IHS Technology predicts that the industrial machinery market will grow substantially over the next five years, and double its growth this year alone. The company's recent report cites global improvement in economic conditions in such segments as machine tools, agriculture, packaging, and materials handling as the basis of its forecast.
IHS expects this demand to move revenues to $1.6 trillion in 2014, from $1.5 trillion in 2013 for a growth rate of 6.3% for the year, more than the 2.9% increase in 2013.
Specifically, the demand for industrial machines is supported by a higher demand for cars worldwide, automotive tools and robotics, and rubber and plastics. The research firm further expects the rising spending for technology will filter down to robotics, semiconductor equipment, mining, and oil and gas machinery. IHS also cites that China has worked through its overcapacity and will again experience growth over the next several years. While the Americas and Asia are doing well, Europe increased machinery production output last year by a mere 1.1%.
Maybe the increase won't be a global thing, as industrial output figures were announced within the past 24 hours in Italy, France, Finland, and Malaysia. Only Malaysia is showing healthy growth in industrial production, reporting a growth rate of 6.7% vs. the 6.3% forecast. Italy's industrial production in February reversed gains seen in January, output declining 0.5% rather than the 0.2% expectation. The country is banking on a revival in car production to pull it out of the doldrums.
France's industrial production rose 0.1% in February from January instead of the 0.2% expectation. Finland indicates that a slump in the electrical and electronics segments is behind its industrial production malaise. In this segment output is down 10.9%, and declines are also seen in the metal industry, chemical industry, mining and quarrying, and food and forest industries. Industrial production was up by a hair in February after falling 3.4% in January.
It seems that, maybe, IHS's machinery forecast might be a bit overzealous.
— Carolyn Mathas is a freelance blogger and editor for EE Times's Industrial Control Designline