Penny Brown, AMT, 703-827-5275
For Release: September 10, 2018
Manufacturers continue capacity expansion as technology orders grow
“The current growth rate in manufacturing technology orders is outstanding in the face of market uncertainty due to trade tensions,” said AMT President Doug Woods. “This unusual strength during the summer months reflects the market’s confidence in the continued growth in manufacturing, the need for additional capacity, and the challenges in putting that into place in a timely manner due to strain on key component supply chains.”
Order patterns suggest that technology consumers have come to realize that placing orders now is critical to meet the growing demands on their capacity as well as to having the equipment in place by year’s end for tax purposes. Many manufacturers, particularly small businesses, are just beginning to see how the tax reform bill will impact their bottom line and are scrambling to make investments that will leverage that to their advantage.
Year-over-year growth has been significant for all technologies but precision machines, such as EDM’s, precision grinding, metrology and laser equipment, have experienced better than average growth during the past month. This is in addition to the strong showing that automation and newer technologies like additive and hybrid machines have posted throughout the past seven months relative to 2017.
As for where those orders are originating, industries known for their requirements for quality and precision machining saw double-digit growth during July. The mold & die shops and medical equipment industries’ investment increases were up by more than 25 percent in July while the aerospace industry’s orders for manufacturing technology in June were up by more than 20 percent.
On the power of those precision industries, the Northeast region saw orders grow over 20 percent month-to-month, a rare occurrence in the traditionally slow month of July. Orders in the North Central-East region also saw 11 percent growth mostly on significant orders from heavy machining industries like agriculture, automotive, HVAC, and job shops.
Most leading indicators which AMT tracks for trends in the manufacturing technology market took a dip in July. The Purchasing Managers’ Index fell below 60 percent but is still nearly a percentage point above the year-to-date low seen in April. Both consumer sentiment and auto sales fell slightly. Capacity utilization for manufacturing continues to edge upward, sitting at 76 percent in July, ever closer to the 80 percent that has historically signaled rapid acceleration for manufacturing technology orders.
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The United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report
These numbers and all data in this report are based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTO program. This report, compiled by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, provides regional and national U.S. orders data of domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment. Analysis of manufacturing technology orders provides a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing industries invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity.
About AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology
AMT represents U.S.-based builders and distributors of manufacturing technology – the advanced machinery, devices, and digital equipment that U.S. manufacturing relies on to be productive, innovative, and competitive. Located in McLean, VA, near the nation’s capital, AMT acts as the industry’s voice to speed the pace of innovation, increase global competitiveness and develop manufacturing’s advanced workforce of tomorrow. With extensive expertise in industry data and intelligence, as well as a full complement of international business operations, AMT offers its members an unparalleled level of support. AMT also produces IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show, the premier manufacturing technology event in North America.
IMTS – International Manufacturing Technology Show
The largest and longest running manufacturing technology trade show in the United States is held every other year at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. IMTS 2018 will run Sept. 10-15. IMTS is ranked among the largest trade shows in the world. Recognized as one of the world’s preeminent stages for introducing and selling manufacturing equipment and technology, IMTS attracts more than 114,000 visitors from every level of industry and more than 112 countries. IMTS is owned and managed by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. www.IMTS.com