Featured Image

CIMT 2023: China is Seeking Automation NOW

Post-COVID China is seeking a quick economic recovery, and its pent-up need to increase capacity is driving demand for automation solutions. CIMT demonstrated great opportunities for U.S. manufacturing technology companies to win big in China.
May 09, 2023

Chinese manufacturers are seeking advanced automation solutions from U.S. makers, as indicated by the bustling activity at the CIMT 2023 – China International Machine Tool Show, one of the largest manufacturing technology shows in China, held April 10-15 in Beijing.

With the Chinese government reopening its borders to visitors in March and a bounce-back in production following COVID-19 restrictions, there’s pent-up demand for manufacturing technology. CIMT 2023 drew more than 240,000 attendees (a 21% increase from CIMT 2021 and 7% increase from CIMT 2019) to meet with 1,600 exhibitors in 13 national pavilions. The U.S. Pavilion, sponsored by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, featured 29 U.S. companies displaying their latest manufacturing technologies in such areas as additive manufacturing, robotics, and machine tools.

Filling Gaps with Robots

With shrinking demographics and higher labor costs, Chinese companies are turning to robots and other automation to fill the workforce gaps and stay competitive. Although China has made significant progress in developing its own manufacturing technology capabilities, there are still areas where American suppliers have a competitive advantage, such as high-end robotics and automation. According to the International Federation of Robotics, China purchases more industrial robots each year than any other country.

AMT recognized the importance of the Chinese market for its members more than 30 years ago and began sponsoring a pavilion at CIMT so members could boast their latest products. In 2004, AMT opened its first foreign Tech Center in Shanghai to help members gain access and develop sales channels.

“China is still the world's largest manufacturing economy and consumes the most manufacturing technology – about $20 billion worth each year,” says Edward Christopher, vice president of global services at AMT. “Many American companies continue to see significant growth opportunities there.”

Chinese Manufacturing is Back

Li Xingbin, senior advisor - Asia for AMT, was on-site at CIMT 2023 and witnessed the success of the show for U.S. exhibitors. 

“One exhibitor told me they had 300 quality sales leads within the first three days of the show,” Xingbin says. “Another exhibitor sold three machines off the show floor, which is unbelievable. Chinese companies need quality manufacturing technology now and are willing to make purchases immediately.”

Tom Dustman, international sales director for Sunnen Products Company, a manufacturer of bore sizing and finishing equipment in Maplewood, Missouri, shared his company’s positive experience at CIMT 2023.  

“Exhibiting at CIMT is an important part of our global marketing strategy,” says Dustman. “Although we use many marketing methods such as websites and social media, consumers of machine tools still want to see the products up close at trade shows. We closed sales at CIMT and captured a hefty number of sales leads. It was very successful for us.”

Brand Recognition in China

Drake Manufacturing, a CNC machine manufacturer in Warren, Ohio, has exhibited at the CIMT U.S. Pavilion for several years because it provides an opportunity to connect with existing customers and introduce new technology, but also to support the brand.

“By exhibiting at CIMT, we’re showing China that we’re a strong company and interested in working with them,” says Stig Mowatt-Larssen, CEO at Drake. “Having a presence at CIMT allows us to build name recognition in an important market. Over one third of our sales this year will be to Chinese customers.”

As Chinese companies continue to expand and modernize their operations, the demand for U.S. advanced manufacturing solutions will increase.

“The attendance numbers at CIMT were quite impressive, indicating that China is back and open for business,” Christopher says.

AMT shares the latest international news and provides resources that help members operate successfully in the global marketplace here.

Achilles Arbex
Director, Global Services
Recent international News
Despite recent declines in exports and a lower PMI, China continues its solid EV production and development amid efforts to balance economic priorities with steady growth and global uncertainties. For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.
The ending of China's pandemic restrictions has been beneficial for its economy. This was reflected in the number of attendees at the China International Machine Tool show in Beijing. For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.
China’s economy is rebounding despite some economic headwinds. While conservative growth is targeted for 5% for 2023, strong industrial production recorded in January and February shows promise. For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.
China's relaxation of its COVID-19 restrictions in early January was an important step to bringing the manufacturing sector back to its previous highs. How is the industry reacting? What about automotive? For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.
China has loosened its COVID-19 policies, including rules covering quarantine, people’s movements, lockdowns, and testing. Is China back? Signs look positive for the Year of the Rabbit. For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.
Similar News
By Peter R. Eelman | Jun 05, 2023

Exciting changes are afoot as the IMTS 2024 exhibition rebooking rate outpaces even IMTS 2018! Learn how we've evolved the floor plan to meet our industry's needs and what to expect from our partnerships with the Mesago Messe Frankfurt Group and Formnext.

5 min
By Benjamin Moses | Jun 06, 2023

Are you adding an MTConnect adapter and agent to legacy equipment? The AMT-Virginia Tech team collected and visualized data for production managers to monitor real-time metrics and build accurate reports from legacy equipment.

15 min
By Travis Egan | Jun 06, 2023

AMT coordinated a three-day trade mission for a delegation from CECIMO, an umbrella organization serving the common interests and values of the European machine tool and related manufacturing technology industries ...

5 min