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NEWS

THE MACHINE-TOOL SECTOR FACES A COMPLICATED 2020, WHICH IS EXPECTED TO BOUNCE BACK BY THE END OF THE YEAR

18 February, 2020

After five years of very strong growth, coupled with a veritable positioning technological change of the sector, turnover in the machine-tool sector fell 6.80% in 2019. Nevertheless, 2019 has shown reasonable levels of activity for a transition year. It is the metal-forming subsector with a 13% downturn which has been most affected by the uncertainty, being directly tied to the automotive sector, which has opted in 2019 to postpone a part of its productive investments due to technological and sustainable mobility-related changes.

The metal-cutting subsector has performed better, closing a good year of activity, despite a 4.3% downturn, following on from a significant improvement exceeding 15% in 2018.

The remaining subsectors have had a somewhat better performance, within the overall landscape of limited downturns.

EXPORTS

The main destination countries of our exports in 2018 have been: Germany, representing 12.7% of total overseas sales, United States, 10.7%, Portugal, 7.8%, Italy, 7.7% and China, 7.5%. Followed by France (7.3%), Mexico (6%), India (3.3%), Poland (3%) and United Kingdom (2%). Exports, along the same lines as turnover, have suffered an 8.1% downturn following the 2018 record.

INTERNAL MARKET

The internal market keeps on having the same unresolved issue, which is to consistently invest in advanced manufacturing technologies in order for Spain to remain a country with an important industrial activity in the future. The progress of digitalisation accelerates the obsolescence of much of the equipment, and boosts the demand for a refurbishment and replacement of the production capacities is necessary.

César Garbalena, President of AFM states: “I think that if Spain wishes to continue being a country with a strong industry, we have to make a firm commitment to investing in manufacturing technologies to be competitive. It is the responsibility of the industry itself to upgrade its equipment; I would also, however, appeal to administrations to boost such investment with tax measures and digitalisation and renovation plans of the production means. One example is Italy, which has generated an excellent industrial recapitalisation process with ambitious measures that foster the reinvestment of corporate profits in machinery. The effect is resounding: Italy invests in the machine-tool sector seven times more than Spain. There is still a long road ahead of us if we wish to compete with our neighbours.

FORECASTS FOR 2020

Uncertainty strongly affects investment in capital goods; therefore, coming from a complicated 2019 as regards incoming orders, 2020 has commenced in the same vein.

The incoming orders fell in 2019 affecting the metal-forming sector especially, which has been curbed by a low demand situation over the last two years, and whose portfolio is more limited to ensuring a good activity load. The metal-cutting sector has likewise fallen throughout 2019, yet the sector has a good portfolio that will help them have an interesting manufacturing dynamic in 2020. Our main European competitors are in a very similar situation in this regard.

César Garbalena comments: “The situation is complicated, especially for those who directly work with the automotive sector. Despite this fact, our foresight analysis forecasts an improvement which may ensue in the latter end of the year. The latter is not guaranteed, which is why we must keep persevering in proposing new solutions to the market that will facilitate traffic in a year that will undoubtedly be difficult”.

2020 is going to be a tough year, Xabier Ortueta, AFM Managing Director, adds in this regard:  “Due to the long maturation periods of our products, and the orders we have registered, turnover will undoubtedly be affected by the end of 2020. Depending on the evolution of orders this year, we may be able to improve the result, but a downturn is foreseeable, which we should endeavour to minimise doubling down efforts.

In either event, the machine-tool sector has done its homework in recent years and has invested heavily in equipment, facilities and especially in people and knowledge.The overall situation of the sector is sound, and faces this period of uncertainty with energy. Digitalisation and the services related to our products and processes open a wide range of possibilities in which to lay a new foundation for growth for our industry”.

BIEMH 2020

Within a context in which investment in Spain is experiencing a downturn, the next BIEMH will be the linchpin of the industry. The various national and international manufacturers in attendance are strongly committed to the event which celebrates its 31st edition this year. At BEC (Bilbao Exhibition Centre), a centre with very high occupancy, the latest trends in manufacturing technologies (from machine-tools to 3D printing), and in automation and industrial digitalisation will be exhibited. The fair will cap off a whole range of products and technologies related to the advanced manufacturing industry.

Xabier Ortueta: “The sector knows how to survive through thick and thin, and this year of uncertainty, we are committed to the BIEMH with a level of occupancy that will match or exceed the “best of the decade” edition in 2018. Visitors can see firsthand why we are a powerhouse regarding manufacturing technologies, advanced manufacturing and Smart Industry”.

2020 EVENTS

AFM CLUSTER GENERAL MEETING: 8 May, to be held at the Science and Technology Park of Gipuzkoa (San Sebastian)

BIEMH 2020: 25-29 May, BEC (Bilbao)

               ADDIT3D, BEDIGITAL: 25-29 May

               WORKINN: 27-28 May

14TH NATIONAL AWARD FOR INNOVATION IN DIGITAL AND ADVANCED MANUFACTURING

B2B 2020 LET´S COOPERATE: BIEMH, METALMADRID

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    18/02/2020News

    AFM, Advanced Manufacturing Technologies

    AFM, Advanced Manufacturing Technologies

    Tel.: +34 943 309009

    Fax.: +34 943 309191

    afm@afm.es

    www.afm.es

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