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Editorial number 66

A strong growth in European machine tool production and an industrial strenght that finally pushes beyond Germany cause a raise in forecast for 2018 revenues and global industrial output: according to CECIMO, EU machine tool’s builders association, total net revenue in 2018 will be between 27.8 and 28.3 billion euros, at least 3.4 billion euros more than expected in last November. Demand for capital equipment is at record-high levels and we have been seeing clear signs of sustained global manufacturing momentum at the beginning of 2018, you can read on the CECIMO’s statement. Companies rely heavily on exports of machine tools to other regions (China and the U.S., in particular) and it noted that “increasing foreign orders point to a continuous improvement in machine tool exports in 2018.

CECIMO endorsed the EC proposal as “a positive step towards the creation of an open environment to stimulate investments in AI and keep the EU at the forefront.”

The group also supported the EU initiative to increase investments in AI research and innovation by at least €20 billion through 2020. “We need a systematic approach to innovation, research policy and investments in AI, in order to boost the EU’s technological and industrial capacity across the economy,” it stated.

“The machine tool sector is going through a rapid digital transformation. The industry is developing and investing in new business models together with customers. For manufacturers to ‘future-proof’ their factories, technology, processes and people should be equipped and empowered to face the upcoming challenges and stay ahead of the competition,” stated CECIMO director general Filip Geerts.

So, a particularly favourable environment is growing, even if everyone can see some signals of stormy weather at the horizon: one the first hand, the research on addittive manufacturing versus the new resolution of European Parliament above 3D printing, where it is important that Europe has recognised the importance of new processes in manufacturing, but otherwise industry needs a stronger differentiation in legal framework among b-2-b and b-2-c uses of technolgy. On the second hand, European economy is always in trepidation for custom duties announced by US President Donald Trump on European products. If it is true that American industries do not own the neccessary know how to be independent in machine tools sector, it is true at the same level that a change in global market axes can allow US factories to obtain machineries also from Far East producers, that is unexpected and was unpredictable only few months ago. Only to have a brief summary on US market in machine tools, we can resume few data: in USA, machine tool orders surged in May, posting solid gains on a monthly and year-over-year basis. Orders totaled $485.49 million in May, the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT; McLean, VA) said in a monthly report. That represented a 22% gain from an adjusted $396.67 million in April and a 38% increase from $351.79 million in May 2017. For the first five months of 2018, orders totaled $2.13 billion, a 26% increase from $1.69 billion for the same period last year.

For us it is a period of great changes: new articles and columns in the magazine, new profiles on social media (look for us on LinkedIn, for instance), a new website periodically updated. It is a deep effort to follow the new opportunities in communication, even in a field conservative like mechanics. Also the choice of create two different issues of the magazine, in Italian and English, is the evidence of a international vocation that we are trying to enhance and pursue.

Stay tuned, more to come in an autumn of main exhibitions, from Bimu, to Euroblech and Fabtech.