The recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19 is threatening the global economy outlook. Thailand’s finance ministry has recently cut its 2020 economic growth forecast to 2.8 percent from 3.3 percent projected three months ago, owing to weaker exports due to ongoing US-China trade tensions and fall in tourism numbers due to the spread of the virus.
Despite this gloomy outlook, Kasikorn Research Center (K-Research) predicts that the impact of the virus on Thailand’s GDP will be moderate as the country is not as reliant on China’s economy as other economies like Vietnam or Singapore. The novel coronavirus could lower Thailand’s nominal GDP by 0.09-0.13 percent if the outbreak lasts longer than three months but less than six months, according to K-Research.
In light of this, the government has taken several initiatives and measures to alleviate the impact of the virus, according to Fitch Solutions. This includes plans to introduce tax cuts and subsidies for the tourism sector and supporting domestic consumption and travel by extending the Taste-Shop-Spend programme. Moreover, kick-starting work on the delayed high-speed rail link, which is part of the Eastern Economic Corridor initiative, could spur some construction and investment activity in the region.
Another encouraging sign is the movement of productions out of China to Southeast Asia countries such as Thailand due to the trade war and the virus outbreak. Google and Microsoft are accelerating efforts to shift production of their new devices away from manufacturing plants in China to Vietnam and Thailand. Toyota Boshoku Corporation are also considering moving production of auto seat covers to Japan or Thailand.
Thailand is gearing up for Industry 4.0. Here’s a look at the opportunities and strengths that the second largest economy in ASEAN has to offer, and its manufacturing outlook for this year.
Thailand is the second largest economy in Southeast Asia, consistently achieving robust economic growth driven by its strong fundamentals and diverse industries. Its GDP expanded by 2.4 percent in the third quarter of 2019, driven mainly by increases in private and government final consumption expenditure and investment, according to the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI). From January to September 2019, Thailand’s economy expanded by 2.5 percent overall, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The industrial sector represents between 35 percent and 40 percent of Thailand’s GDP, with manufacturing as its main component. Top manufacturing products include automobiles and electronics products. During the first three quarters of 2019, automotive parts and accessories, and computer, equipment and parts are the country’s top two exports, according data from the Ministry of Commerce.
Thailand’s exports to the United States has somewhat benefited from the trade diversion caused by the continuing trade tensions between China and the United States. According to data from the US Census Bureau, Thai exports to the United States reached $27.77 billion from January to October 2019, up by 4.23 percent compared to the same period in the previous year. This accounted for 5.3 percent of Thailand’s total exports during the period.
Many companies in China that export to United States have relocated to ASEAN to circumvent tariffs. Thailand is the second highest recipient of the relocation, with Japanese companies being the majority, particularly in automotive parts and electrical appliances.
The impact of these relocations to Thailand will be more evident in 2020 and is expected to be among the main drivers of the country’s economy, together with greater government spending.
Dr. Djitt Laowattana
Gearing Up for Industry 4.0
At present, there are a lot of investments from mainland China, South Korea, and Japan, coming to Thailand, according to Dr. Djitt Laowattana, Executive Advisor, Eastern Economic Corridor Office (EEC) of Thailand. And most of them are already Industry 4.0, he adds.
“But the local industry is still not acquainted to it. We are still lagging. We are at around Industry 2.5 or 3.0, so, it is a big change in the landscape of the local industry,” says Dr. Laowattana. Based on his recent study, he notes that the necessity for implementing and adopting robotics and automation is a reality now in Thailand.
“Before, when you install one robot, the breakeven is maybe around four or five years. But now, when you install one robot, the breakeven can just be around six or seven months. There’s no need to convince factories anymore,” Dr. Laowattana explains.
EEC Infra Projects in Progress
Dr. Laowattana is currently responsible for five clusters that will be set up in the EEC: Robotics, Aerospace, Medical/Health, Digital Hub, and Biofuels/Biochemicals. “I am responsible for the investment strategy and the human resource development at EEC. We projected that for the 10 clusters, within five years, Thailand will need about 475,000 workers for the industry,” says Dr. Laowattana.
