- This article was originally written by Arturs Alksnis, FEPA Public Affairs Directors, for the IACDS Yearbook 2021.
2020 and the first half of 2021 marked by the COVID-19 pandemic have been unprecedently challenging years for many economic sectors all over the world. The abrasive producers have seen the consequences of the economic hurdles caused by the coronavirus outbreak in their own business, as by the very nature, the abrasives industry is cross-sectoral and the abrasive products are used in almost all areas of our daily lives. Yet, in all challenges, there is also an opportunity to be seized, which is also the case of the current economic situation. Continuous focus on innovation is the best approach in these difficult times, and European abrasive manufacturers are becoming ever-more innovative and competitive.
Concrete drilling and sawing is an excellent example of how abrasive products are used in a wide variety of construction and renovation activities. Rapid increase in urbanisation, construction and renovation in many regions of the world is a key driver for the abrasive market, as the demand remains high despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. There is also a significant push on behalf of public authorities to boost the economic recovery through large investment programmes focused on infrastructure and renovation, as in the case of the “Renovation Wave Strategy” in the European Union.
In this context, the European abrasive manufacturers continue their relentless quest for ever-increased quality and efficiency of the abrasive products. Innovation is key in this, as the products need to be manufactured with the highest quality materials and the state-of-the-art production technologies available in the industry. Indeed, this is the foundation of the quality of the products by the European abrasive producers, as innovation underpins the high quality of diamond tools that work efficiently and safely.
FEPA is delighted to see that innovation is the overarching theme of IACDS Yearbook 2021, as it remains a key focus areas of our members. The Federation is also actively engaged with European authorities in emphasizing the need for continuous support for businesses in this respect – be it through EU funding schemes or European Investment Bank financial instruments.