It's good to be a machine builder
Doom and gloom may be the flavor of the day in macro-economic news, but you wouldn't know it speaking to machine makers at Fakuma. From Engel and Arburg to Wittmann-Battenfeld and Milacron, 2014 was a very good year, and the outlook for 2015 is promising.
Engel anticipates 7% growth in turnover for its current fiscal year, which ends in March 2015. If that projection holds, it will pass the €1 billion mark in sales for the first time. Lightweighting in the automotive sector will continue to drive strong growth in the injection molding field, according to Engel CEO Peter Neumann. The biggest challenge is to develop manufacturing processes that allow for low unit costs despite high volumes, he adds.
Arburg was buzzing with positivity at its press conference, where Managing Partner Michael Hehl said he was "highly satisfied with the business trend and incoming orders in 2014." Breaking with tradition—we don't usually conjecture about figures, said Hehl—he announced that the company expects to hit sales figures in excess of €500 million. It is well worth mentioning, he explained.
As for the Wittmann Group, it will fall just shy of the €300 million in sales that it wanted to reach in 2014, but it does expect to surpass 2013 results by 7%. The company expects to breach the €300 million threshold in 2015, forecasting sales revenues of €320 million. "It's a bit astonishing, but this is a very healthy market for us," said General Manager Michael Wittmann at a press conference.
There were more smiles over at the Milacron stand, which had a solid year of growth, according to a member of management. Next year is looking equally good, he added, based on a substantial backlog of orders. Here again, automotive is fueling demand, but packaging also is strong and medical is steady, he added.