While training and education are important to take advantage of these new manufacturing and technology developments, those already in the industry will also be able to enhance their knowledge on these new technologies through trade events and exhibitions, for instance, the Manufacturing Expo 2020, which is ASEAN’s leading machinery and technology event for manufacturing and supporting industries; as well as trade publications.
The Thai government has earmarked THB1.7 trillion for the development of the EEC. One key development is the upgrading of the U-Tapao International Airport into an “aviation hub”, which will include a maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) centre.
The region currently has spearheaded three smart cities, which aims to be smart cites for logistics, financial hub and aerotropolis. According to Dr. Laowattana, when investors look at the EEC, they are not looking at it as a portal of Thailand, but as a portal for CLMV—Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
“The FDI [foreign direct investment] is expected to be about THB4 trillion for the next five years,” says Dr. Laowattana. “Right now, the investments are about THB800 billion—of which, 58% is from China, followed by Japan. We are in a good track. With the investment of THB1.7 trillion for the infrastructure and expected FDI of about THB3 or THB4 trillion for the next five years [in the EEC], anybody can compute and collate that the GDP will be up 2 or 3 percent easily.”
Evolving Manufacturing Landscape
The necessity for implementing and adopting robotics and automation is a reality now in Thailand.
Thailand’s EEC aims to promote industries that are considered to be key driving forces for sustainable economic growth. And one key area of further development is the automotive manufacturing sector.
Thailand has developed from an assembler of automotive components into a top automotive manufacturing and export hub. It ships to more than 100 countries and has an established presence of almost all the world’s leading automotive manufacturers, assemblers and component makers.
In fact, by 2020, Thailand aims to manufacture 3.5 million units of vehicles to become one of the top performers in the global automotive market.
According to Dr. Laowattana, because Thailand’s automotive industry is huge, the challenge for new technologies such as hybrid and electric vehicles (HEVs) is the development of the supply chain around it. “But because this is a global trend, we cannot avoid it. Some of the part suppliers, we have to convert them to become precision parts manufacturers for the aerospace industry. When vehicles become EVs, the precision parts of the engine will be obsolete; so, the suppliers, manufacturers of precision parts, they have to move from the automotive to the aerospace,” Dr. Laowattana says. “My responsibility is to convert them to be the parts manufacturer for the aerospace industry. And there will be a major MRO set up in the EEC. MRO will be a critical component in the aerospace cluster.”
Regarding the transition to EVs, automotive leaders such as Toyota and Honda have already applied for investment incentives for EVs in Thailand. “It seems to me that they are finally doing it, while still maintaining the traditional automotive business. They are now trying to come up with prototypes to test whether EVs and hybrid vehicles will be practical in the Thai market.”
Thailand’s economic outlook is set to pick up this year because of improving state investment after the 2020 fiscal budget is disbursed, which is set to kick off in February. Another thing to note is the investments earmarked for the EEC. Likewise, private investments are also expected to rise despite myriad uncertainties, while exports are seen to improve. In addition, TDRI notes that household consumption is expected to grow at around 3 percent in 2020.
Productivity, in particular, is expected to improve in 2020. “New players are coming; in fact, we have one of the global leaders in robotics coming to Thailand,” says Dr. Laowattana. “I think the outlook for industrial automation will be better.”
Manufacturing Expo 2020, to be held 24–27 June at BITEC, Bangkok, is set to write a new chapter in manufacturing.
Such optimistic outlook bodes well for technology suppliers to Thailand’s high-tech industries, including automotive manufacturing. As Thailand gears up to enter the Industry 4.0 area, system suppliers and equipment makers will find a lot of opportunities to help Thai manufacturers upgrade their manufacturing capabilities, further improve their efficiencies and quality, and take their production to the next level.
