestic market. A turnaround has taken place in the markets over the last three years, with relevant deterioration in China and India, more moderate in Germany, a considerable growth in the US and Mexico; and improvement in Spain, France and Italy.
Precisely, about the effect that the protectionist measures announced by Donald Trump, US President, may have, Xabier Ortueta expressed his concern, “the final effect is unpredictable”. “Protectionism – he stated – affects trade and puts a bit dint in trust".
During the presentation, the vice-chairman of the Chamber, Juan Mª Saenz de Buruaga, indicated that “machine tool is a dynamic sector that provides high added value functional and productive solutions to strategic sectors in the Basque industry”. Furthermore – he underscored – “it uses research, innovation, information and technology to improve processes and attend to the needs of customer enterprises and of society itself”.
The advanced manufacturing cluster led by AFM is made up of 294 manufacturing enterprises and 41 collaborator members who employs 11,000 people and bills more than 2.1 billion Euros. All the machine tool, component, tool and accessory manufacturers (AFM), machining companies (AFMEC), manual tool manufacturers and industrial supply (ESKUIN), and companies from the field of additive manufacturing and 3D printing (ADDIMAT) are all integrated in it.