Unfortunately, the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has created a war-like situation across the globe. Authorities in several countries were forced to implement the lockdown measures which led to stopping most of the non-essential operations in their respective countries. The aforementioned measures halted the manufacturing activities; which is expected to have a negative impact on the demand for metal cutting machines, at least, in the short term.
Primarily, metal cutting machines are used in various application industries to cut different types of ferrous and non-ferrous metals for producing a finished product of desired geometry. The machines extend several advantages to the products, including surface texture or finish, closer dimensional accuracy, complex shaping, and required size.
The size of the international market of the metal cutting machine has been valued at $6.17 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9 per cent from 2020 to 2027. Rising demand for highly-efficient metal cutting machines from various application industries, including automotive, aerospace and defence, electronics, and marine, is expected to be the key driving factor despite the Covid disruptions.
Rising investments in the defence and aerospace industries, coupled with the increasing demand for a wide range of consumer electronics on account of larger disposable incomes are expected to favour the market growth in the years to come. Rise in the demand for cutting edge technologies coupled with advancements in manufacturing processes are also anticipated to propel the market growth in the forthcoming years.
Incidentally, in India the metal cutting industry has been a crucial part of the machine working and fabrications sector that forms an important industrial segment after the automotive industry. The metal cutting industry in India consists of industries that are into manufacturing of components required for the SMEs and the bigger names in the sector that cater to the larger OEMs.
It goes without saying that the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively impacted all industries across the globe and the metal cutting industry is no exception. Cognitive Market Research has published a recent study which evaluates the impact of this crisis on the international metal cutting machines market as the global economy heads towards a major recession post 2009 crisis and suggests possible measures to counter it.
Metal cutting business is particularly defenceless as the greater part of its workforce has to work on location and is impossible to function remotely. As a measure to protect the business from devastating repercussions, manufacturers must also create social distancing in workplaces that are typically worker-dense (e.g., manufacturing plants, warehouses, material movements and logistics, etc.). Moreover, manufacturers have to be prepared for major supply chain disruptions. This will influence the OEMs and affect manufacturers by driving down demand for materials and parts.
Practically, every manufacturing company is suffering from the ruthless Novel Coronavirus Disease. In order to arrest the spread of the pandemic, many countries around the world imposed a lockdown, restricting gatherings and movement of people.
A lockdown has several consequences, which further complicate the problems for various sectors like reverse migration, disruption of supply chains, manufacturing sector. As the governments have closed down shops, stores and malls to slow down the spread of the virus, it has also proved to be a major factor affecting the metal cutting industry.
The U.S. dominated the North American metal cutting machine market owing to the robust product demand from the defence and aerospace and automotive industries. Advancing technological innovations and the rise in military expenditure are likely to drive the market during the next few years. Leading defence and aerospace players in the country are employing additive manufacturing technology to design and produce complex components that reduce the weight of the aircraft.
However, the laser cutting machine offers several advantages, including high precision, flexibility, speed, repeatability, and excellent quality. Among all the machines, the laser cutting machine accounted for 61.6 per cent of the global revenue share in 2019. Laser cutting machines are widely used to cut various ferrous and non-ferrous metals, thereby allowing fabricators to create high-quality structures.
The automobile sector leads the market and accounts for 26.1 per cent of the global revenue share in 2019 due to extensive usage of the machines in cutting a wide variety of interior and exterior components of automobiles, including passenger cars, SUVs, and others. Apart from automotive, metal cutting machines are also used in the production of various components of weather stripping to door panels and chassis.
Internationally, the Asia Pacific region dominated the market and accounted for 41.8 per cent share of the global revenue in 2019. On account of rapid industrialisation coupled with growing economic conditions, especially in the cases of India, China, and South Korea it is anticipated that the product demand in the region will move upwards. The Asia Pacific is expected to remain a hub for high-tech manufacturing, especially for automotive, defence and aerospace, and electronics industries, which is likely to fuel the regional market growth.
Article by Arijit Nag
Arijit Nag is a freelance journalist who writes on various aspects of the economy and current affairs.
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