Manufacturing technology orders fall in June
According to the latest US Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report published by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, new manufacturing technology orders totaled $417.5 million in June 2022. These orders were down 5% from May 2022 and were down 16% from June 2021. In the first half of 2022, manufacturing technology orders totaled $2.84 billion, an increase of 13% from the first half of 2021.
“Being ahead of our best year ever to start 2022 is a good sign for the industry,” said Douglas K. Woods, president of AMT. “That said, we are starting to see the normal trend of lower orders during the summer months. IMTS is likely to reverse this trend. September orders of an IMTS year tend to exceed September orders not IMTS close to $180 million. In addition to the immediate ‘September effect’, orders following an IMTS tend to remain high for the rest of the year.”
Several other hurdles remain in the way of the industry living up to last year’s boundless success. Supply chain issues continue to plague the industry, leading to extended delivery times for new equipment.
“Typically, shops with an open order need to start making parts and may not be able to wait for new machines to arrive,” says Woods. “When making less complex parts, some of the demand that would normally go to new machines is now being redirected to the used market.”
Despite these obstacles and an overall decline in orders, several industries are increasing their orders.
“Construction machinery makers ordered the most new equipment since June of last year,” Woods said. “This is likely in anticipation of additional capacity needs to implement the infrastructure bill that became law last November.”
Interestingly, the June 2022 order value was about 14% higher than the average June value, but the number of units was down about 12% compared to a typical June.
“While part of this disparity is surely due to inflation, a much larger part is due to the addition of automation, which has become increasingly necessary to maintain production as the market labor tightens,” Woods says. “Lower prices and increasing ease of use have accelerated the adoption of automation in industries that have traditionally been hesitant to take the plunge. I expect to see many of these solutions on display September 12-17 at IMTS Chicago and expect a lot of manufacturers to see them as well.