CECIMO Reports EU Machine Tool Industry Growth

In addition to the growth, the association also reports that machine tool manufacturers favor data-driven production practices, though not without concerns.

The CECIMO General Assembly has confirmed that, based on booking numbers, the European production of machine tools is set to grow by almost 4 percent in 2017, surpassing 25 billion euros in volume. What’s more, the machine tool sector is said to have coped well with what CECIMO describes as a negative international context: European exports suffered less than global exports, and are expected to accelerate this year.

Although exports from the European machine tool industry were 3 percent lower in 2016, CECIMO members were outperforming exporters internationally as the global machine tool trade decreased around 7 percent. The global machine tool consumption contracted 6 to 8 percent in 2016, the association says.

On the domestic European side, modernization of production equipment and previously postponed investments for capital goods will likely contribute to a rise in machine tool sales.

According to CECIMO, European machine tool builders are favoring data-driven solutions that improve machine performance, maintenance and environmental efficiency. Nevertheless, the industry is still at the early phases of understanding the full scope of data-driven solutions, and concerns about intellectual property and trade secrets are top of mind for many. CECIMO reports that the machine tool industry does not currently favor strict regulations on access rights to data with a top-down approach, which might hamper legal certainty and trust in the data economy. Access to data generated by machines is currently defined by bilateral contracts between businesses, which seems to work sufficiently well for now, according to CECIMO.