The AMA Association for Sensors and Measurement (AMA) polled its members in January of 2020 on the economic development in 2019. According to the reports, the industry had a drop in revenue of one percent. However, looking at the various supply branches, the developments in sensors and measurement are self-explanatory and partially contrary.
Development of the Major Sales Markets
According to their own reports, the main sales market of the AMA members is machinery and plant engineering. Sensor manufacturers, including both SMEs as well as big sensor enterprises, supplying this market recorded slight losses in 2019.
The second most important market for AMA members is its own branch in sensor and measuring technology, which rose for most of these members. SMEs recorded on average a slight growth, while the bigger enterprises showed greater growth. Of interest may be electronics: While the SMEs showed growth here, the big enterprises of this branch was retrograde.
Surprisingly, the automotive market showed a statistically positive development for sensor suppliers. SMEs gained slightly in this currently difficult market, while bigger enterprises rose significantly. However, the sales market for aerospace was overall retrograde for the supplying AMA members.
Sensor Industry Recorded Slight Export Losses
The traditionally strong export quota of this branch showed a loss of four percent down to 51 percentage points. Thus exports are still relatively strong as is the producing in Germany as a whole. Clearly discernible this year: The exports to other European countries remained stable at 28 percentage points, whereas exports to non-European countries successively dropped.
Skilled Personnel and Ensuring Continued Young Talent
The mostly medium-sized enterprises in the sensor industry continued to hire employees in 2019. The overall number of employees increased by three percent and is to further rise by two percent in the current year. The enterprises in sensor and measuring technology ascertained that it has become increasingly difficult to find qualified professionals. Asked whether they would hire young, motivated Southern Europeans with appropriate language skills, more than 80 percent of the respondents considered this as an opportunity to overcome the shortage of skilled labor.
“The economy is in a state of flux. The markets for automotives, machinery, and plant engineering, regarded guarantors for our growing economy, are now floundering. This sets the major sensor and measurement sales markets in motion as well. On the other hand, new markets are gaining in significance,” says Thomas Simmons, managing director of the AMA Association. “This explains the slight overall decline, but also the positive outlook of our member enterprises. They are counting on a revenue growth of five percent for the current year.”