As the world changes significantly and the manufacturing industry enters a new era where every single production process is being connected together with Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, and big data solutions, Manufacturing Expo 2020, to be held 24–27 June at BITEC, Bangkok, is set to write a new chapter in manufacturing by gathering the newest manufacturing technology innovations and solutions from 2,400 brands from 46 countries. The event aims to highlight the latest breakthroughs and changes happening in the manufacturing industry, and be the industry’s platform to further empower manufacturing development in Thailand.
Market outlook 2020: The year 2019 has been quite a challenging year for the manufacturing industry, with geopolitical tensions impacting investment decisions and shifts in manufacturing centres, and trends such as e-mobility, Industry 4.0, and additive manufacturing creating industrial transformation. In this Outlook 2020 special, six industry leaders share their thoughts on what to expect in 2020, how the industry will develop, new opportunities and market drivers, and how to navigate through the challenges and issues from these dynamics.
HEXAGON MANUFACTURING INTELLIGENCE
Lim Boon Choon, President, Asia Pacific, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence
The year 2019 was a time of economic uncertainty in global manufacturing. But the Asia Pacific region is well placed to capitalise on new opportunities in 2020, as increasing adoption of disruptive technologies shows organisations are facing market challenges by pursuing innovation-driven competitiveness. The growing recognition of the efficiency and operational excellence to be gained from digitised metrology offers long-term, sustainable investment and expansion in the Asia Pacific market.
The Growth of the Smart Factory
Increasingly connected enterprises will be a continuing trend throughout 2020 and beyond. The digital transformation of quality is a central part of this smart factory vision. Approaches to metrology data are maturing, and companies are focused on gaining actionable insights from real-time data. Growing demand for data analysis software is expected, and the adoption of platforms offering advanced big data and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) capabilities will enable far more predictive and proactive manufacturing.
Across the region, new business models will emerge with the prevalence of cloud computing, connecting quality systems to machines throughout end-to-end processes and across factories. Streamlining the analysis and communication of metrology data is essential to breakdown operational silos and drive growth by enhancing product customisation capabilities and throughput.
The trend of automating metrology operations will continue to grow with the increasing adoption of robotics, measuring cells, and automated part loading, enabling manufacturers to scale up their autonomous capabilities. And as manufacturers look to increase their application flexibility, demand for non-contact 3D scanning technology will increase.
Driving Additive Manufacturing Capabilities
Additive manufacturing, also known as industrial 3D printing, is still emerging in sectors such as medical, transportation and logistics, construction, aviation, automotive, and shipping. But according to research from Thyssenkrupp, 3D printing is expected to create $100 billion in value in the ASEAN region by 2025. Quality will play a central role in expanding this developing process, with technologies such as 3D scanning and computed tomography (CT) for measuring internal geometries. Additive manufacturing is a key area of strategic importance for Hexagon. The recent acquisition of CT software provider Volume Graphics adds advanced measurement capabilities to Hexagon’s already comprehensive solution portfolio in the additive space, which also includes software for generative design and additive process simulation.
The expected widespread adoption of smart technologies suggests 2020 will mark a major step forward on the industry 4.0 journey.
Meir Noybauer, Business Development Manager, ISCAR
Throughout the year 2020, the industry as we know it will shift towards smart factories with IoT (Internet of Things) cyber connectivity, and AI (artificial intelligence) and robotics technologies, that will most likely be developed in the main industrial hubs as part of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0).
Additive Manufacturing and other advanced manufacturing technologies will continue to grow and replace conventional methods for machining automotive, aerospace and energy parts, and facilitate new opportunities for complicated part designs that were previously unrealizable.
The global search for clean energy and low-emission mobility is leaning towards newer and harder materials, which challenge ISCAR to develop advanced machining technologies, such as SiAlON ceramics and super alloy materials, while using high and ultra-high coolant pressure to boost productivities to higher levels never seen before.
