The production of precision tools in Germany has reached a new record level. Economic expectations for 2019 are optimistic, albeit at a slower pace.
"It is currently assumed that the precision tool industry was able to achieve sales growth of 8% in 2018," says Lothar Horn, Chairman of VDMA Präzisionswerkzeuge, at the start of the annual press conference in Frankfurt. A growth of 1 % is expected for this year.
Business with cutting tools and clamping tools in Germany and abroad was very good. Toolmaking, on the other hand, only grew in Germany. All three sectors were unable to adequately meet the demand for skilled workers. Overall, the number of employees in the precision tool industry grew to around 69,500.
While the machining tools mainly rely on the US market as a growth driver in their forecast for 2019, the clamping tools assume that the customer industries mechanical engineering, medical technology and aviation technology will boost sales. Toolmaking, on the other hand, expects a somewhat weaker business overall with stable sales in Germany and the USA and a small increase in demand from Europe and China.
A great uncertainty was the topic of e-mobility which was both viewed as a huge opportunity but at the same time a source of the unknown. The political and economic future of this mode of transportation is still nebulous. Therefore, no concrete prediction were possible regarding the future of the industry in this direction.