The global economy is currently facing a massive resource problem: many raw materials are becoming rare. This is currently a concern not only for the mechanical engineering sector, but for the entire economy. The Corona pandemic has led to an unprecedented economic slump. Now that the worst seems to be over, the signs are pointing to reconstruction and recovery. But the current shortage of raw materials is currently putting a damper on the recovery.
Almost all industries are directly or indirectly affected by enormous price increases, supply bottlenecks and shortages of raw materials. Long delivery times are the consequence and have to be accepted. In some cases, components have to be completely dispensed with. Materials such as plastic or copper in particular are in high demand and difficult to find on the market. At the same time, Europe is dealing with 13 force majeures, 11 plant breakdowns, 22 slowdowns and 24 maintenance shutdowns in plastics production (as of mid-April 2021). This is compounded by lower imports from Asia, the Middle East and the US. The reason is that demand is outpacing supply in these traditional export countries as well. Therefore, LQ Group is not spared from the present situation either.
"In the current situation, good planning and forward-looking action are essential. The order situation is positive and almost back to pre-pandemic levels. Our optimized warehousing and detailed planning help us to process as many orders as possible on time," says Friedrich P. Link, Managing Director of LQ Mechatronik-Systeme GmbH in Besigheim. "Should there nevertheless be delays or cancellations, we ask our customers for their understanding for this special situation. At LQ, however, we will do everything in our ability to ensure that this case does not occur," he continued.
The situation is serious but not hopeless. Experts predict an improvement by the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, by which time at the latest supply chains should be running smoothly again and the market should gradually return to normal. Until then, we as a system supplier are dependent on even closer cooperation with our customers and suppliers and on figures from both that are as reliable as possible in order to be able to deliver on time. Only with one another and with a certain flexibility in terms of the materials used can we achieve our common goal of supplying the end customer as requested during this period.