Market of plastics and rubber machinery in Europe in 2009

Plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers in Europe: high expectations for production in 2008 - downturn in 2009

- Europe`s plastics and rubber equipment manufacturers are performing extremely well; production is expected to grow by about 5% in 2008, said Bernhard Merki , President of EUROMAP, the European trade organisation for plastics and rubber equipment. The total production volume should increase to approximately 18.2 billion Euros and the share of the global market is very likely to remain beyond 50%.

This favourable result, said Merki, still benefits from the orders taken in 2007 and the beginning of 2008. Core Machinery, with the biggest share (62.8%), should increase by 6%, Moulds and Dies remains at the last year`s level, Auxiliary/Peripherals should grow by almost 8% and Flexographic Printing by more than 11%. The use of production capacities in the first half of 2008 was at a high level.

The forecast for 2009, however, is different, argues Merki. Growth on a global scale slowed down considerably due to a cyclical downward movement after years of upswing. From Spring 2008 onwards, incoming orders declined across a broad front. According to the judgement of ASSOCOMAPLAST and VDMA, the Italian and the German plastics and rubber machinery associations, which together account for a 70% share of production within EUROMAP, a downward trend in the production of Core Machinery in the range of 3% to 5% is very likely in 2009. According to Merki, consequences resulting from the turmoil on the financial sector are unpredictable and as such are not included in this forecast and they might even worsen the situation.

Nevertheless, Merki underlines, European plastics and rubber machine manufacturers are fit for the future. They will continue to focus on their strengths, which have already helped them to demonstrate their competitiveness recently when, for example, exchange rates were unfavourable. One of them is leading-edge technology and attention to high quality. Based on these advantages the new EUROMAP campaign ?Pro Original` - which was rolled-out on the European level on the occasion of the General Assembly 2008 - will promote the value of purchasing original equipment and help fight against the theft of our intellectual property, states Merki.

The ability to manufacture the most energy-efficient plastics and rubber machines is another important strength. EUROMAP has created several technical committees to define, for some machine types, the precise conditions under which energy readings should be taken so as to establish authoritative standard measurements and presentations of energy efficiency. With reference to those standards EUROMAP`s goal is to create a basis for eco-labelling in order to classify energy consumption.

On occasion of this year EUROMAP General Assembly in Bologna, Bernhard Merki, CEO of the Netstal Group was re-elected as President of EUROMAP together with Vice President Luciano Anceschi, shareholder and Managing Director of TRIA S.p.A. Thorsten Kühmann, Managing Director of the Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association within VDMA, was confirmed as Secretary General.

The European plastics industry makes a significant contribution to the welfare in Europe by enabling innovation, creating quality of life to citizens and facilitating resource efficiency and climate protection. More than 1.6 million people are working in about 50.000 companies (mainly small and medium sized companies in the converting sector) to create a turnover in excess of 280 billion ?/ year. The plastics industry includes polymer producers - represented by PlasticsEurope, converters - represented by EuPC and machine manufacturers - represented by EUROMAP.