In January 2022, Markus Horn, European Cutting Tools Association (ECTA) president, gave a press conference on the economic situation for European cutting tools manufacturers, sharing a positive outlook for the coming year and stressing the need for an expansion of green energy incentives.
The European tooling industry as a whole reportedly increased international deliveries of tools by approximately 20%; 60% of all deliveries were within EU countries. Deliveries to the regions impacted by Brexit increased by only 10%. For ECTA member countries, the top non-EU purchaser, the USA, grew 25%; China, however, only saw a 9% increase.
“The economic situation in the ECTA member countries has recovered, to some extent, over the year until now, albeit with varying degrees of momentum. Despite supply chain issues and the pandemic, toolmakers are mostly optimistic about the future,” Horn stated.
Markets in ECTA countries
Horn considered the situations in Italy and Germany are similar due to the slowing of car production. Thanks to quick capital goods write-offs in Italy, however, investment was supported and the tool business performed well.
Spain recorded a strong recovery, particularly in the first half of 2021. The semiconductor shortage and rising electricity costs, however, saw production stagnate, particularly that of the automotive industry.
Switzerland is said to be seeing the strongest development within the ECTA group, with nearly all industries reporting an increased tooling demand.
In France, the aerospace industry is slowly reviving. Production in the French automotive industry was said to be stable.
In the UK, homemade logistics problems were thought to have dampened the recovery of the manufacturing industry. Here, car production was also substantially lower than a year earlier.
The importance of industry events
One issue faced by the industry as a whole, Horn stressed, was the relative lack, or scaled-down nature, of events and trade shows due to COVID-related regulations.
He noted the following upcoming events as important to the industry:
- AMB Stuttgart: The International Exhibition for Metal Working – September 13–17 (Germany)
- IMTS (International Manufacturing Technology Show) 2022 – September 12–17 (Chicago, Illinois, USA)
- JIMTOF (Japan International Machine Tool Fair) 2022 – November 8–13 (Tokyo)
He also invited industry members to join the recently rescheduled ECTA conference. This will now take place June 30–July 2, in Rüschlikon, Switzerland, at the invitation of member association SwissMem. Registration is now open.