Ceramics trade show ceramitec says that according to its recent survey, 96% of surveyed global ceramics and powder metallurgy companies are planning to increase their total investments in the coming year (44%) or to keep them at a high level (52%).

Some 47% of the companies plan to increase their expenditures for research and development and 51% plan to hold their expenditures in this field constant, while 44% of German companies and more than half (54%) of global companies are planning to spend more money in new machines, infrastructure and procedures in 2018.

On a global scale, the increasing automation of production is most ripe for investment (35%), followed by new raw materials and additives, powder, production materials and auxiliaries (25%), and the topic of energy efficiency (13%). More than 60% of the companies surveyed on a global scale are also either pursuing an explicit digitization strategy, have already digitized important processes or even consider themselves as pioneers in this field.

However, large part (37%) of the ceramics and powder metallurgy industry sees itself exposed to high competitive and price pressure and finding new markets currently ranks among the most pressing tasks for many companies (39%). In Germany, 44% of the companies have had difficulties in finding a sufficient number of suitably qualified personnel while 24% of the respondents in the rest of Europe and 21% of the respondents in Asia said the same.

‘The traditional ceramics and powder metallurgy industry is getting into shape for the digital era and in doing so, it shows innovative spirit,’ said Gerhard Gerritzen, member of the board of management of Messe München, the organizers of ceramitec. ‘At a global level, 59% of the companies rate their commitment for research and development as good or excellent.’

This story uses material from ceramitec, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.