PENNY: Speaking from the point of view of a business with over 35 years of experience in our field, the single market has massively simplified trade within Europe, raised standards, lowered prices, and brought Europe much closer together. With the referendum drawing close, we are currently going through a period of considerable uncertainty in the UK even though the economic situation is good. The UK could face years of uncertainty as treaties are unpicked and new ones negotiated. If trade deals were less favorable than they are now, then some major manufacturers may move out of the UK. So although the projections are good for Penny Hydraulics, the importance of remaining within the EU should not be overlooked. Should we depart from the EU, we may not just see the rate of growth deteriorate, but we may also see a decline. WYREMBELSKI: In general, no. During the past five years, the Gross Domestic Product has been under 2.5%, and with an adjusted GDP for the first quarter of 2016 at .08, manufacturers are reluctant to grow and expand. Investment programs have almost come to a stop, and resource reduction will come into play if the economy stays at its present level. LANGRO: I believe many companies are preparing to be in a position to capitalize on the expected upswing in the U.S. market that may come later in 2016 and into 2017. The manufacturing companies are demanding more flexibility and intelligence in their capital equipment expenditures, challenging the OEMs to come up with new concepts and evaluate new technologies. Manufacturers are constantly striving for greater operational efficiencies. HARMEYER: Yes. The U.S. manufacturing base grew rapidly coming out of the recession, but growth has slowed. However, manufacturing is still on the rise, and with the past as a guide, manufacturers should be prepared to address continued growth requirements that they have experienced over the last five years.
PENNY: During the recession, there was a vast reduction in commercial vehicles being manufactured, which saw a downturn in the need for vehicle mounted lifting equipment. Vehicle mounted cranes and loading platforms was our core business, and therefore this could have potentially been catastrophic for us. At the same time during the recession, we saw a definite rise in our goods lift division, as there was a trend for business owners to expand and develop their existing premises rather than undertake the larger investment to move premises at a time of major financial uncertainty. This meant, in a lot of cases, that business owners were having a mezzanine floor installed in their buildings for extra storage or work space, which then meant there was a requirement for a lift to move goods to and from this area. Our goods lift division is now a key growth area for us. The downturn of the coal mining industry in the UK resulted in a fall in sales of our hydraulic roof supports and other mining products, and triggered our subsequent expansion into mechanical handling for the nuclear power industry, resulting in the “Penny nuclear” division being setup. WYREMBELSKI: A few areas of growth will fall into four different segments: data, food & beverage, chemical & plastic, and automotive. Almost every new device developed today has the need to store information or communicate with one another. Data centers globally are expanding annually because of the thousands of new nodes added to the world’s networks daily. The economy seldom affects food and beverage, so if it’s not growing, it’s usually stable. Chemical and plastic is another strong industry segment that is usually stable, if not growing, in the best or worst of times. Automotive is on the verge of becoming a growth industry at minimum sustaining. During the last 10 years, many vehicle owners have kept their vehicles longer than ever before, but now the need for new purchases is coming. Also the need for continuous quality improvements and innovation will help drive market share. So upgrades and new expansion will keep this industry strong. As for manufacturing segments today, oil & gas, and metal & mining are a few segments showing decline. When speaking of declining industries, these segments often rely on one another, such as marine support for offshore oil and gas. The oil and gas segment has been www.IFPS.org • Manufacturers Directory 2016 • www.FluidPowerJournal.com
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Fluid Power Journal Manufacturers Directory 2016