The medical sector will be one of the emerging industry segments, with sophisticated implants using advanced materials and machining technologies jointly developed by ISCAR engineers and leading medical implant companies throughout Europe, the US and Eastern Asia.
The automotive segment will continue to be a global industry leader, while transitioning from conventional combustion to small hybrid-high efficiency engines and electric e-drive cars and implementing other clean mobile technologies, specifically for electric charging infrastructures which have not yet been applied in many countries.
Stefano Corradini, Group Director, Sales & Marketing, Marposs
The year 2020 appears to be one of the most challenging years of the last decade, both in the Asia Pacific and worldwide.
The combination of trade wars and their impact on several geographic areas and market sectors, social turmoil in various countries, and many technological changes as consequence of increased environmental concerns, may have a significant negative effect on the general economic situation.
Automotive Manufacturing Evolution
Being a significant part of Marposs business somehow related to the automotive sector, we see the evolution from internal combustion engine (ICE) to electromobility as one of the biggest driver of the economic uncertainty. We prefer, anyway, to see this as an opportunity to offer our existing and new customers an extended panel of solutions, which are moving from our traditional measuring sector to a broader concept including several type of testing equipment (mainly leak test using different type of tracer gas extended also to fuel cells), as well as inspection applications (non-destructive, vision, and similar), and control systems to monitor the whole manufacturing process of the core components of the NEVs/BEVs (new/battery energy vehicles), such as battery cells, modules and packs, battery trays, and electric drive units (EDU) including electric motors; and end of line testing.
We are willing to become a preferred partner of BEV manufacturers and suppliers as we have been for decades for traditional combustion engines, offering them our technical know-how, our innovation culture, and our worldwide organization for sales and after sales.
Steve Bell, General Manager, ASEAN, Renishaw (Singapore) Pte Ltd
Smart manufacturing technologies increase visibility and transparency to manufacturing operations, allowing manufacturers to get the overall picture of their productivity and competitiveness, to make faster changes in response to market-based threats or opportunities. This requires a range of intelligent process control solutions throughout the factory, to ensure high standards of repeatability. The key is going digital—connecting physical manufacturing processes with the digital technology to make decisions about process improvement on the shop floor, or on mobile devices.
Flexible and Customised
Additive manufacturing plays a major role in the Industry 4.0 revolution, allowing manufacturers the flexibility to build highly customised parts. Renishaw’s additive manufacturing technologies continue to evolve, aiming to provide users the flexibility to use, change and manage different metal materials, enables users to adapt to meet market demand and configure processes to achieve optimal performance.
Focus on Automotive Industry
Ensuring businesses are equipped and ready to navigate the evolving automotive manufacturing landscape, Renishaw’s manufacturing solutions provide the speed, flexibility, and ease of use to help companies adapt their production capabilities for the evolving electric future. From multi-sensor rapid scanning of machined castings to material analysis of fuel cells, we will continue to support customers on the road from internal combustion engine (ICE) to electric vehicles (EV).
SIEMENS DIGITAL INDUSTRIES SOFTWARE
Alex Teo, Managing Director, Southeast Asia, Siemens Digital Industries Software
The maturity of manufacturing supply chains in Asia has undoubtedly exerted pressure on the metalworking industry to be more competitive than ever. Demand for steel in Asia is expected to rise by an average of 1.5 percent in 2020, and will likely see effects such as rising operating costs necessitating the move for businesses to look for technology driven solutions to relieve some of these operational strains. In particular, Southeast Asia is an exciting region for growth, with markets such as Malaysia, Vietnam, and Singapore making strides in realising their Industry 4.0 visions through digitalisation. In 2020, we also launched a Technical Competency Hub in Penang, the first in the region, which serves as a platform for Siemens to help companies, especially SMEs, begin their digitalisation journey in order to meet the needs of the new economy.
