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VDMA Robotics and Automation

VDMA Robotics and Automation:
Economic downturn is over

Industry focuses on AUTOMATICA 2010

Frankfurt, 24 February 2010 - The producers of machine vision, assembly and handling technologies as well as robotics show careful optimism in 2010 and expect turnover figures to increase in some segments and the overall robotics and automation sector by up to five percent to some € 6.4 billion. "The upward trend has been tangible since the third quarter of 2009. More and more inquiries are received and also the number of actual orders is picking up slowly, but steadily", explains Dr. Michael Wenzel, Chairman of the VDMA Robotics + Automation Association, on Wednesday in Frankfurt.

Turnover plummeted by one third in 2009
"In 2009, the manufacturers of robotics and automation, who had seen nothing but success so far, suddenly had to cope with turnover figures that were 34 percent lower, down to €6.1 billion, due to the global financial and economic crisis which made them fall back to the turnover level of the year 2002", says the VDMA Association Chairman. Between 2002 and 2008, the sector turnover increased by more than 50 percent, reaching an all-time high at € 9.3 billion. Assembly and handling technology was hit hardest in 2009, with a loss of turnover of 36 percent to € 3.7 billion (2008: € 5.7 billion). The robotics turnover fell by 32 percent to € 1.6 billion (2008: € 2.4 billion), and industrial image processing had to put up with 30 percent less turnover, i.e. € 844 billion (2008: 1.2 billion).

Demand from Asia and the USA triggers turnaround
"The impetus set in in the third quarter of 2009, coming largely from south east Asian countries, particularly from China and Korea. But the manufacturers also report intensified inquiry activities and orders incoming from the USA since the end of last year. The domestic business is still lagging somehow behind, but should improve gradually as demand from abroad will further augment. Still, there is a long way to go until the industry will catch up again with the record turnover generated in 2007 and 2008 and we will depend on the overall economic development, of course", says Mr Wenzel.

Robotics + Automation lead their customers to the road of success
Users of automation technology have to face ever greater challenges to stand their ground in the global competition. Many markets require a large range of varieties, which leads to smaller batch sizes that have to be implemented through production processes that are not only economically reasonable, but also sustainable. "Those who do like the manufacturers of machine vision, assembly and handling technology as well as robotics and offer production solutions that cover all these aspects, will put their customers on the road to success", explains Mr Wenzel. "In the future, we will see that it is not the size of a company that matters, it is much more the speed and flexibility it owns to adapt to markets that change at an ever faster pace.“

AUTOMATICA 2010 as launch pad for new investments
A reliable cushion dating back from the last, extremely successful years, prudent management, cost savings, flexible work hours accounts and reduced working hours have made it possible for most companies of the industry to keep their highly qualified core workforce. "Manufacturers of robotics and automation are highly competent to master productionrelated challenges. Everybody is invited to come and see that by themselves at AUTOMATICA from 8 - 11 June 2010 in Munich, Germany. It will, again, be the launch pad for so many impulses and stimulate the markets further", says the VDMA Robotics + Automation Chairman.

Robotics + Automation in Germany (Diagram)

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