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Metalworking and Metal Articles : Transforming Metal, Engineering Future

credits : Alpha Laval

Metalware is everywhere

The Metalworking and Metal Articles sector (MMA) produces a large variety of goods, ranging from espresso machines to energy efficient window frames.
MMA creates carparts, from connecting rods to car bodies, as well as rail and aviation parts and its products are used in many other areas such construction and energy distribution.

The Report

Following the 2007 Mid-term Review of Industrial Policy, the Enterprise and Industry Directorate General commissioned an external study on the EU metalworking sector. The Report “Competitiveness of the EU metalworking and metal articles industries” was completed in November 2009.

The Report casts light on one of the biggest industrial sectors in Europe. In 2006, the Metalworking and Metal Articles sector (MMA) accounted for 10% of the value added, almost 20% of all enterprises (406,000) and 12% of the employment (4.24 million employees) in the EU manufacturing sector. Consequently, the MMA sector is the largest employer in EU manufacturing.

However, the sector is to some extent "invisible" due to the company structure dominated by often very small entities. Furthermore, the sector is in a “sandwich position” as it is squeezed between big suppliers (steel) and big customers (e.g. automotive).

The MMA sector suffers from the weaknesses and threats common to other industrial SMEs, such as limited access to finance and capacity to engage in R&D and difficulties to handle administrative burdens and regulation. This sector is also affected by sector-specific weaknesses such the above mentioned squeeze between upstream and downstream industries and labour intensity.

On the other hand, the MMA sector offers specific strengths and opportunities such as the geographical proximity of its supply chain, focus on innovation, high degree of recycling and a large room for energy efficient solutions.

The new report that was commissioned by the Commission provides an excellent and comprehensive basis to push for a higher visibility of the sector.

Video on metalworking

The European Commission presents a video promoting the EU metalworking and metal articles industries.

Aimed at secondary school graduates and students, the clip illustrates that the metal-transforming industry offers a dynamic environment where innovation, development and potential for exciting careers are the reasons for continuing investment.

Second Workshop on EU metalworking and Metal articles industries (2 December  2010, Brussels)

The European Commission and the Belgian Presidency are organising the 2nd Workshop following up the Report on the Competitiveness of the EU Metalworking and Metal Articles Industries (MMA). The Report casts light on one of the biggest industrial sectors in Europe, which is essential to the supply chain and which is the biggest employer in the EU manufacturing sector (around 4 million employees).

After a first successful seminar held on 23-24 June 2010 in Bilbao (Spain), the Second Workshop will focus on EU legislation and policies relevant for the EU metalworking industry. Additionally, the Belgian Industry will present the Mecatech Cluster and how best practices from it could be applied in other European regions.

Preliminary programme pdf - 379 KB [379 KB] (updated 19 November 2010)

For attending, please send a request for invitation to: ENTR-METALWORKING-WORKSHOP@ec.europa.eu

First Workshop on EU metalworking and Metal articles industries

Credits : BEC Bilbao

The European Commission and the Basque Government organized, under the Spanish Presidency, a first workshop as a follow-up to the Report on the Competitiveness of the EU Metalworking and Metal Articles Industries (MMA).

The workshop took place from 23 to 24 June 2010 in Bilbao (Spain).

The European Commission wanted to analyse together with decision makers from the most prominent industries, clusters, technology parks, universities and stakeholders, including union representatives, the possible strategic options that could be implemented into a political framework for the benefit of these industries.

This exercise is particularly appropriate and timely as the European Union is currently debating the guidelines for a new Industrial Policy in Europe.

The Commission is organising a second workshop targeting awareness rising among decision makers namely at EU level. It will take place in Brussels in the autumn 2011 and will focus on the EU legislation and policies relevant for the EU metalworking industry.

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