Medical market keeps European machine tool market healthy

IMS Research (www.imsresearch.com) forecasts that European sales of machine tool equipment will steadily increase to more than $26.65 billion (18.9 billion euros) by 2011, growing at around 4.5 percent per year. However, the medical end-user sector is expected to register the strongest growth, some 7.6 percent per year.

Senior analyst and report author, Don Tait commented, “This sector is the third largest market for the machine tool industry defined in this report, and was estimated to be worth $1.8 billion in 2005, or 8.6 percent of the total market. The medical equipment sector is predicted to continue to experience healthy growth rates of between 7 percent and 10 percent per year, depending on the equipment type. This strong growth is projected to continue over the next five years, and reflects the increasing demand for high-precision, machined medical products. The market for medical equipment will drive growth in the demand for electrical discharge machine tools. Such machine tools are increasingly being used in the production of prosthetics such as hip replacements and artificial human parts.”

Tait continues, “The use of faster, more accurate and more automated machine tool equipment in the industry can only be expected to rise, to improve capital efficiency and reduce labor costs. Technical innovation is enticing producers to replace obsolete mechanical solutions with more versatile handling through robotics and more extensive use of programmable logic controllers, servos and machine vision. Apart from higher output, these offer greater flexibility and improved process control.”

IMS Research is a supplier of market research and consultancy services on a wide range of global electronics markets. The company is supported by headquarters in Wellingborough, UK with offices in Austin, Texas and Shanghai, China.

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