By Pramod Thomas:
Verein Deutscher Werkzeug-maschinenfabriken (VDW) or the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association, one of the oldest in Germany’s industrial history, strives to create the optimum starting conditions for its member companies in the competitive global business environment.
“In 2014, VDW called for prudent investments in research, development and education to cope with Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things. We have some common activities with some of the member companies to make something together with regarding Industry 4.0, ” Klaus-Peter Kuhnmunch, Manager General Affairs, VDW, told AutoParts Asia in Bengaluru.
“Globally, the machine tool industry is very much oriented towards the new technological trends like Additive Manufacturing and 3D printing. Lots of projects are under way. VDW has some common activities for Industry 4.0. The industry association is working with member companies on e-mobility as well. Though our members are from small and medium scale industries, their customers are large corporates like BMW, Mercedes and Porsche to name a few,” he said.
Founded in Hanover in 1891 ‘to strengthen the mutual relations between the premier manufacturers of machine tools’, VDW has a rich history of 125 years. The eleven founding members back in 1891 have become more than twenty-five times as many in 2015.
The association has been proactively involved, supporting the participation of its member companies at production technology trade fairs in the major export markets, and twice a year organises technology exhibitions. Now, VDW has 300-member companies, which belong to the SME sector in Germany. It maintains and fosters contacts with national and international machine tool associations. Since 2013, VDW has been represented in China by its own liaison office in Shanghai, as China is the biggest market for machine tool companies in Germany.
VDW has members from metal cutting (70 percent) and metal forming (30 percent) companies. The association members do metalworking services in R&D, Statistics, Standardisation, Legal matters etc. VDW also organises own exhibitions for the metal working industry.
“We are the organisers of the biggest Metal Working Show worldwide, the EMO Hannover. It is our own Show which takes place once in two years. The next show will be from September 16 to 21, 2019, in Hannover, Germany. Another show organised by VDW is METAV. The latest edition of the Show was held in Düsseldorf, Germany from February 20 to 24, 2018. The METAV Show is for Germany and Europe. These are the two Shows in Germany organised by VDW, and the third Show organised by VDW- AMB Iran- is a new Show started in 2016. It is jointly organised by VDW and Messe Stuttgart in Iran. The next one will be at Shahr-e-Aftab International Exhibition, Teheran, Iran from June 26 to 29, 2018,” he said.
Terming India as an important market for VDW, Kuhnmunch said that the association is keen to collaborate with the Indian government and industry. “Some of our members may have collaborations with Indian companies. Now we are in the initial stages of working at a collaboration with the government,’ he said.
The machine tool exports from Germany to India, in the first three quarters of 2017, was valued at 1.54 million euros, an increase of 38 percent in overall value. In 2016, the growth rate was five percent and in 2015 machine tool exports grew by 17 percent. It had touched 2.1 million euros in 2013, then the value went down. Since 2015, German machine tools exports to India has been going up. Indian imports from Germany include machining centres, grinding, honing and lapping machines, parts and accessories, gear cutting machines and lathes.
China is the biggest market for Germany in this segment, followed by US, France, Italy and Mexico. India ranks 14th in the overall export rankings of machine tools. “Our members find customers in lots of technological fields in India. The most important customers for the machine tool industry is automotive and automotive suppliers. About 50 percent of our products are going to the automotive industry worldwide, the situation is same in India as well,” Kuhnmunch said.