Though machine tools are essential in keeping manufacturing operations worldwide moving, the well-established industrial equipment market is evolving. As businesses are increasingly under pressure to both reduce costs and find more high-tech ways of working, demand for advanced solutions such as automation, nanotechnology and additive printing grows.
Here we summarize what is driving these trends, and how manufacturers of machine tools and industrial equipment can be best placed to cater to these changing customer needs. Or learn more now by downloading our white paper: 5 machine tool trends that can be shaped into new opportunities.
The robotization of machine tools
Globally, there is a trend towards increased automation in manufacturing as businesses embrace all that Industry 4.0 has to offer – from cloud computing to artificial intelligence. Many businesses can see that these innovations enable ‘smart’ manufacturing, offering clear benefits around cost and productivity, as well as a more futureproof investment.
To gain access to the most up to date solutions, many businesses are also likely to move towards leasing options that give quick access to the latest technologies, with the flexibility to return equipment, rather than opting for outright ownership.
Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) must now ensure that they are manufacturing machines and components that meet the customer demand for robotized solutions and can integrate with automated and smart solutions. This may seem like a costly undertaking for an OEM, but it is key for delivering what customers are looking for and to stay ahead of the competition.
Machine tools in 3D
The advent of additive manufacturing, also known as ‘3D printing’, has changed the manufacturing sector considerably. Customer demand is increasing for this over traditional CNC machines because in the right scenarios it can offer opportunities to decrease material costs and increase process productivity, bringing down the cost-per-part and making production easily scalable.
Although specialist manufacturers of 3D printing machines have emerged, OEMs producing more traditional machine tools must also consider a place for additive manufacturing solutions within their product offering. However, this will of course require research and development, engineering, and investment. In the future, OEMs should be prepared to cater to the requirements of more businesses looking to combine traditional CNC machining and additive manufacturing within their operations.
Going smaller is big business
Customers need greater precision and tighter tolerances in their manufacturing operations, so the equipment that they use needs to deliver on this. They are looking to produce ever more complex-structure components and products. For this reason, some customers are now looking to invest in bringing machines into their operations that utilize Nano or Micro technology, rather than Macro technology.
Customers are often driven to create products that require high precision and micro-manufacturing as it provides greater market potential and business growth opportunities. Yet there is, of course, potentially high initial costs to consider.
The challenge for machine tool OEMs is keeping up and being able to provide the ultra-precision machines that are in increasing demand. This is a profitable and specialized part of the machine tool business for those that get it right. Supporting customers with digital financing tools is one way that OEMs can partner with DLL to help speed up the process.
To discover more about these trends and how you can be prepared to meet your customer’s requirements, download our paper now. Or if you are a machine tools manufacturer and would like to partner with DLL to help customers finance the implementation of future technologies, please contact us. Martin Joli, Global Head of New Business Development, can answer any questions about how financing can support your business, please contact him, or check out our website for more information.