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Fibre-reinforced plastics/composites are considered to be materials with enormous potential, including considerable potential for development in a wide variety of applications. They can be used, for instance, in the automotive industry, construction, aviation and electronics. Many sectors of industry and areas of application are developing ever new uses for these versatile, young materials.

Since 2013 the trade association Composites Germany (www.composites-germany.de) has been gathering indicators on current and future developments in composites, based on six-monthly member surveys conducted by AVK, CFK Valley, CCeV and VDMA. The results of the fifth survey (first half of 2015) are now available:

  • Positive assessment of the current business situation
  • Investment climate continues to be friendly
  • Growth drivers in the automotive industry and CRP
  • Optimistic view of the future

 

Current business situation – positive assessment across all regions

The previous survey (second half of 2014) already showed a positive trend in ratings of the current business situation in composites. This development is now continuing. The assessment of the business situation in all the regions under review (worldwide, Europe and Germany) is even more favourable than in the last survey.

Whereas in the last survey about two thirds of all respondents viewed the business situation as “quite positive” or “very positive”, this share has now increased to 90% (see Illus. 1).

 Business Situation Worldwide

Illus. 1: Assessment of current business situation (worldwide)

For Europe as an economic region this latest trend finally shows a sustained positive tendency again. Over 80% of companies in the survey said they took an optimistic view of the business situation.

Their assessment of the future business situation underlines this trend. The majority of respondents believe that the coming six months will see a favourable development or the same development of the business situation.

Investment climate continues to be very friendly

The optimistic assessment of the general business situation and the good future prospects are underpinned by several further factors. Nearly half of all respondents feel that the next half year will be marked by an increase in their staffing level. By contrast, only 6% believe that there will be a reduction (see Illus. 2).

 
HR-Planing

Illus. 2: Assumed changes in staffing levels in the second half of 2015

Mainly positive replies were also received when asked about planned investments in machinery. Likewise, a strong commitment to the composites market continues to be seen as worthwhile. About half of all respondents said they wanted to envisage greater activities and composites, whereas a downturn was only assumed in isolated cases.

Still the same growth driver

The essential growth driver in materials continues to be seen in carbon-reinforced plastic (CRP) (see Illus. 3).

 Growth Stimuli

Illus. 3: Growth drivers in composites

On the regional level Germany and Asia are still believed to be the regions with the most vigorous development. On the application side there are expectations that major stimuli will be received from automotive engineering, aviation, infrastructure/construction and mechanical engineering.

Composites Development Index has turned positive

Compared with the previous survey, both the general economic situation and the companies’ own business situations are seen by respondents as positive again. It is only expectations of the general future situation that have stagnated at the level of the second half of 2014. Expectation of one’s own business situation and development have clearly turned positive now (see Illus. 4).

 

 Development Index

Illus. 4: Composites Index "Business Situation"

The next issue of the Composites Market Survey will be published in January 2016.

 

Image copyrights: AVK

Press contact: Composites Germany, Dr. Elmar Witten, Management Spokesman

Tel. +49 (0)69 2710770, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ;
www.composites-germany.org