VDMA German tool and mould makers exceed expectations
Germany - ETMM editor Barbara Schulz met up with Markus Heseding, managing director of the Precision Tools Association within the German Engineering Association VDMA, to discuss how the local tool and mould sector is currently faring and what to expect in 2015.
ETMM: Mr Heseding, after about 1.5 years on the job, what is your résumé?
Heseding: I’ve meanwhile visited many different companies in the precision tools industry and I was pleasantly surprised to find highly innovative, clean, bright, lean and well laid out workshops. Underpinning everything these companies do is a strong commitment to both excellence and continuous improvement, as well as an ethos based on co-operation and a shared desire to offer customers the best products and service. Education and training is also on a high level.
ETMM: Germany’s precision tools industry added more evidence that the upswing in Europe is underway. Production is expected to rise 3% this year. How is the outlook for the tool and mould making sector?
Heseding: Based on available data for 2014, the tool and mould making sector has exceeded the record level of the previous year, producing tools and moulds worth approx. €4.7bn. In total, turnover rose 5% compared to 2013. Driving force for this positive development were the automotive and mechanical engineering sectors. However, they did not develop in line with each other. While the latter only experienced a growth of 1% last year, Germany's automotive industry produced more cars than in 2013 (+4%). This positive development as well as a high variety of models further pushed the domestic demand for tools and moulds.