Recovery grinds forward

The world grinding machine tool market is set to recover from 2000 as depressed Asian markets improve, says market research firm Frost & Sullivan. Growth will initially be slow because of saturation in the big sectors of aerospace and defence, but the total market should be worth $3bn (£1.9bn) by 2005. The increase will be […]

The world grinding machine tool market is set to recover from 2000 as depressed Asian markets improve, says market research firm Frost & Sullivan.

Growth will initially be slow because of saturation in the big sectors of aerospace and defence, but the total market should be worth $3bn (£1.9bn) by 2005.

The increase will be driven largely by the benefits of information technology, including improved productivity from CNC grinders and more user-friendly control systems. CNC machine sales will grow faster than manual ones, to take 59.8% of the market by 2005, says Frost & Sullivan. But CNC machine sales will be held back by higher costs and limited flexibility. The grinder industry will have to work against competition from alternative machining technologies and slow replacement rates.

The global machine tool market, meanwhile, will grow by 4.8% a year until 2003, according to Business Trends Analysts (BTA). UK growth will run at an above-average 5.1% per year. Annual growth will top 11% in the two largest markets, Germany and the US. Japan, where machine tool sales have contracted over the past five years, will barely recover with 1% average annual growth.

BTA is more pessimistic than Frost & Sullivan about the prospects for growth in developing countries, and warns: `The potential for political and economic instability makes investment in these areas somewhat risky.’

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