London, 02nd August 2004....Even as the increasingly mature European industrial weighing
equipment market struggles with competitive pressures, untapped end-user sectors and emerging
opportunities in Eastern Europe are poised to create new revenue streams. At the same time,
higher productivity needs across a range of key industrial sectors are expected to boost
demand for advanced weighing machinery.
In 2003, the total European industrial weighing machinery market was estimated at $1.06
billion, having fallen from $1.11 billion in 2000. This decline was attributed to the general
economic slowdown, the shift of manufacturing activities to China and other low-cost regions
and overall price pressures.
From 2004, the market is expected to stage a recovery with overall revenues forecast to
reach $1.27 billion in 2010. The focus during this period is likely to be on offering improved
weighing equipment at ever more competitive prices.
The push by end-user companies for more productive and cost-effective processes is expected
to generate demand for faster and more accurate weighing systems. This is likely to create
opportunities for weighing machinery manufacturers that can supply leading-edge solutions.
"End-users in the pharmaceuticals and food and beverage industries expect more accurate,
higher precision, faster weighing solutions, reliable user-friendly software and other
product enhancements," states a new study by Frost & Sullivan (http://www.frost.com).
"These act as drivers for the equipment manufacturers by either replacing older equipment
or selling new products to the end-users. Investment in more advanced technology benefits
revenues in that advanced machinery is generally higher priced, positively influencing
At an estimated $373.0 million, the food, dairy and beverage end-user sector contributed
more than a third of the industrial weighing machinery markets revenues in 2003. The requirement
for greater control and accuracy in weighing solutions, stricter regulations and the trend
towards packaging of fresh foods are all set to sustain above average growth rates in this
sector, with its revenue share projected to increase to 36.0 per cent in 2010.
However, as revenues stagnate in several other well-established end-user sectors, weighing
equipment manufacturers have been compelled to explore new markets. Of these, waste management,
recycling and environmental sectors are expected to rank amongst the fastest growing segments.
The need for more accurate weighing solutions is anticipated to support future growth in
the large Western European markets of Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Italy. At
more than twice the size of second placed France, Germany is forecast to remain the largest
The fastest growth is project, however, to be registered in Eastern Europe. Lower market
maturity, demand for advanced technologies and migration of production facilities eastwards
are set to push growth rates to a level significantly above the overall European average,
with Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary leading the way.
In product terms, the largest individual segment in 2003 was balances and scales, which
accounted for an estimated 38.4 per cent of total market revenues. Widespread use across
multiple application sectors, along with high demand from the industrial, the food, dairy
and beverage and the chemical sectors is expected to help this product category maintain
its dominance over the long term.
With over three hundred participants in the market, competitive pressures are expected
to remain high. Critical differentiating factors are expected to be price, technical expertise,
service and reputation. In particular, market advantage is expected to derive from cost
competitiveness and leadership in customer service.
"As business increasingly becomes focused on building closer relationships, service will
become a key means of differentiation," the study concludes. "Moreover, by emphasising
competitive prices, manufacturers are able to meet the rising customer demand for ever
more advanced and competitive technology."
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