Medical market keeps European machine-tool market healthy

SEPTEMBER 7, 2007--IMS Research (Wellingborough, UK) forecasts that EMEA sales of machine-tool equipment will steadily increase to more than €18.9 billion by 2011.

SEPTEMBER 7, 2007--IMS Research (Wellingborough, UK; www.imsresearch.com) forecasts that Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) sales of machine-tool equipment will steadily increase to more than €18.9 billion by 2011, growing at around 4.5% per year. However, the medical end-user sector is expected to register the strongest growth, some 7.6% 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 €1.3 billion in EMEA in 2005, or 8.6% of the total market. The medical-equipment sector is predicted to continue to experience healthy growth rates of between 7% and 10% 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 said.

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 PLCs, 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, and offices in Austin, TX, USA, and Shanghai, China. IMS Research regularly publishes detailed research on automation areas such as PLCs, operator interfaces (HMIs), factory communications, machine-vision systems, and hazardous equipment markets, among others.

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