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In the IMF’s World Economic Outlook report, it stated that the pace of global activity, particularly in manufacturing, has weakened. Escalating trade and geopolitical tensions have created uncertainty about global trade and international cooperation, resulting in a lack of business confidence. Global GDP growth in 2019 is at 3.2%, down from 3.6% in 2018. In recognition of this downturn, Oerlikon initiated sales push and cost-saving programs in 2019, which helped the company sustain its 2019 performance at around the prior year’s level. The measures were implemented across the business and countries. They are intended to improve efficiency and reduce cost base, while ensuring that the company’s business is safeguarded for the medium to long term. Today, Oerlikon operates in 37 countries and places a stronger focus on business in China, Japan, South Korea, India, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, which together represent 71% of Group revenue.

Geographical Regions

Serving our customers locally

Oerlikon has a global footprint with 182 sites in 37 countries. The Group is strongly committed to research and development, which is reflected by its 49 production and R&D sites world-wide. Together with its sales and services network of 167 sites, Oerlikon operates in close proximity to its customers, improving customer interaction, response times and satisfaction.


of Oerlikon’s 2019 Group revenue was generated in China


of Oerlikon’s 2019 Group revenue was generated in Asia Pacific


of Oerlikon’s 2019 Group revenue was generated in Europe


of Oerlikon’s 2019 Group revenue was generated in the USA


of Oerlikon’s 2019 Group revenue was generated in the Middle East, Africa and Russia


While China’s economy slowed in 2019, it remains the fastest-growing economy in the world, with a GDP growth rate of 6.3%. Home to 1.4 billion people and with the world’s highest demand for passenger vehicles, China is a key automotive market. In 2019, Oerlikon Metco obtained a patent for its coating application for heating devices of electric cars and its SUMEBore tech­nology won a project with a major German car manufac­turer in China. The first Oerlikon Balzers’ INUBIA I6 enhanced inline equipment was installed for an auto cus­tomer in 

China in 2019. This is a fully automated system that applies the eco-friendly ePD technology for plastic auto parts. Oerlikon Friction Systems achieved a break­through in the Chinese truck market with its woven carbon fiber product.

Alongside China’s ambition to develop its aviation in­dustry, Oerlikon saw higher demand in the engine MRO market. Increasing demand was also registered for thermal spray coating technologies for gas and steam turbines in China’s power generation sector as the country’s energy needs continue to expand. Following China’s ambition to supply 75% of its own semiconductor devices, this industry presents highly attractive opportu­nities. In 2019, Oerlikon opened a technology center in Shanghai for powder and additive manufacturing to serve local demand from multiple industries.

China is the most important market for the Manmade Fibers Segment and accounted for 60% of its 2019 sales, primarily driven by filament spinning and texturing equipment. In 2019, the segment expanded its service offerings including the launch of a new ACW WINGS upgrade that has registered success with a customer in China. The segment also inaugurated an R&D center in Suzhou in 2019.


India’s GDP grew 4.8% in 2019 according to the IMF, lower than the 6.8% in 2018. Manufacturing shrank 1% in the third quarter after significant growth in prior quar­ters, while the automotive industry contracted more than 30%. Oerlikon Balzers opened a new service center in Pune in 2019 for forming tools customers. To extend its reach in India, it is also working with expert agencies such as Amdys Profi for India Mint projects. India is pushing for the indigenization of its aerospace supply value chain, opening up new opportunities for coating solutions. To meet this demand and the interest for its SUMEBore automotive technology, Oerlikon Metco is investing in a new coating center in India. For power gen­eration, Oerlikon Metco secured a large on-site coating service project in India in 2019.

India’s population of 1.36 billion drives domestic demand for Oerlikon’s manmade fibers business. India currently makes up 3% of this segment’s business, primarily driven by customers’ cautious investments in large scale plants for the production of polyester filament and staple fibers.

South Korea

South Korea’s GDP grew around 2% in 2019, slower than the 2.7% in the previous year. The country is heavily reliant on exports and has been impacted by the global trade conflict between the USA and China, its two largest export destinations. Among South Korea’s primary exports are electronic products, machinery, motor vehi­cles (particularly automobiles), textiles and clothing. Despite market challenges, Oerlikon Metco noted busi­ness growth in 2019 in the aerospace, general industrial and power generation sectors. There was a healthy demand for thermal spray and plasma systems, hand­held devices, laser cladding and thermal spray materials, particularly for industrial gas turbines. In 2019, key cus­tomer Doosan completed its first gas turbine rotor assembly with Oerlikon Metco’s materials, coating sys­tem and technical assistance from the R&D and applica­tion team. For the electronics market, Oerlikon Metco saw an increase in demand for coatings for Multilayer Ceramic Capacitors (MLCCs), which are important com­ponents in electrical and electronic devices such as mobile devices, automobiles and household appliances.


Japan has maintained modest growth for years and registered a GDP growth rate of 1.0% in 2019, slightly higher than the 0.8% in 2018. As Japan’s economic growth is closely linked to demand from its main trading partners like U.S. and China, the slowdown in China’s economic growth and the trade disputes are impacting its economy.

