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Adrian Wilson

Editor's Viewpoint

17th March 2017, Paris

Edging to Industry 4.0 at JEC World

The global composites market amounted to some 10.8 million tons in 2016 with a value of $82 billion according to figures released this week by JEC Group at JEC World in Paris.

Growth is expected to be around 4% by volume and 5% by value by 2021, to create a market of 12.0 million tons worth $103 billion.

Stäubli Robotics equipment on display.

With production of 2.3 million tons in 2016, Europe currently represents around 21% of the global value by both volume and value.

The key challenges facing the industry, says JEC Group, are the development of industrial processes to become competitive in series production, especially in automotive and aeronautics.

Staubli Unimation.

Advances in this respect were much in evidence in Paris this week, most notably some dramatic new developments in robotics alongside much new automation, not least the dramatic demonstrations by Cevotec of its new Samba fibre patch placement technology. I will explore these developments in greater detail a later article.

Cevotec new Samba fibre patch placement technology.

Innovation is also required to maintain and increase the penetration of composites in high-end applications such as wind, construction and marine and upstream integration and consolidation via mergers and acquisitions will be required to overcome competitive barriers, JEC notes.

Cevotec new Samba fibre patch placement technology.

The three key industries with the highest volume use of composites in 2016 are currently transportation, construction and electronics and electrics (E&E), while injection moulding and resin infusion processing techniques are the fastest growing within the many options available.

With 1,300 exhibitors from over 100 countries in Paris, visitor numbers exceeded 39,000 over the three days of the show.

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