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International News From the Field: Europe

The German robotics and automation sector is gearing up for another record-breaking year. Meanwhile, the Paris Air Show in June shined as a symbol of progress for the aviation industry. For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.
Jul 18, 2023

The German robotics and automation sector is set to achieve remarkable growth, with 2023 projected to be another record-breaking year. The industry forecasts a 13% increase in sales, reaching $18 billion, building upon the 5% sales growth experienced in 2022. This surge in sales reflects the sector's resilience and innovation in meeting the demands of various industries, while three sectors deserve special attention:

  • Machine vision: The industry anticipates a 7% increase in sales, amounting to $4 billion.

  • Integrated assembly solutions: Sales are expected to rise 17%, reaching $9.5 billion.

  • Robotics: The robotics sector foresees a 12% growth in sales, reaching $4.3 billion.

These sales projections demonstrate Germany's position as a global leader in robotics and automation and is driven by innovation, advanced technologies, and strong industry partnerships.

Meanwhile, the Paris Air Show, which concluded in June, showcased a revitalized aviation industry with significant orders, military interest, sustainable technology advancements, and the historic debut of an eVTOL at an international air show, the Midnight aircraft from Archer.

The air show recorded a staggering volume of business, surpassing $72 billion, including the highest number of firm orders in history. The recovering Indian travel market turned to Airbus and Boeing with large orders from IndiGo and Air India. Additionally, the show welcomed the arrival of Riyadh Air, a new Saudi carrier set to commence flights in 2025.

Increased military capabilities, spurred by the war in Ukraine, contributed to heightened interest in military aircraft. Furthermore, the air show showcased significant progress in sustainable aviation technology, underscoring the industry's commitment to environmental sustainability.

The Paris Air Show also witnessed a notable increase in commercial airliner orders and commitments. By the end of the event's fourth day, 1,306 orders and commitments were secured, valued at approximately $77.6 billion at list prices. This marked a substantial rise compared to the 871 reported orders from the previous Farnborough International Air Show in 2022, indicating a stabilization of the market post-COVID. The breakdown of airliner orders and commitments is as follows:

  • Airbus: 846

  • Boeing: 359

  • De Havilland Canada: 49

  • Embraer: 28

  • ATR: 24

Europe continues to witness significant investments and expansions in various industries, highlighting the region's commitment to technological advancements and innovation. Companies across different sectors are investing substantially to enhance production capabilities, develop new technologies, and create job opportunities. From automotive manufacturing and chemical industries to aerospace and luxury goods, these projects are shaping the future of Europe's industrial landscape. Here are some of the notable projects that are driving progress in Europe:

  • Ford has invested $2 billion to transform its historic plant in Niehl, Cologne, into a state-of-the-art production facility for electric vehicles (EVs). The Cologne Electric Vehicle Center opened mid-June and features a new production line, battery assembly, and advanced automation. This center is expected to produce over 250,000 EVs annually, including models like the Mustang Mach-E, E-Transit, F-150 Lightning, and the electric Explorer. It is Ford's first carbon-neutral assembly plant globally, aligning with its commitment to achieve carbon neutrality across its European footprint by 2035.

  • Siemens has committed to expanding its production facilities in Trutnov, Czech Republic, to enhance the capacity of its WEF Global Lighthouse Factory in Amberg, Germany. Siemens plans to invest $33 million to expand its switchgear plant in Frankfurt-Fechenheim, Germany.

  • American semiconductor manufacturer Broadcom confirmed a $1 billion investment in Spain as part of the PERTE CHIP program, an EU initiative to develop the chip industry. This investment will establish a large-scale installation of substrates for the back-end process, a crucial step in chip manufacturing. It represents a significant development for Spain and Europe, facilitating the production of millions of chips to meet global demand.

  • Trumpf, a leading machine tool manufacturer, plans to invest approximately $415 million in infrastructure projects at its headquarters in Ditzingen, Germany, by 2027. The investment will include new buildings for laser technology, an expanded training center, and a customer center. These developments demonstrate Trumpf's commitment to advancing manufacturing technologies and supporting its growing customer base.

  • Liebherr-France SAS is expanding its production capabilities by opening a new manufacturing site in the EcoRhena industrial park in Nambsheim, France. The site will focus on producing welded components and carrying out preassembly and assembly work for driver cabs. With an investment of $187 million, this project aims to strengthen local supply chains.

  • FM Industries-Sycrilor, which specializes in high-precision metal parts for the luxury industry, will invest over $11 million in constructing a new factory in Charquemont, France. The facility will house various manufacturing processes such as machining, plating, polishing, engraving, and lacquering. By expanding its manufacturing capabilities, FM Industries-Sycrilor aims to meet the growing demand for luxury goods and contribute to the local economy.

  • Audi is embarking on its largest model initiative with the production launch of the new Audi Q6 e-tron series. This groundbreaking EV series, based on the Premium Platform Electric, marks a significant milestone for Audi and the mobility industry. The Audi Q6 e-tron series production establishes Ingolstadt as the first Audi site in Germany to have its own battery assembly facility.

For more information, please contact Conchi Aranguren at caranguren@AMTonline.org.

Conchi Aranguren
AMT's Representative for Europe
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