Using digital twins, manufacturers will be able to explore more economical and structurally enhanced materials. By leveraging physics-based simulations, supported by data analytics in an entirely virtual environment, the expansion of production capacity in Asia can be further encouraged. This means that manufacturers can optimise their choice of materials by testing and analysing combinations of different metals and alloys digitally before using additive manufacturing technologies such as powder bed fusion to produce these components faster and more reliably, reducing the need and cost for real prototypes.
Siemens’ end-to-end additive manufacturing solutions cover CAD/CAM/CAE models that enable product design and simulation of production processes and planning, preparation, and verification of the print jobs. Simulation and 3D modelling allow for advanced complexity of design and quality, ultimately resulting in fewer distortions and errors. The goal is flawless execution when parts come out of a factory, ready for certification. The full additive challenge covers the entire value chain: product design, production process, and performance.
Using customisable solutions for pressing, transporting, positioning and press safety, in combination with simulation for the entire spectrum of metal forming, businesses can proactively advance with components working seamlessly together. This collaboration increases the cost-effectiveness of all production processes in all sectors, reducing energy costs.
The economic environment for the international and German machine tool industry remains difficult now and in the coming months. After eight years of high economic activity in the international machine tool industry, global demand for capital goods has calmed considerably after the fourth quarter of 2018. The reasons for this have already been identified and discussed many times. The economic distortions, in particular the trade war between the United States and China, are boosting the already sharp drop in demand. The increasing protectionism at all levels is affecting world trade and international supply chains. Finally, the structural shift in the automotive industry towards new drive technologies is causing further problems. It is still questionable at what pace and extent development is progressing and which technologies will be used in the future. The entire scenario is unsettling the industry worldwide. Companies have become very cautious, and they are shifting their investments.
Because of these, incoming orders in the international machine tool industry fell sharply in all regions in the first nine months of 2019. According to initial estimates, orders worldwide fell by 21 percent. Asia declined by 24 percent, while Europe lost 19 percent of its orders. Contracts in America, which is particularly the United States, held up best, if we can say so. They went down 18 percent in comparison to the previous year. In Germany, with its high dependence on exports, incoming orders fell by 23 percent by October in 2019, the most recent available data. This applies equally to domestic and foreign orders.
Markets to Stabilise
Oxford Economics, the VDW’s forecasting partner, expects this trend to stabilise in the best case scenario for 2020. At 2.5 percent, global economic output is expected to be slightly below the increase in 2019. With 2.1 percent, industrial production will grow more strongly than the current year. This also applies to investments. Stabilisation is also expected for the whole German economy. Industrial production, which is expected to shrink in 2019, is likely to turn slightly up again. This means that incoming orders in the machine tool industry will probably go through the bottom in the course of the coming year.
Machine tool consumption, a late indicator, will remain negative in all regions. Asia is the exception. Manufacturers can draw new hope from the fact that the election results in Great Britain have now provided certainty about the island’s exit date from the European Union. Then, the negotiations on a tariff agreement can begin and hopefully lead to a good end. There is also movement in the trade conflict between the United States and China. Should a consensus be reached, the world economy will reach new momentum as well.
The metalworking fluids market is expected to cross US$15 billion by 2025, according to research by Global Market Insights. Rapid urbanisation coupled with swelling automotive sales across the globe, especially in the emerging economies, are the key factors driving the metalworking fluids market during the 2018–2025 forecast period.
The specialty fluids can be used in various ways in processing metal workpieces. The most common three ways include spray, continuous jet and hand dispensers. Sprays can be manually operated and are generally used in cases where the workpiece rotation speed is varied frequently by the operator. These are extensively used in applications such as turning, grinding, drilling, reaming, tapping and broaching. The end-use industries using these applications are aerospace, automotive, marine, defence and manufacturing companies.
Metalworking fluids are used to protect, lubricate and cool the machine during stamping, drawing, roll forming, cold heading, extruding and welding tube rolls in the production process. The robust growth in the metal and steel fabrication is expected to boost demand for the forming and removal metalworking fluids, thereby propelling the market by 2025.
