“The German machine tool industry is continuing to turn in a highly dynamic performance during 2018,” comments Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director of the sectoral organisation VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association) in Frankfurt am Main. “Forming technology, which accounts for about 30 per cent of the sector’s total production output (approximately three billion euros last year) is making a significant contribution here. It is governed by different demand mechanisms to metal-cutting, for example. Its products, mainly presses and machines for sheet-metal forming, are firstly used very frequently in large-scale orders and projects of the automotive industry, and secondly in a very broad circle of customer groupings as well,” Dr. Schäfer goes on to explain. This, he says, is also evidenced by the uptrend in sales, which have already risen by 25 per cent in the year’s first quarter.
The high increase in turnover must be seen against the background of forming technology’s having taken a breather last year, after acting as the prime mover for the sector as a whole in 2016. “In the ongoing year, we anticipate that it can once again assume this role, by reason of the order overhang and the good start to the year,” says the VDW’s Executive Director Dr. Schäfer in conclusion.
For the German machine tool industry as a whole, the VDW has raised its production output forecast for 2018 from five to seven per cent.