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Sales Revenue and Profitability of the Rubber Machinery Industry Increase

Recently, the European Rubber Journal (ERJ) released the 2017 Report on Global Rubber Machinery Industry. The sales revenue of the world's rubber machinery industry saw substantial growth after years of decline, with tremendously increased confidence in investment, marking that the rubber machinery industry has been out of the decline completely. The sales revenue of most rubber machinery companies is increasing and their profitability is significantly enhanced.

However, the report also shows that the industry development is obviously unbalanced. Geographically, Europe and China are leading the world's rubber machinery industry with the highest growth rate. The main product is tire rubber machinery, but non-tire rubber machinery develops faster. Most rubber machine companies are optimistic about the future and more willing to invest and expand the production. It is expected that the industry situation in 2018 will keep improving.

No obvious change in the rankings

The report publishes the rankings of global top 36 rubber machinery enterprises in 2017 based on the sales revenue, and the rankings do not change much compared with that of the previous year. German H-F company remains No. 1, and VMI of Netherlands ranks second with a 19.2% growth in the sales revenue, further narrowing the gap between itself and the Germany-based company. MESNAC ranks third with a year-on-year increase of 58.4%. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Kobe Steel of Japan rank fourth and fifth respectively. German LWB ranks sixth with the sales rising by 18.2%. SAFE-RUN remains the seventh. The ranking of Troeste of Germany drops to the eighth place. Finland's Cimcorp ranks ninth with 39% increase in its sales. And German Desma ranks tenth.

Among the top 10 companies, four are from Germany, two from China, two from Japan, and two from Netherlands and Finland respectively. The sales revenue of the top 10 companies accounted for 59.6% of the total, an increase of 3.3 percentage points from 2016, with the industry concentration ratio increasing.

The industry tends to a good prospect

The main reason for the improved operation environment for rubber machinery is that the world's automobile and tire industry is taking a good turn, which drives the rubber machinery out of the downward path. Only three of the top 36 companies decrease sales, but none of the top 10 enterprises did. The total sales revenue of the top 36 companies is USD3.648 billion, an increase of 9.2% over the previous year.

The development is uneven, with a significant shift of the rubber machinery towards Western Europe and China. 14 companies of the top 36 are from Europe, with sales revenue of USD1.879 billion, a year-on-year increase of 17.3%, accounting for 51.5% of the total. China has 15 shortlisted companies, with sales revenue of USD1.138 billion, a year-on-year increase of 18.9%, accounting for 31.2% of the total. The sales revenue of European and Chinese companies account for 82.7% of the total.

The North American rubber machinery industry has a remarkable recession, and manufacturers in the region are gradually withdrawing or acquired. Japan is also withdrawing from the rubber machinery industry, although it has two shortlisted enterprises among the top 36, with sales revenue of USD396 million, which is the same as the previous year. MHI's production is mainly in Changzhou factory of China.

Although the main product is tire machinery, the development of non-tire rubber machinery is faster, which has 30% of market share and represents the main growth point of the rubber machinery industry.

Increased automation degree

With the increasing demand of the rubber tire industry for intelligent automation, relevant suppliers have been dedicated to equipment automation with breakthrough made in recent years.

In recent years, Finland's Cimcorp has upgraded the equipment automation and is full of confidence about the development in the future. Automation is increasingly valued in all links of the tire manufacturing, such as banburying and calendering. Komerico-Ekley has developed a smart factory-specific service package to support and guide customers in using the industry 4.0 system and connection process/technology. Marangoni, an Italian company, has developed a fully automatic tape winding system which needs no human intervention from the feeding of the extruder to the winding of the tape onto the carcass.

Automation has also extended to the mold management, as is demonstrated by the R&D of automatic laser cleaning system by the German laser system supplier 4JET. The 4JET laser cleaning technology is not only used for cleaning vulcanizing molds in tire production but also increasingly for cleaning molded rubber products.

Enhanced investment confidence

The ERJ has designed three questionnaires, which show that the rubber machine market in many regions of the world is improving and the investment confidence of rubber machinery enterprises is enhanced. 76% of the respondents plan to expand their production capacity, and 55% of the respondents plan to upgrade the production line, hitting a new high in recent years.

In terms of the fastest growing areas for rubber machinery, the proportion of investors optimistic about the growth in China has risen from 42% in the previous year to 46%, and the proportion for Western Europe has increased from 38% to 42%, the proportion for the Middle East has grown from 27% to 40%, and the proportion for India has maintained 46%. Surprisingly, North America sees a drop from 73% to 46% in the proportion of optimistic investors, which may be related to the uncertainty of American policies.

As for products, the proportion of optimistic investors about tire equipment is up to 61%, followed by that for rubber equipment which is 43%. Concerning product terminals, the proportion of investors that are optimistic about the tire sector has increased from 68% to 75%, and for universal rubber, the proportion is 41%, which has decreased by 3% from the previous year. The survey of several large rubber machinery companies shows that the automotive and tire industry is developing towards a good prospect and there are a great number of orders for rubber machinery.

The order of Chinese rubber machinery enterprises this year has increased dramatically on a year-on-year basis, and many enterprises are producing at full capacity. Insiders predict that the world's rubber machinery industry will have bright prospects in 2018. (Chen Weifang)

From: China Chemical Industry News

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