Meanwhile, the increasing usage of alloys of non-ferrous metals, such as aluminium and titanium in the aerospace industry, would hamper the demand for specialty fluids as these alloys do not require specialty fluids in the machining process. Furthermore, workers can also be exposed by breathing in the vapour, by getting the fluids on their skin, or by ingesting them.
However, rising usage of bio-based metalworking fluids has lowered environmental issues and health risks for workers. This will likely influence the metalworking fluids market size over the forecast timeframe. The product segment is divided into synthetic fluid, soluble oil, neat oil, and semi-synthetic fluid. Neat oils are composed of animal, mineral, synthetic, marine, or vegetable oils. These are not diluted with water, but other additives may be present. These oils are applicable in gear cutting, threading of alloys, and broaching operations.
Based on the product applications, the metalworking fluids market is classified into forming fluids, treating, protecting fluids, and removal. Removal fluids are used in grinding and machining operations to prolong the tool-life, transport debris and safeguard the work piece surfaces from frictional wear. They account for one percent to three percent of the total manufacturing cost, and provide substantial savings through an extended tool life, protection of the work piece surfaces, and reduced machine downtime. The segment will register over US$7 billion by 2025 owing to the growth in the OEM industries in the coming years.
The established automobile market in Europe, especially in Germany offers a promising growth of more than four percent CAGR by 2025. As metal is broadly used in vehicles to provide stability and structural strength. Thus, metalworking fluids will be essentially required in the automobile business as a coolants and metal protection purposes in the future years. Also, due to flourishing automobile industry, metal and steel fabrication industry is booming in Europe. In this industry, steel and metal undergo bending, cutting, and assembling processes, which essentially require specialty fluids for effective and efficient operations.
The global aerospace materials market is projected to grow to US$10.8 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6 percent. According to a new report by Global Industry Analysts Inc., growth is mainly driven by increasing demand for sophisticated military aircraft, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Of the aerospace materials market, the aluminium alloys segment displays the potential to grow at over 7 percent and is poised to reach over US$11.2 billion by 2025.
Representing the developed world, the United States will maintain a 5.6 percent growth momentum. Within Europe, which continues to remain an important element in the global economy, Germany will add over US$380.2 million to the region’s size and clout in the next five to six years. Over US$995.6 million worth of projected demand in the region will come from other emerging Eastern European markets.
In Japan, aluminium alloys will reach a market size of US$497.2 million by the end of the forecast period. On the other hand, as the world’s second largest economy, China exhibits the potential to grow at 9.8 percent over the next couple of years and add approximately US$3 billion in terms of addressable opportunity for the picking by aspiring businesses and their astute leaders. Several macroeconomic factors and internal market forces will shape growth and development of demand patterns in emerging countries in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East.
The global sheet metal fabrication services market is expected to post a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 3 percent during the period 2019-2023, according to the latest market research report by Technavio.
A key factor driving the growth of the market is the increasing demand for fabricated metal parts from major end-user industries. Despite the emergence of carbon fibre, sheet metal forming plays a crucial role in the automotive and aerospace and defence industries. Metals are the major raw materials used in these industries as they can easily be transformed and made into shapes as per application requirement.
With the current focus on lean manufacturing and increasing operational efficiency, including cost-cutting, sheet metal forming process will be a valuable service for OEMs. Since automotive and aerospace and defence industries are the major end-users in the global sheet metal fabrication services market, the increasing investments in these industries will drive the global sheet metal fabrication services market during the forecast period.
As per Technavio, the increasing adoption of cobots (collaborative robots) in metal fabrication process will have a positive impact on the market and contribute to its growth significantly over the forecast period.
Global sheet metal fabrication services market outlook.
