The far north as a guest in the strong south


AMB as an industry meeting point

Machine tool business between Germany and Sweden, Finland and Denmark, which will be represented by exhibitors at the forthcoming AMB, International Exhibition for Metal Working, in Stuttgart from 18 to 22 September 2018, is going well. It will also be worthwhile for Scandinavian visitors to fly (journey time: around 2.5 hours) to the most important European machine tool exhibition in even years: in the middle of the European heart of machine tool manufacturing they can look forward to the biggest AMB ever in 2018.

The new Paul Horn Hall (Hall 10) will be available for the first time on the trade fair grounds, which are just three minutes walk from Stuttgart airport. On an exhibition area of more than 120,000 square metres 1,500 exhibitors will show the around 90,000 international trade visitors innovations and further developments for metal-cutting and metal-removing process machine tools, precision tools, measuring systems and quality assurance, robots, workpiece and tool handling, industrial software & engineering, components, assemblies and accessories. An extensive accompanying programme will focus on the topic of digitalisation.

In addition to the already established accompanying programme of the exhibition, the première of the special show "Digital Way“ with an associated two-day Congress will attract special attention. It will show industrial companies how to exploit the potential of digitalisation with the aid of the latest information technology. Gunnar Mey, Department Director Industry at Messe Stuttgart, clarified: "Entrepreneurs want to know how Industry 4.0 and digitalisation can be implemented in production. The special show "Digital Way" will bring together solution-oriented offers and demand."

Imports and exports with Scandinavia on a growth path

For many years, Germany has been by far the most important supplier of machine tools to the far north. For example, German exports to Sweden – primarily machining centres, parts and accessories – rose by 37 per cent to around €177 million in 2017. Exports to Finland, primarily laser technology, actually increased by 53 per cent to €45 million. Only Denmark recorded a drop in exports - primarily machining centres, laser technology, parts and accessories - by 12 per cent to €54 million. However, the Danes managed to increase their exports, mainly parts and accessories, to Germany by 3 per cent to €14 million. The situation regarding Swedish exports to Germany, mainly parts and accessories, was not so good as they declined by 45 per cent to €22 million. Finland recorded a decrease of 41 per cent to €7 million. Finland primarily exports punching machines along with parts and accessories to Germany.

Precision tools very positive

Unlike the machine tool industry with its positive and negative aspects, manufacturers of precision tools recorded increases in both directions in all three countries. German exports of precision tools to Sweden have been rising every year since 2010. In 2017 they increased by 3 per cent. Precision tools with a total value of just under €120 million were supplied to Sweden last year. Exports to Denmark – after three weak years - also increased substantially by 11 per cent to more than €52 million. In addition to very strong tool construction and mouldmaking, the revival was mainly due to indexable inserts, forming tools for metal working, milling cutters, drilling machines and threading tools. Compared with the relatively weak previous year, exports to Finland again rose slightly in 2017 by 3 per cent to €30.4 million. The rise would have been much higher without the fall in exports of injection moulds.

Good progress was also made in the opposite direction. Exports from Sweden to Germany in 2017 increased by 8 per cent to a new record of €174 million. The most important tool product group: indexable inserts whose contribution alone amounted to more than €100 million. Denmark increased its exports to Germany by just under 7 per cent to over €11 million - the second highest result in the last ten years. Drills were the best-selling Danish product, but milling tools also rose significantly. Finnish exports to Germany are at a much lower level. However, it was pleasing to see that for the first time tools with a value of more than €0.8 million were delivered to Germany in 2017. These exports mainly comprised jigs and pressing and punching tools.

Scandinavian exhibitors like coming to AMB

The Swedish tool manufacturer Sandvik Coromant is one of the largest Scandinavian companies on the world market. "The reasons why we take part in AMB in Germany is to strengthen our customer relationships and develop our brand for future business opportunities," said President Nadine Crauwels. The company is focusing completely on digitalisation which "will change production and enable manufacturing companies to improve their overall performance." For example, digital solutions for more intelligent machining and higher production efficiency will be presented at AMB. Depending on the particular task and material type, these solutions will provide quick and precise tool recommendations and enable users to directly integrate tool assemblies in their digital machining environment.

Germany, especially southern Germany, is the largest market for the Danish manufacturer Belki. "The location and industry fields of AMB are therefore ideal for our company," said Bertel Skjellerup Farcinsen, Managing Director of the manufacturer of filter systems for cooling lubricants and cutting oils. Industry 4.0 is also at the top of the agenda for Belik. "We will present the latest version of our test system which regulates the oil concentration in coolants and collects different data flows regarding the coolant in order to provide the operator with more information about his coolant."

Fastems has been a firmly established player in the DACH region for years. The manufacturer of systems for automated material handling and machining solutions for cutting tools has a large production plant in Issum. According to Heikki Hallila, Managing Director of Fastems, the Finnish market is on a solid growth path. "There are strong links to Germany because the German machine tool industry is firmly established in Finland and, conversely, our core market in Europe is located in Germany." Our participation in AMB is "part of the marketing strategy to present our latest developments in hardware and software." The Finns will bring along a new version of their manufacturing management software which now integrates new functions for advanced workpiece handling in addition to pallet handling in automation processes during machining.

Cajo Technologies, another Finnish company and a newcomer to AMB, is growing rapidly. Marketing Manager Jenna Enbuska regards Germany as one of the most important target markets for the company's laser marking systems - and therefore also considers AMB to be one of the most important events in the year. Cajo can inscribe metal parts and other parts "on the fly" in the line. This satisfies the increasing demand for traceability. Enbuska: "In Stuttgart we are looking forward to very interesting discussions concerning marking processes, for example how industrial inkjet systems can be replaced by Cajo lasers."

About AMB
Around 90,000 international visitors and 1,500 exhibitors are expected at AMB 2018 in Stuttgart, which takes place from 18 to 22 September. On approximately 120,000 square metres of exhibition space, the exhibitors showcase innovations and further developments for metal-cutting machine tools, precision tools, measurement technology and quality assurance, robots, workpiece and tool handling technology, industrial software & engineering, components, assemblies and accessories. AMB 2018 is backed by the professional and conceptual sponsors, the VDMA Precision Tools Association, the VDMA Software and Digitalization Association and the Association of German Machine Tool Manufacturers (VDW). 

The text file, trade fair photos from the last AMB event and trade fair logos can be downloaded here.

Photo captions (COPYRIGHT Messe Stuttgart):

AMB_2018_PM14_1: AMB: The heart of metal working will beat in Stuttgart from 18 to 22 September 2018.

AMB_2018_PM14_2: AMB provides an ideal overview of the innovations in the industry.

AMB_2018_PM14_3: You meet world market leaders at AMB and obtain first-hand information on what is needed for production now and in the future

AMB_2018_PM14_4: AMB will be the industry meeting point in 2018.

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