Packaging machinery fueling automation growth in Europe

Wellingborough, U.K.; Austin, TX—Packaging machinery is one of the highest growth markets for automation products in Europe, according to new research by IMS Research.


Wellingborough, U.K.; Austin, TX— Packaging machinery is one of the highest growth markets for automation products in Europe, according to new research by IMS Research . The firm recently analyzed 11 major machinery markets, and found that not only is packaging machinery one of the largest machinery markets for automation products, second only to machine tools, but it is also one of the most dynamic.

European production of packaging machinery grew steadily during the late 1990s and early 2000s, and it was one of the few sectors of the European machine building industry that increased production in 2003. IMS predicts this trend will continue over the next few years, with production growth projected to average around 6% per year. IMS estimates that the total European market for automation products used in packaging machinery was worth approximately 1.5 billion euros in 2003.

“Packaging machinery is a particularly attractive market for motors and drives suppliers, which account for about 25% of the automation content of a typical packaging machine,' says Simon Harris, IMS senior analyst. 'These are usually servos, which are increasingly being used, instead of mechanical drive systems, to improve the flexibility of machines. They enable OEMs to develop more modular machines, and also benefit the end-user because they reduce the time needed to reconfigure machine between production runs.”

IMS also identified semiconductor machinery and industrial robots as high growth markets for automation products, although both are much smaller in size than packaging machinery. European production of semiconductor machinery is forecast to soar this year as semiconductor companies add extra capacity to meet increasing demand and upgrade to 300 mm processes. European production of multi-purpose industrial robots increased by nearly 10% last year, after two years of declining sales. IMS projects that this renewed surge in robot investment will continue into 2004 and 2005, making it another attractive market for suppliers of automation products.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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