December 28, 2020
According to the machine tool order statistics announced by the Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association（JMTBA）, the amount of Japanese machine tool order in 2020 settled down to about 890 billion yen. It has decreased significantly for the second consecutive year. In 2020, the COVID-19 infection forced economic activity around the world to stagnate. It also had a great impact on the FA industry. It can be said that 2020 was a tough year for the FA industry.
SEISANZAI Japan looks back on Japanese FA-related events in 2020.
Japanese machine tool orders significantly reduce
Due to the spread of COVID-19 infection, economic activity around the world stagnated. FA industry was also hit hard. Because of the trade friction between the United States and China, Japanese machine tool orders have been on a downward trend since 2019, but the COVID-19 spread made a further attack on depression.
Face-to-face sales were restricted, and major FA-related exhibitions were canceled or postponed.
Japan’s machine tool orders in 2020 seem to have settled down to around 890 billion yen, down 27.6% from the previous year. In 2017 and 2018, the order amount reached a record high for the second consecutive year.
However, monthly orders peaked at 182.8 billion yen in March 2018 and entered a downward trend, and continued to decline from 2019 to the beginning of 2020. As the trade friction between the United States and China intensified, COVID-19 raged around the world in the spring of 2020, which had a major impact on the machine tool market.
In May 2020, monthly Japanese machine tool orders fell to 51.2 billion yen including domestic order 8.2 billion yen and external order 33 billion yen. This is the latest “bottom of the economy”, and machine tool orders have been on a gradual recovery trend since then. 2020 was a year of suffering from COVID-19 spreading.
However, the demand for machine tools has not completely disappeared, and in many cases, it has been pushed back due to wait-and-see or freezing of capital investment.
related article: Japan’s machine tool orders in November : 88.6 billion yen
IMTS and JIMTOF were held online
International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS2020), one of the largest machine tool trade fairs in 2020, was scheduled to take place in the United States. However, it was canceled due to the COVID-19 spreading. As an alternative event, “IMTS Network” that post videos on the web and the web exhibition “IMTS Spark” (= photo) were held from September 14, 2020.
Besides, JAPAN INTERNATIONAL MACHINE TOOL FAIR (JIMTOF2020) was also canceled. However, “JIMTOF2020 Online” was held for 12 days from November 16th to 27th, 2020.
It became difficult for the companies to sell machine tools through face-to-face meeting in COVID-19 era. FA companies started to utilize various web systems to promote their product as a new way. According to opening of JIMTOF2020 Online, many companies held their own web exhibitions on the corporate website to promote new products.
related article: Cancellation of IMTS Chicago by COVID-19／JIMTOF2020 Online started! The online exhibition will be held until November 27th
The second part of this article will be uploaded on December,29.
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