Machine Tools and Machining Centers

An Expert's View about Metal-Forming Machinery, Machine Tools in Germany

Posted on: 25 Jan 2012


This report analyzes the German market for metal-working Machining Centers (MCs), a subsector of the machine tool industry. MCs are defined by the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association as follows: “Machining Centers MCs are versatile multi-function machine tools which perform a combination of different machining processes, such as boring, milling, drilling, turning, or sheet metal working. MCs have three or more axes of motion, are equipped with a computer-numerical-control-unit (CNC) and have automatic tool and work-piece changing capacity (note: The computer numerical control (CNC) and the tool changer are usually detachable and may be separated from the MC).

  The following product categories are part of this sub-sector report: Horizontal/vertical MCs for milling-turning-boring-grinding machine operations; sheet-metal processing MCs for punching, nibbling and forming; and laser cutting MCs. The overall market for MCs in Germany in 2010 amounted to 452 million EUR.

  In Europe, Germany is the largest producer and consumer of machine tools and, after Japan and China, the third largest exporter world-wide. In 2010, Germany decreased its production by 3 percent to EUR 9.8 billion (USD 14,11billion). Compared to 2009 Germany’s machine tool market decreased by 10 percent to EUR 4.9 billion (USD 7.05 billion). After two years of downturns starting in 2009, figures for the 1&2Q in 2011 indicate overall growth. In 1&2Q 2010 the total production has been EUR 4.167 billion (USD 6 billion). In 1&2Q 2011 there was a total production of EUR 5.680 billion (USD 8.179 billion), reflecting a 36% growth from 2010.

  During 2010, the machine tool market in Germany was driven by increased orders from the domestic & foreign goods industries. Despite the generally positive trend for 2011, orders from domestic industries have fallen behind orders of foreign industries. (domestic: 3.8 %, foreign: 7.7%).

  In Jan-Sep 2010, the value of German MCs decreased nearly 33 percent during Jan-Sep 2009 to USD 910 million. Approximately 75 percent of all the German MC production was exported in 2009, while imports accounted for 69 percent of the total domestic consumption. An increase in the foreseeable future is predicted for imports. The most significant end-users of MCs are the transportation industries (automotive, aircraft, aerospace), the electrical and electronics industry, medical industry, the household appliance industry, and the mechanical engineering industry. The U.S. share of the German machining tool import market is estimated at about 5.2 percent and valued at EUR 103.2 million. The market offers opportunities particularly for those U.S. manufacturers who offer flexible “standardized” MC technologies in the lower/medium price range and for metal cutting equipment; and tooling systems for MCs such as chucks, jigs, and laser technology.

  Market Profile

From 2009 to 2010, the German manufacturing technology industry has faced a regular downturn. Production shrunk by 3% to EUR 9.87 billion (USD 14.21 billion) during this period. MCs were designed and improved to highperformance manufacturing technologies to satisfy customer demands. End-users demanded reduced costs, and, at the same time an increase in performance, precision, reliability and environmental acceptability. Following a two year downsize period, the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (VDW) forecasts a growth of about 36% percent for the year 2011 at USD 19.3 billion. This is still the second best result in Germany’s machine industry since 2008. The boom phase was used by the German machine tool industry to stabilize its structures and position itself in new markets. China has become the largest export market for Germany’s MCs and the tool industry in 2010 and accounts for 28 percent, USD 2,471 billion of all German tool exports. 69,600 people work in this industry and the industry is looking for young trainees + engineers. Over the past few years, German companies have concentrated their efforts on developing high-tech MCs for “complete” machining. The MC market in Germany was valued at around 452 million in 2010 and is forecasted at 863 million for 2011.

  Best Prospects

Best sales potential in Germany is expected to be in the following categories:

• Parts Etc. For Machine Tools Of Head (USD 118.5 million worth of imports)

• Tools For Working In The Hand, Pneum Hyd Etc, Pts (USD 109.1 million worth of imports)

• Machine Tools For Material Removal By Laser Etc (USD 33.3 million worth of imports)

• Machine Tools For Honing Or Finishing Metal Etc (USD 14.4 million worth of imports)

• Machines, Solder Etc; Gas Surf Temper Machines, Pt (USD 14.2 million worth of imports)

• Machine Tools For Forging, Bending, Stamping Etc (USD 12.5 million worth of imports)

• Machine Tools For Working Wood, Cork, Bone Etc (USD 10.2 million worth of imports)

• Machine Tools For Shaping, Slotting, Gear Cut Etc (USD 8.1 million worth of imports)

• Machine Tools For Working Metal, Nesoi (USD 8 million worth of imports)

• Machine Tools For Drilling, Boring, Milling Etc (USD 7.4 million worth of imports)

Read the full market research report

Posted: 25 January 2012