Meeting Point of the International Industrial Furnace Industry
Excellent market environment for the sector’s foremost trade fair in thermo process engineering
The preparations for THERMPROCESS 2007 in Düsseldorf are in full swing – and the climate for this, the International Trade Fair and Symposium for Thermo Process Technology, has rarely been more promising. Last year the suppliers of industrial furnaces, burners and firing plants posted clear growth – and most vendors are also look to the current year with great optimism concerning business trends. THERMPROCESS 2007 from 12 to 16 June will give these firms the opportunity to demonstrate their operational excellence, efficiency and the innovative power of their products at the world’s leading meeting point for the sector.
One thing is for sure even now: the forthcoming edition of this fair will be as international as ever. All-important producing countries will be represented along with exhibitors from Australia, Lithuania, Mexico, Romania and the Czech Republic showing in Düsseldorf for the first time now. The majority of exhibitors come from Germany – currently the No. 1 nation in thermo process engineering: German firms account for almost 20 % of the world market – followed, considerably further behind, by the USA, Italy and Japan.
Many suppliers have already reached their production capacity limits – in Germany alone capacity utilization clearly exceeded 90 % last year and, hence, surpassed that in mechanical engineering as a whole. Order books in the industry are currently filled for the next six months ahead.
2005 already saw an extremely positive business climate for international industrial furnace manufacturers – exports of industrial furnaces, burners and firing systems worldwide reached a total of EUR 6.3 billion that year and were up 12 % against the previous year. The leading export nation was doubtlessly Germany with a volume of EUR 1.3 billion where the thermal process-engineering sector posted the best result ever in its entire history. According to preliminary estimates these record figures were exceeded again in 2006. North American suppliers also managed to increase their export volumes markedly in 2006 while the Italian thermal processing plant manufacturers posted a slight drop in their exports.
Regarding the export markets for thermal process equipment the EU continues to rank first as before but is already closely followed by central, east and Southeast Asian countries. In this region China is unambiguously the No. 1 market. China’s steel industry is growing faster than ever, “firing up” demand for state-of-the-art thermal process engineering. However, this continued growth also paves the way for newcomers on the global playing field: there are more and more local Chinese suppliers entering the scene who may present serious competition for the firms in the traditional supplier countries over the next few years. Even today China boasts an approx. 5 % world market share in the export of industrial furnaces, burners and firing systems.
The most important segments of the German thermo process engineering sector comprise thermal plants and equipment for metal working, followed by heat generation plants and systems for the glass, ceramics and cement industries. Thermal process systems and equipment for the chemical and petrochemical industries account for a substantially smaller proportion of turnover. All of these sectors are, however, governed by one and the same rule: when competing with new market players from so-called threshold countries many well-established companies try to score on particularly innovative, high-performing and efficient systems. The process quality of many installations has been strongly improved over the past few years so that thermo processes now qualify forever-new applications. And in the context of energy efficiency and rising energy prices the environmental compatibility of such installations also plays an increasingly important role. Which innovations will prevail on the international thermal process engineering market at the end of the day will also be one of the decisive topics covered by THERMPROCESS 2007.