Machine Industry Poland: Eight Missing to the Top

Author / Editor: Wojciech Traczyk / Susanne Hertenberger

Polish machine tool industry ended 2016 with a total of 3522 machines manufactured, over 10% more than in the previous year. Little was left to hit the past decade's record.

Polish sector of machine tool production went back on a path of growth in the past year with production volume of 3522 machines
Polish sector of machine tool production went back on a path of growth in the past year with production volume of 3522 machines
(Bild: Fotolia RAW - Fotolia)

There is now nothing left to remind of the 2010-2011 crisis, when the production in the Polish machine tool sector dropped dramatically to 1269 and 1823 units respectively. Temporary market stagnation, which shook the production slightly between 2014 and 2015, can now be announced to have ceased. The Polish machine tool manufacturing sector is now back on the path of growth, with the production volume of 3522 machines, which is just 8 units less than in the last decade's record of 2013.

Automation drives the market

Traditionally, the leader of the group of machine tools manufactured in Poland are multi-purpose metal cutting machines, yet, in the past year, the greatest increase of as much as 79.9% was scored by machining centres, building-block and multi-stand machines the production of which had been showing a downward trend for the previous years. The third largest category of machine tools was metal working lathes, the number of which was 8.5% less than in 2015.

The past year's increase in production is the consequence of the growing entrepreneur awareness of the benefits from automation of production processes. One of the results of the automation making its way through the Polish industry is the increasing use of CNC machines. Such trends are apparent in various sectors, the automotive, electronics, aviation or medical to name a few. Most of the companies in those sectors cannot even imagine a step back to traditional manufacturing methods, particularly because of the today's challenges of continuous quality improvement, increased productivity, reduced unit manufacturing cost, increased process flexibility and meeting the increasingly stringent standards.

"Regardless of whether a large or small factory is concerned, each of them is facing a steadily growing need to reduce processing cycle times and for a proactive approach to the customised production requirements" - explains Jędrzej Kowalczyk CEO FANUC Polska.

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Still behind Europe

The 10.6% increase proves that the Polish metal machining industry has a huge potential for growth. However, the Polish market still falls flat when compared to the European potentates, not to mention the global leaders.

Holding 46.2% share in the market, Germany remains the unquestionable leader of the European market for machine tools. Together with Italy (19.3%), both countries deliver as much as 2/3 of machine production in Europe and, with Switzerland as the third player (12%), they account for 3/4 of total European production of machine tools. Poland holds only the 10th place in the European ranking of machine tool manufacturers, having just a 1% share in the market. Other countries with higher ranks include Spain, Austria, the UK, France, Belgium and Turkey. What is worth noting, however, is that most of them reported a decline in production after nine months of the past year, and those who increased their production (France, Italy, Sweden and Spain) recorded a lower rate of growth than Poland did.

The unbeatable global leader in 2016 is China, accounting for 27% of the metal machining tools manufactured with a total value of EUR ca.16 billion, with Japan on the second place having 19% market share and value of the machinery produced amounting to approx. EUR 12.3 billion.