Despite the soewhat restrained expectations, the signs are still pointing to growth, emphasized OE-A chairman Jeremy Burroughes, who presented the survey. 87 % of the survey participants expect the industry to continue its positive development in the coming year. Within the scope of its half-yearly business climate survey, the OE-A surveys the mood of its international members - from material manufacturer to end user - in terms of sales, incoming orders, investments and employment.
“With forecast sales growth of 7%, 2018 will be a very successful year for OE-A members, even though growth will be 9 percentage points lower than in the last survey of autumn 2017,” Burroughes commented. "The companies await good and solid growth. However, it is understandable that at the beginning of the year, companies tend to be more cautious."
The positive trend in the organic and printed electronics industry is predicted to continue in the year ahead. Sales are expected to grow by 8 % in 2019.
Thin, light and flexible are properties that distinguish organic and printed electronics. These advantages enable new applications in numerous areas. The target industries of the OE-A members are, for example, packaging, lighting, energy, medical technology and pharmaceuticals, but especially consumer electronics and the automotive industry. Electronics play an increasingly important role in the latter. Independent market research companies forecast that the value-added share of electronics in the automotive industry will rise to 50% by 2030.
“But now it is also the other way around and we see a clear "market pull": Existing products are optimized by the technology of printed electronics and new applications are made possible," Burroughes said.