The machine tool sector tries to stand its ground
No industrial activity is possible without machine tools. From the automotive industry to electronics, including the injection moulding of parts in Zamak, Magnesium and Lead carried out by Gurelan, machine-tools are the driving force enabling the production for other sectors. Now, this global activity is hand tied: decrease in production, cancellation of international fairs, uncertainty... Gurelan analyses the situation of this fundamental industry for the whole economy.
The crisis caused by the COVID-19 has severely hit the machine tool manufacturers. In spite of a more consolidated financial situation compared to the economic recession of 2008, the difficulties faced by the main client sectors – automotive, electronics, railroads, capital goods, electrical industry... –, with reduced levels of activity that comprise seriously their investment needs, have raised the alarm.
No wonder. Without machine tools, obviously the rest of the industrial activity is going to suffer, from the production of vehicles to capital goods, including food, steel, energy... For example, Gurelan manufactures injection moulded parts for machine tools (https://www.gurelan.es/en/machine-tool), as there are many applications in this sector for Zamak die-cast parts: gears, nuts, shafts, guides... One of the main advantages is the economic saving in comparison with screw-cutting parts. Right now, the competitive advantage of Zamak parts produced by Gurelan constitutes a crucial asset, but it is clear that machine tools require more far-reaching solutions than other industrial activities.
The machine tool: driving force of the industrial activity
We are dealing with a sector gathering more than 500 companies only in Spain, with 16,500 direct jobs and more than 3,000 million euros per year turnover. The cancellation of the BIEMH (https://biemh.bilbaoexhibitioncentre.com/en/) (International Machine Tool Biennale), one of the most important events for this sector in Europe in 2020 and the main industrial trade fair in the Basque Country, has only further increased concern in a key sector destined to bear the whole industrial framework: this meeting was the leading event for many Spanish machine tool companies.
In addition, the renovated state of alarm declared in Spain complicates even more things. As the time frame cannot be predicted at this point, industrial players must be prepared for all scenarios. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly necessary for companies to develop capabilities enabling a quick identification of these signals, in order to plan the activity and thus ensuring continuity, quality and availability in the future.
What does the machine tool sector need?
At the moment, the main players in the machine tool sector are renewing their requests to guarantee long-term continuity. In this scenario, the Spanish Association of Machine Tool Manufacturers (https://www.afm.es/en/homewarns) claims that maintaining financial support measures and boosting investment in production equipment with a high multiplier effect are the keys for the survival of this sector: a strategy that could also be applied to other industrial areas.
What is the solution proposed? Principally, the idea is to provide companies with peace of mind through fiscal measures encouraging the reinvestment of profits, renewal plans and digitalization of productive means.
Machine tool: an international sector
However, we must remember that machine tool represents a global sector. In this situation, each country (even each region) has designed its own plans and implemented specific economic recovery packages, incentives and policies to boost industrial demand. Every sector is affected to a different extent. For example, in the automotive industry, car manufacturers will have to recalibrate both sales and launching strategies, depending on the situation in each country.
Against this background, Gurelan´s commitment lies in putting all its resources at the service of its customers, especially in the machine tool sector, both locally and abroad. When it comes to cast injected parts in Zamak, Magnesium and Lead, clients usually choose this leading company for their deadlines, their price and, above all, their quality. However, in such uncertain times, Gurelan prefers to provide its partners with two key values so as to guarantee the continuity of their activity: flexibility and availability.