VIDEO: Why Manufacturing is in Need of Investment

German machine tool expert comments on technology, skills gap, Brexit and EMO Hannover 2017.

Germany is renowned as a major world-center for machine tool innovation and the country’s position of technological dominance has been well-known for many years.

German machine tools have a history of being very high technology and of being very expensive for that reason. Modern automation however, makes it possible to build machines much more cheaply.

In the video above, we talk with Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, executive director at VDW GmbH (German Machine Tool Builders Association) about:

  • The accessibility of higher-end German-made machine tools in light of automation reducing costs;
  • The technological skills gap resulting from an aging workforce and declining youth interest in the manufacturing industry;
  • The effects of Great Britain’s departure from the European Union on the European manufacturing industry, and;
  • Outlooks on the upcoming EMO Hannover 2017 event.

Dr. Schäfer emphasises the need for manufacturers to invest in modern technology to remain competitive and to help shrink the skills gap that is emerging across the globe.

“We must see that it’s worth the value to invest,” Dr. Schäfer said. “From automotive, to aerospace, consumer orders are increasing and therefore you need high-tech production… We must also address young people to show them there are career potentials in vocational training.”

For more information, watch the video above and visit

Written by

James Anderton

Jim Anderton is the Director of Content for Mr. Anderton was formerly editor of Canadian Metalworking Magazine and has contributed to a wide range of print and on-line publications, including Design Engineering, Canadian Plastics, Service Station and Garage Management, Autovision, and the National Post. He also brings prior industry experience in quality and part design for a Tier One automotive supplier.