Which are the Biggest Firms in the Machine Tool Industry?


The whole industry seems to be discussing this topic. Here’s what Modern Machine Shop has to say about "Which are the Biggest Firms in the Machine Tool Industry?"

By Joe Jablonowski, Editor & Publisher, Metalworking Insiders’ Report newsletter

Mergers and acquisitions continue to affect the ranking by sales of the world’s top machine-tool producers.

In some ways, the answer to question, "Who’s biggest?" depends on another question, "During what time frame?"

First the most-recent development: Unova’s upcoming acquisition of the machine-tool division ofCincinnati Milacron. Had that purchase been in effect last year, it would have brought Unova’s 1997 machine-tool sales to around $1.28-billion.That would have put it right in contention with Yamazaki Mazak at around $1.25-billion or -Amada at $1.21-billion.

Similarly, had Thyssen counted the sales of Giddings & Lewis, which it acquired last year, for the entire calendar period, Thyssen Production Systems would have topped all the rest with 1997 machine-tool revenues of around $1.60-billion.

But many of the major players produce and sell products other than just machine tools. The automatic lathes that Fuji Machine builds account for just 16% of total corporate sales; most of the balance is in highly specialized electronics machinery. So where do you go for a scorecard?

For the past 33 years, Anderson Ashburn has been heading a team that assembles comparable statistics and publishes then in a document he calls the Blue Bulletin. Andy, the retired editor in chief of American Machinist magazine, ranks builders on worldwide sales of machine tools and closely related gear such as numerical controls during the calendar year. Other figures, such as profitability and sales per employee, also are included in the survey, which covers 206 companies. Some privately held firms do not supply their financial statistics and are not included.

Once again this year the survey is copyrighted by the author, and it is printed and distributed by the statistics department of show organizer AMT, which sells copies for $27 each (less a discount for AMT members). Order the Blue Bulletin by phoning1-800-544-3597.

The top two dozen Blue Bulletin firms are:

1997 Rank Company (Country)

1. Yamazaki Mazak Corp. (Japan)
2. Amada Co. Ltd. (Japan)
3. FANUC Ltd. (Japan)
4. Thyssen Production Systems (Germany)
5. Okuma Machinery Works (Japan)
6. Fuji Machine Mfg. Co. Ltd. (Japan)
7. Unova, Inc. (U.S.A.)
8. Trumpf Group (Germany)
9. Mori Seiki Co. Ltd. (Japan)
10. Toyoda Machine Works (Japan)
11. Schuler Group (Germany)
12. Gildemeister Group (Germany)
13. Ingersoll Milling Machine Co. (U.S.A.)
14. Agie Charmilles Holding (Switzerland)
15. Makino Milling Machine Co. Ltd. (Japan)
16. Cincinnati Milacron, Inc. (U.S.A.)
17. Komatsu Ltd. (Japan)
18. Toshiba Machine Co. Ltd. (Japan)
19. Citizen Watch Co. Ltd. (Japan)
20. Hitachi Seiki Co. Ltd. (Japan)
21. Index-Werke K.G. (German)
22. Haas Automation Inc. (U.S.A.)
23. Ex-Cell-O Group (Germany)
24. Grob (Germany)

The survey covers calendar 1997, and when the calendar year does not coincide with the fiscal year, the appropriate fiscal quarters are chosen to approximate the calendar year. Currencies are converted at the average market rate for each period covered for each company.

Click here for more industry news from Modern Machine Shop