VDMA Reports Power Transmission Engineering Market Upswing
July 28, 2021—
At the board meeting of the VDMA Power Transmission Association on July 15, 2021, the sales forecast from the spring was increased from plus 5 percent to plus 10 percent.
The decisive factor here is the strong increase in incoming orders since the beginning of the year, which in the period from January to May 2021 are up 33 percent compared to the same period last year. Important customer groups, such as wind power, agricultural technology, construction machinery and materials handling technology, as well as the important export markets of the United States and China are supporting this development. However, a major challenge for both customers and suppliers are the restrictions in the global supply chains, which lead to delivery difficulties and cost pressure along the value chain.
10 percent increase in turnover expected
Despite these challenges, the industry is confident that it will close the current year with an increase in turnover of at least 10 percent. Due to the customer structure and product diversity of power transmission engineering, growth can vary greatly from company to company. Some companies in the automotive supply environment still have major transformation processes ahead of them.
The positive outlook should not obscure the fact that the power transmission engineering sector has come through the crisis relatively quickly in the post-COVID era, but from today's perspective the high production level from 2018 of just under 18 billion euros cannot be achieved before the end of 2022.
Setting strategic topics in the association's work
Wilhelm Rehm, chairman of the Power Transmission Engineering Association within the VDMA and member of the board of management of ZF Friedrichshafen AG, comments: "Power transmission engineering is technologically well positioned. The challenges of the future for our industry will lie in the areas of digitalization - in the process, in the product and in the supply chain - and in the large area of climate neutrality, sustainability and circular economy. This is also reflected in our association work with the strategic lines Drive4Green and Drive Technology 4.0."
Hartmut Rauen, managing director of the Power Transmission Association within the VDMA, adds: "Today, Germany is the best innovation area for power transmission engineering and it also wants to remain the best production area. The industry is highly committed and is currently managing around 200 research projects at top universities with its Drive Technology Research Association (FVA e.V.), which are addressing precisely these issues. However, in times of massive transformation processes, we need a transparent cost-benefit analysis from a new federal government, as well as from the EU, and framework conditions that are as market-based and open to technology as possible. In addition, the competitiveness of the production location must be at the center of policy in order to leverage the potential for climate protection."
With 92,300 employees (2020, in Germany), power transmission engineering is the largest sector within the mechanical engineering industry. The components and systems of power transmission engineering are the decisive performance modules. They are where power, torque and data flow together in one movement. The industry is well positioned thanks to the VDMA's push to build a global Industry 4.0 ecosystem, as Rauen explains: "We are working on the digital twin, machine information interoperability, laying the foundations for digital-based processes and will also use them to efficiently realize the solutions towards intelligently networked, climate-neutral production."