Sensor industry plans to invest heavily into R&D, production

March 11, 2015 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Sensor industry plans to invest heavily into R&D, production
With overall sales growth of 8 percent, the industry for sensors and measurement equipment recorded an extraordinarily good year in 2014. For the current year, the industry plans high investments and expects further workforce expansion.

The AMA Verband für Sensorik und Messtechnik (Industry association for sensors and measurement technology), a Germany-based industry association with international membership, has conducted a survey among its member companies. According to the poll, the past year was above average, and the good business climate is expected to continue throughout 2015. The sales grew by 8 percent which exceeded the expectations of the companies. For the year ahead, the companies expect another good year with a growth of some 5 percent.

In 2014, the companies organised in the AMA increased their investments by 5 percent, compared to the previous year. Apparently the good results and the technological change stimulated the mood of the companies: For the year ahead, they plan to add another 24 to their capital spending - a rather sensational value. The AMA association considers this as a strong signal for the future sustainability of this industry; the investment will be used to modernise production and boost R&D, an AMA spokesperson explained. Likewise, the workforce will continue to grow albeit at a slower pace of 2 percent.

In 2014 the business growth was driven mainly through export. The export ratio grew from 40% to 42% - where 24% of the sales represent the internal trade within Europe; 17% of the goods are sold to other countries with China being the preferred export target market.

To understand these figures it is essential to understand the structure of the AMA: The association represents mostly medium-sized companies active in industrial measurement and sensor technologies. The products of these companies are targeting industrial production and process equipment in the first place. For these reasons, it is likely that the high investment is owed to the current production technology departure triggered by the Industrie 4.0 concept (aka Industrial Internet) and industrial IoT applications.


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