Asociación de fabricantes de mecanizado
Asociación de fabricantes de mecanizado

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29 March, 2023The machining and metal mechanical transformation industry has seen an 18,6% rise in turnover in 2022. By subsectors, this rise is practically the same: machining increased by 18,1%, while metal fabrication and metal forming grew by 18,7%.

“This represents pre-pandemic levels of growth, over and above the results achieved in 2018 and 2019. We must not forget that the scenario was very uncertain, given that 2022 witnessed the war in Ukraine, the difficulties involved in obtaining raw materials and the high costs of both energy and consumables” stated Fernando Gastaldo, Vice Chairman of AFMEC.

Exports, which account for 28.7% of turnover, are up by 30.3% in 2022. The main export destinations were France (22.9%) and Germany (16.6%), followed by Italy (5.6%), United States (5.3%) and Denmark (4.9%).

AFMEC companies have a wide range of customer sectors, the most important of which are consumer goods and machine tools (22.8%), power generation (19.2%), the automotive sector (14.5%), aeronautics and aerospace (10.9%) and metal structures and construction in general (4.7%).

The sector is mostly made up of small enterprises. The Association has 187 member companies with an average staff of 25 people. “Since the sector is comprised of SMEs, collaboration is key to take on relatively large projects and continue being competitive within an ever-changing environment. The Association has established various lines of work that encourage collaboration between companies” said Fernando Gastaldo.

The headcount increased by 1.8% in 2022, confirming the trend seen in 2021, which was up by 3.2%. Josu Riezu, director of AFMEC stated the following: “The technical requirements that our sector works with are very high and this can only be provided by well-prepared personnel. Our companies invest in training their staff and we are renowned for taking good care of our workforce. One of the main challenges we face is the availability of the technical talent we need. There are not enough young graduates in the pipeline to cover the needs of the companies in the sector. We have to work harder to make our sector, and the industry as a whole, attractive to young people making college choices.”

In 2022, the companies in the sector have increased their level of investment in equipment by 23.1% with respect to 2021. As explained by Fernando Gastaldo: “The degree of technical and precision requirements set by our customer sectors is very demanding. It is therefore essential for us to make strong investments in cutting-edge production equipment. Moreover, the Association is promoting digitalisation of all our companies, implementing new technologies that pave the way for opportunities to become more efficient and competitive. Therefore, investment and digitalisation support schemes put into practice by government agencies are very useful tools that enable companies to avail themselves of the best manufacturing equipment and keep up and boost their competitiveness”.

The data for 2022 show a positive trend, although there are several factors to take into account which are raising concerns in the businesses in the sector. Fernando Gastaldo commented on this: “The year 2022 has been characterised by the difficulties experienced with regard to sourcing raw materials and their increasing costs. This has led to a reduction in what were already very tight margins for businesses. This is a general concern for a sector that needs economic sustainability to continue investing in competitiveness and generating value in society.”


AFMEC is a representative body for companies from the machining and metal-mechanical transformation sector. AFMEC has 187 associated companies and develops activities for its members in the fields of cooperation, internationalisation, training, technology and marketing.
AFMEC forms part of AFM Cluster, which enables it to address the challenges of the machining and metal mechanical transformation sector with higher guarantees, multiplying opportunities for collaboration within the value chain, by belonging to a collective that brings together more than 700 industrial companies.





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