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Packaging machines and machinery industry 2008 - 2017

Production of packaging machines growing like machinery industry, sales however as twice as high

Do the packaging machines show up as growth sector compared to machinery industry? Or rather do they lag behind to the machinery industry? Not really anything but a bit of everything – the result is differentiated and revealing.

Update May 11th, 2018 - This report compares production and sales of packaging machines with that of machinery industry during ten years from the pre-crisis year 2008 to the year 2017.

The differences will show up most clearly related to a common starting point. For this purpose we select the pre-crisis year 2008 setting the indices of production and sales turnover for that year at 100.

Production of packaging machines is growing as weak as the entire machinery industry

Compared to mechanical engineering, is the packaging machinery sector a growth sector when it comes to comparing quantities and production?

The answer is shown in the following diagram. The production of packaging machines and that of the entire mechanical engineering industry will climb out of the crisis together by 2011, but then the paths will separate.

Comparison production packaging machines with machinery industry from 2008 to 2017.

Over the next six years until 2017, the production of packaging machines will increase by 1% annually, that of mechanical engineering by 0.8%. So the production of packaging machines is developing slightly above average compared to mechanical engineering, but not in the form of a dynamic growth sector.

Only the course of production of packaging machines is much more dynamic than that of the mechanical engineering - but in both directions up and down, as the diagram shows.

These special features of the production development do not occur coincidentally, in fact, there is a reason, more exactly two coherent reasons. The first one leads us to the value of packaging machines or their sales.

Sales of packaging machines are growing almost twice as high at 4.2%

The sales1 of packaging machines shows an above-average development compared to mechanical engineering. The latter is growing by 2.3% annually from 2012 to 2107 however, sales of packaging machines are almost twice as high at 4.2%.

Sales packaging machines compared to machinery industry from 2008 to 2017.

So packaging machinery sector is typically developing above average compared to mechanical engineering with production slightly, sales clearly above average. However, periodic setbacks in production and sales prevent packaging machines from being declared a growth sector in mechanical engineering.

The reason for production and sales of packaging machines moving at different rates will be unlocked by the shift of the export markets a separate report will deal with.

Packaging machine-builders with above average growth expectations until 2018

Finally we will take a view on the growth expectations packaging machine-builders are seeing to 2018 in the comparison to the entire machinery industry.

It is reasonable to assume that the slight above average growth of production and sales of packaging machines is reflected by the growth expectations. So it does.

Packaging machine-builders expect machine production to grow by yearly 8% until 2018 while machine-builders expect 3%. This was the result of a market survey from Quest TechnoMarketing in 2015 covering over 230 machine-builders.

The growth expectations are mainly grouped around two priorities.

Growth expectations to 2018 of packaging machine-builders compared to machinery industry.

A third does not expect any growth of machine production until 2018; in machinery industry somewhat more machine-builders than in the sector of packaging machines.

Growth expectations between 5% and fewer than 10% per year form the second priority. At this point packaging machine-builders are slightly more optimistic than the machinery industry.

As we saw, production of packaging machines rose strongly in 2015, after having declined for three years before. This strong increase may have boosted the view into the future. However, the analysis indicated that dynamic increases regarding packaging machines are connected sooner or later with setbacks.


1 The official statistics determines value as production, evaluated to selling prices without value added tax. So the difference to the turnover lies mainly in changes of inventories, i.e. value may be understood as turnover with good approximation.

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