After a period of mild recession, there has been a recovery in the global demand of the machine tools. The rates of recovery have been different between various economies. According to research, the main economies such as Americas, China and Japan have shown marked improvement in machine tools demand towards the end of year 2014 and the trend has continued to the year 2015. Shorter-term forecasts from the Middle East have also showed increased demand. The global machinery production is also growing rapidly creating an increased demand for machine tools.
Factors leading to Increased Demand
Certain factors have contributed to successful development of the machine tools industry. One case study of the Indian subcontinent highlighted factors such as;
- Supporting policies: Import substitution policy by the government has led to importation of technology and advancements in innovations through learning. Modification of imported ideas brought about self-reliance on technologies for local machinery and industrial development.
- Development of learning infrastructure is another important factor supporting advancement of machine tools industry. This has been achieved through promotion and adequate facilitation of higher education institutions.
Industry specific factors for competitiveness include;
- Availability of scientists and qualified engineers; the presence of a well-trained pool of staff has led to development of innovation and success in the machine tools industry.
- Acquisition and utilization of external technology reduces the time cycle required for research and development of new products.
With the presence of many factors favoring the growth of the machine tools industry, the market forces have started reacting to developments in this sector. Local manufacturers’ in India now control approximately 33% of the domestic demand for machine tools and are geared towards hitting the 50% point.
The cumulative average growth rate figures for the machine tools now stands 15 percent for the next 5 years, hence there is need for increased production capacity for the machinery.
Expansion in manufacturing and industrial production has been a major factor in the hike in demand. Manufacturers aware of this trend have therefore focused on increasing production efficiency as well as better innovation.
Special emphasis on the computer numerical controls on machines has also led to increased competitiveness and thus more demand for the machines. CNC machines deliver more efficiency due to advantages such as easier transfer of designs from computer to machine, lower levels of human supervision and greater accuracy in machining.
Middle East as a global research and development Hub
The heavy investment in research and development over the last decade has made middle east a leader in innovation and technology. In the case of Indian subcontinent, there is a very high number of engineering graduates every year, combined with high number of technical institutions and excellent infrastructure.
Global industries have also set up research centers in the Middle East to tap this potential. This has brought about development of ideas and new concepts in machine tools and creation of high quality products.
The demand for machine tools in the Middle East continues to grow. The demand is driven by various factors mainly being increased manufacturing and production activities, innovation and continued research leading to development of high quality machine tools.