Japan has one of the world’s largest automotive indus­tries. In 2019, Oerlikon Metco noted a healthy demand for thermal spray sensors and coating systems such as Surface One, UniCoatPro and MultiCoatPro for auto­motive customers and their tier 1 OEM suppliers in Japan. The business also secured a major Japanese automotive manufacturer as a customer for its SUMEBore technology. In the Japanese industrial gas turbine mar­ket, Oerlikon Metco saw positive development in thermal spray material sales following Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems’ business improvement. The production plant that Oerlikon Balzers opened in Nagoya in 2018 provides the latest coating technologies, services and infrastruc­ture for surface coatings of cutting and large forming tools used in automotive manufacturing. Another attrac­tive market segment in Japan is thin-film coatings for medical devices – a growth market driven by increasing demand from an aging population.


The German economy grew 0.5% in 2019, a slowdown from 2018’s rate of 1.5%. The German economy is heavily reliant on exports, a large portion of which are automobiles to China, so the German auto manufacturing market constricted in 2019. Nevertheless, the market will recover, and Oerlikon continued to invest in offering customers better coatings and sustainable technologies.

Oerlikon Balzers is building a new ePD competence cen­ter in Bisingen to advance this alternative to e-plating. Oerlikon Metco acquired TeroLab Surface GmbH in Langenfeld, expanding its thermal spray coating ser­vices. In November, it obtained the Nadcap Merit status for its coating center in Salzgitter – an achievement only exceptional aerospace suppliers can obtain.

Munich is also home to Oerlikon’s Digital Hub, where an internal entrepreneurial team is tasked with spear­heading digitalization opportunities worldwide. With the support of the Bavarian government and collaboration with TUM, GE Additive and Linde, Oerlikon created an additive manufacturing cluster in Munich this year, with the expectation that it will draw other players to the region to tap into additive manufacturing expertise. Oerlikon hosted its 3rd Munich Technology conference (MTC3) for additive manufacturing in Munich in 2019.

In 2019, the Manmade Fibers Segment successfully integrated the acquisition of AC Automation in Germany, now called Oerlikon Barmag Automation, which pro­vides large-scale plant automation solutions for textile and packaging customers.


France’s economy experienced a slight slowdown in 2019, with 1.3% growth compared to 1.7% in 2018. Its economy was affected by developments in Europe and China, where it has significant exports. Domestic product consumption in the country is strong.

Oerlikon primarily serves the aerospace industry in France. Oerlikon has qualified-supplier status for Airbus for copper alloy substrate coatings applied to aerospace components to reduce surface fatigue; these are able to withstand wear and high loads, while being lightweight and exhibiting low friction. In 2019, Oerlikon signed a partnership with Safran, the French National Centre for Scientific Research and the University of Limoges to create a joint research laboratory, PROTHEIS, and a technology platform, SAFIR, in Limoges. The focus is on developing enhanced surface treatment solutions for aerospace applications – particularly, to make lighter and longer-lasting REACH-compliant products capable of reducing noise and nitrogen oxide emissions.

Oerlikon Metco’s advanced materials business noted good demand in 2019 in France, including sales of tita­nium powders to the Medical Group, a French company specializing in implantable medical devices, and sales of brazing materials to Liebherr-Aerospace Toulouse SAS, a leading manufacturer of aircraft system equipment.


U.S. GDP growth slowed from 2.9% in 2018 to about 2.3% in 2019, impacted by its trade policies and tariffs on steel, imports from China and European automobiles.

Oerlikon Metco’s powder production facility in Plymouth Township, Michigan, produces high-quality metal pow­ders for surface treatment and additive manufacturing. In 2019, it signed a global agreement to provide series powder for nozzle coatings to Chromalloy, an integrated solutions provider for OEMs, commercial airlines and oil & gas companies. For oil & gas customers, Oerlikon Metco installed new computer numerical control (CNC) machining capabilities in Barboursville, West Virginia, which saw significant interest from pump customers. Additional pipeline capacity is expected to come online in the USA in first half of 2020. To meet the increasing demand, Oerlikon is establishing an oil & gas compe­tence center in Houston, Texas.

In 2019, Oerlikon AM opened a state-of-the-art pro­duction center in Huntersville, North Carolina, to provide additive manufacturing solutions. A key achievement of the business in 2019 was the collaboration with United Launch Alliance to design and develop components for the first Vulcan Centaur rocket launch in 2021.

The US is a key market for Oerlikon’s carpet yarn sys­tems. In 2019, UNIFI Manufacturing, Inc. extended its collaboration with Oerlikon Barmag to develop and design an eAFK Evo pilot machine that manufactures recycled polyester yarns at considerably higher texturing speeds, while consistently delivering high-quality yarns.


Russia’s GDP grew 1.1% in 2019, where the increase in global oil demand provided a slight boost to the Russian economy. Oerlikon has several industrial sites and research centers in the country. In 2019, Oerlikon opened an additive manufacturing laboratory in partnership with Skoltech Institute of Science and Technology and is financing three research projects under this program. The first program involves the development of novel materials for ceramic-based additive manufacturing applications, the second research focuses on the sinter­ing process by combining metals with ceramics and car­bon materials to improve the materials performance, while the third project revolves around using predictive multiscale modeling to simulate entire the selective laser melting process. In addition, Oerlikon participated at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and spon­sored the opening of the new Swiss Embassy in Moscow in June to promote business relations in the country.