A cobot works alongside humans without physical separation or any caging requirement. These cobots use specialised sensors and robot controllers for operation, thereby increasing the operational efficiency and safety in the process line. They are used to ease programming and reduce safety costs. They are built using sensors, such as torque sensors and built-in safety sensors, to identify the presence of humans near them. With the improving safety standards in industries, vendors will increase their investments in improving sensing technologies, specifically for collaborative robots. Moreover, the rising shortage of labour can be addressed by fabricators by using cobots. Vendors in the industrial robotics market are also focusing on developing cobots specifically for the metal fabrication process.
Apart from the increasing adoption of cobots in the metal fabrication process, the advent of additive manufacturing is one other factor that is expected to boost the market growth, according to Technavio. The manufacturing industry has witnessed the emergence of revolutionary 3D printing technology, which is also known as additive manufacturing. The adoption of 3D printers has helped sheet metal fabricators, as dies used in machine tools for the punching process can be produced cost-efficiently using 3D printers. Thus, improvements in the 3D printing technology and the increased adoption will lead to a complete shift in the manufacturing process, besides driving the growth of the global sheet metal fabrication services market during the forecast period.
From a regional perspective, the Asia Pacific led the market in 2018, followed by North America, Europe, South America, and the Middle East and Africa, respectively. During the forecast period, the APAC region is expected to maintain its dominance over the global market and register the highest incremental growth due to increasing demand from automobiles manufactured in the region.
The computer numerical controls (CNC) market is projected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3 percent from 2019 to 2024, according to a new report by Mordor Intelligence. This growth is mainly attributed to the increase in demand for productions efficiency, as CNC machines streamline many operational processes by reducing production time and minimising human error.
Also, a highly competitive market has compelled players to focus on efficient manufacturing techniques. They are trying to gain competitive advantage by redesigning their facilities, which include CNC machines. Apart from this, the integration of 3D printing with CNC machines is a unique addition to some of the new production units, which is expected to offer better multi-material capability, with little resource wastage.
The growing demand for automated manufacturing in the industrial sector has also resulted in the increasing usage of CNC machines. Also, the establishment of manufacturing facilities in Asia-Pacific has spurred the usage of computer numerical controls in the sector.
On the other hand, the automotive sector is set to be a rapidly developing one in the coming years, mainly due to the increasing rate of automated automobile manufacturing. From die-casting similar components to crafting unibody frames, CNC tools and machines are solely responsible for a large number of parts present in modern vehicles.
In fact, carburettor housings, suspension components, axles, bearing caps as well as engine housings are all manufactured using CNC machines. Acrylic/PMMA machining for headlights, exterior lights as well as interior lights are another paradigm on how numerical control machining is being utilised when components are being made in the automotive sector.
Asia-Pacific Holds the Largest Share in CNC Market
Developing economies, such as China and India, have been witnessing rapid growth in terms of industrialisation, thereby driving the market. The automotive sector is expected to grow significantly during the forecast period, owing to the rising demand for automobiles in the region.
The easy availability of labour and the declining prices of components have resulted in manufacturers shifting their production units in this region, which is further promoting the market. nearness to the supply and demand region is amongst the critical factor that drives the adoption in this region.
Moreover, the establishment of manufacturing facilities in the Asia Pacific has spurred the usage of CNC machines in this sector.
Copper additive manufacturing (AM) is a rapidly expanding opportunity within the AM industry, thanks to a wave of technical developments which have begun to enable reliable, high quality printing of copper and copper alloys. As a result, commercial entities have begun to ramp up internal research and investments to capitalise on opportunities in industrial markets for copper components, with long term potential in electronics and medical devices setting the stage for copper materials to become one of the most influential in the broader metal AM industry.
According to a new market study titled ‘Copper Additive Manufacturing 2019 Market Database and Outlook’ by SmarTech Market Publishing, shipments of copper powders to additive manufacturing (AM) users grew by 45 percent in 2018, with an expected 60 percent growth during 2019. Fuelled by key technical developments in copper additive processes and materials, AM has the potential to create disruptive copper component applications in industrial markets in the immediate future, as solutions continue to be adopted and refined. From 2019 to 2027, the copper AM industry is expected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 51 percent.
