Less semiconductor manufacturing is a European competitive concern, Germans say

VDMA: Engineering industry relies on intelligent electronics made in Europe. Semiconductor production sites in Europe are important for the engineering industry, says the federation of German engineers.


Frankfurt, Germany – Technological innovations in the machinery industry, and thus the competitiveness of the engineering sector as a whole increasingly depend on the application of intelligent electronics, says the German Engineering Federation, VDMA. Access to customer specific microchips could be threatened witha vanishing European semiconductor industry, the organization says. "Up to now this latent danger has not yet been perceived as such by most of our industry players, but in the long run it could become an Achilles' heel. This must be avoided," says Thilo Brodtmann, vice executive director of the German Engineering Federation, VDMA.
VDMA says that from intelligent hydraulic components to machine controls and up to entire production flows in factory logistics– electronics and data processing have long become basic components for innovations in the machinery industry. Logic, sensors, actuators, RFID-chips, embedded systems – the demand for customer specific semiconductor components in the machinery industry is increasing constantly. The European semiconductor industry is able to produce small lot sizes, and reliably guarantees capacities as well as the protection of intellectual property rights.
Therefore, VDMA continues, the machinery industry notices with concern the increasing trend to transfer semiconductor production to non-European countries. The close co-operation between semiconductor industry and the European investment goods industry which is vital for innovation processes on both sides would be severely threatened by such an extensive relocation of production.
High-technology manufacturing supports research, competitiveness
"We fear that the respective research activities in Europe too will completely disappear after the production of semiconductors has been relocated. This might strongly affect the competitiveness of our companies," advises Brodtmann. Moreover, investments already spent on research and development, as well as the education and training of skilled personnel would be threatened by continuing relocation.
Therefore, it is important that the EU advocates fair conditions in global competition, and that it works for an industry friendly environment which makes the production of high-tech in Europe more favorable, VDMA says, which also would create the necessary conditions for the continuation of semiconductor production in Europe.
The German Engineering Federation says it represents more than 3,000 companies in the engineering industry. With about 975,000 employees all over Germany and a sales turnover of 205 billion Euros (in 2008) the industry is the biggest employer and one of the leading sectors of the German industry, VDMA says.
VDMA also reported recently: German machine tools orders fall .
- Edited by Mark T. Hoske , editor in chief, Control Engineering News Desk, www.controleng.com

Register here to select your choice of free eNewsletters, including machine control topics.

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.