The VDMA’s Additive Manufacturing Working Group has reported that the results of its latest member survey give a positive outlook for the Additive Manufacturing industry, despite the looming economic crisis. The autumn survey, of approximately 200 members, covers the entire spectrum of the AM process chain, with around three quarters of participants processing metals and one third working in both metal and polymers.
Over the last twelve months, the increasing breadth of applications for Additive Manufacturing is said to have led to almost a quarter of the respondees reporting sales increases of over 20%. For another 52% of member companies, the increases were in the range of up to 20%, with 17% reporting unchanged business levels. Only 8% of respondents saw declining sales in the past year. A slightly declining growth trend was noted in the last half-year, reports the VDMA, with the increases mainly settled in the single-digit percentage range.
In the next six months, some 46% of respondees expect to show growth, with around 48% expecting business to stagnate. The outlook for the next twenty-four months, however, shows optimism, with 74% of member companies expecting growth, only 20% stagnation and 6% expecting a decline in market development.
“Almost three quarters of our member companies expect their business in Germany to grow over the next 24 months,” stated Dr Markus Heering, Managing Director of the Additive Manufacturing Working Group within the VDMA. “Against the backdrop of the current tense geopolitical situation and the continuing rise in energy and raw material prices, we were pleasantly surprised by the figures.”
The broad base of the member survey is said to suggest that the Additive Manufacturing industry as a whole has developed high resilience to the economic disruptions. “With their highly flexible manufacturing processes, short delivery times and superior functionality of AM components of any complex shape, our members find the right answers to the current challenges of their target markets,” explained Heering.
The member companies’ optimism for export expectations has also slowed down in the short term. Almost 60% expect stagnating foreign business in the next twelve months; only 40% are set on growth. Looking ahead to the next twenty-four months, this is expected to change, with 58% forecasting growth and 40% expecting stagnation.