Copper printing exploration has been ongoing for many years, with published research dating back to at least 2010, according to SmarTech. The largest market catalyst came in 2016 with the development and certification of printing of copper alloys, as well as pure copper, utilising metal powder bed fusion technologies (both laser and electron beam variants) for the production of copper induction coils.
Copper materials are being explored within each of the three primary metal AM print technology families today, but their chemistry does present challenges to processing using established or ‘conventional’ metal AM system configurations in most available technologies. To overcome these challenges, SmarTech believes there are three primary avenues of technical development which are influencing the overall adoption of copper printing:
Alterations to or adaptations of hardware architecture of existing printing systems
Tailoring of material properties and powder characteristics of copper materials used
Development of alternative metal additive printing technologies suited to copper printing
The global metal cutting tools market was valued at US$22.2 billion in 2018 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.8 percent to reach US$38.3 billion by 2024, according to a new report by TechSci Research.
The growth is attributed to growing demand for additive manufacturing—the process of creating three-dimensional objects using a digital file. 3D printing in aerospace and automotive industries enables the production of complex geometries that are either arduous or impossible to do with traditional manufacturing techniques. As a result, replacement of traditional manufacturing techniques with 3D printing will significantly reduce the capital costs, raw material costs, and costs to reclaim scrap in the coming years.
Carbide is expected to continue its dominance in the materials category, which also includes ceramics, cubic boron nitride (CBN) and polycrystalline diamond (PCD), amongst others. In the terms of process, milling accounts for the largest share in the global metal cutting tools market.
From the geographical perspective, North America dominates the metal cutting tools industry due to the growing demand for lightweight passenger vehicles and increasing aerospace and defence budget in the region.
The global stainless steel market is projected to reach US$133.84 billion by 2025, up from US$93.69 billion in 2018, according to a new report by Grand View Research Inc. It is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2 percent from 2019 to 2025. Rising demand from end-use industries such as automotive, oil and gas, and the construction sector is anticipated to propel growth. Moreover, increasing investments in R&D for steel manufacturing is also projected to contribute to the growth of the industry.
According to the report, the 300 series grade steel is anticipated to reach US$71.9 billion by 2025 at an estimated CAGR of 5.1 percent during the forecast period. In terms of revenue, the long products segment is projected to expand at a CAGR of 4.7 percent over the forecast period.
From a regional market perspective, Asia Pacific is projected to witness a significant CAGR of 4.7 percent over the forecast period, owing to rise in infrastructure investments and demand vehicles in the region. For instance, as per the 13th five-year plan of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), China is aiming to build around 74 more airports by 2020. It is also planning to construct 30,000km of highways and one million kilometres of rural roads. Further, this plan is also created to achieve cumulative sales and production of five million electric vehicles by 2020.
Europe accounted for 17.6 percent of the global market share in terms of revenue in 2018. Growing automotive sector in countries such as Germany and France is projected to assist the regional demand. Rise in demand for consumer goods supported by manufacturing of electromechanical components is expected to buoy the regional market over the next seven years.
Growing Automotive Sector
The automotive sector is expanding at a greater pace owing to easy access to credit facility and increasing necessity amongst people to own a vehicle. Stainless steel’s ability to absorb the energy during collision makes it a key material in automotive components. The demand for products such as frame, exhaust system, wheel rim, engine cradles, floor panels, gaskets, and suspension systems is also expected to rise.
However, the increasing use of aluminium and carbon fibres in automotive components is projected to restraint the market growth for stainless steel. The advantages of aluminium such as fuel efficiency, recyclability, durability, performance, and environmental safety make it suitable in vehicles. In addition, the increasing government pressure on manufacturers to reduce emissions of harmful chemicals is projected to boost the demand for automotive aluminium in the coming years. In particular, around 90 percent of aluminium can be recovered from the products and again recycled for further processing. It is believed that 1kg of aluminium can replace around 2kg of cast iron or steel in the manufacturing process.