European drive technology well prepared for the challenge of digitalization

The European power transmission engineering industry met for the Annual Meeting of EUROTRANS in Antwerp, Belgium on 21-22 June 2018. About 50 European companies from 10 countries joined the meeting, held on invitation of the Belgian Federation AGORIA.
The Conference’s motto was “How Digitalization will influence the Drive Technology Industry” and focused on technologies and structural changes occurring with the mega trend digitalization, IoT or Industry 4.0.
Eric Goos was re-elected for a second period as President of EUROTRANS. Vice president will be Ekrem Sirman from Harmonic Drive AG, Germany.
Eric Goos pointed out: ”Digitalization and technologies such as additive manufacturing and robotics will change our companies not only in the production, but also regarding organizational structures, for this we will probably also need new education systems.”
During the discussions there was general agreement that the European power transmission industry with its cutting-edge technologies and global presence is a leading player in the global market, and to strengthen this position a strong European network is fundamental.
But focusing on Europe alone will not suffice to be successful in the future. We need networks around the world. International cooperation and networking are essential for being successful in growing markets and in the challenging change process of “Digitalization”, this is especially true for small and medium-sized companies. Currently the economic development of the drive technology industry is still split into two customer areas: on the one hand, the automation and the consumer orientated business, such as the food industry, medical technology, robotics and material handling, which is globally running well and still growing in 2018. On the other hand, the “classical” industrial business, which is also slightly increasing 2018 in Europe.
For 2018 the European industry expects a growth rate of 4%, but the further developments will depend on the global economic and political outcomes.
EUROTRANS will host the next International Drive Technology Meeting on 30th and 31 March 2019 in Hanover along with the celebration of the 50 years Anniversary of EUROTRANS.