Demand from automobile, aerospace and defence fueling machine tools market: study

Wednesday June 12, 2013
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
Demand from aerospace and defence, mining, power generation and automobile industries is expected to drive the market for machine and cutting tools, according to a new study from Frost & Sullivan. The study, “Global Machine Tools and Cutting Tools Market,” finds that the market earned revenues of $15.72 billion in 2012 and estimates this to reach $21.18 billion in 2017. The research covers metal cutting, metal forming and metal finishing segments across North America, Europe (Includes Russia and other CIS countries), Middle East, Africa (EMEA), Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Latin America. "Despite the economic downturn, the demand for machine tools and cutting tools is expected to grow in emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil and Russia," said Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation & Process Control research analyst Guru Mahesh. "Increased investments in the automobile, aerospace and defence industries that incorporate these tools in their production process will boost uptake levels." The growth of the aerospace and defence industry—with its widespread use of high-precision cutting tools, super abrasives and metal forming and fabrication tools—in Europe, Russia, China and India spells good news for market prospects. The heightened demand for advanced materials, like nickel alloys and titanium alloys, by the aerospace industry is set to further promote the use of machine tools and cutting tools. "The biggest challenge tool manufacturers face is that these advanced materials are very difficult to machine and tend to increase tool deformation," said Mahesh. "Investments in R&D are likely to address this challenge, aiding market growth." Tool manufacturers are investing in R&D to develop tools that are coated with materials like titanium carbide, titanium nitride and aluminium oxide etc. The coating process is done either by chemical vapour deposition (CVD) or by physical vapour deposition (PVD). Such tools are capable of withstanding the high amount of heat produced, preventing tool deformation. Despite being the leading manufacturers of machine tools and cutting tools, China and India have been unable to address the spiralling demand for technologically advanced, high-quality products. This has been due to the lack of local expertise. Instead, this need has been met by German manufacturers. "Focused R&D strategies by manufacturers, not just in China and India, but across all potentially high-growth emerging country markets, will support the development of innovative, high-quality products," said Mahesh. "Providing technical training is also crucial in leveraging the market's growth potential."

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