MCLEAN, VA — U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders totaled $404.6 million in April 2021, a decline of 12% from March 2021 but an increase of 72% from April 2020, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report published by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. Total orders for 2021 reached $1.57 billion YTD, an increase of 40% over orders placed in the first four months of 2020.
“April 2020 had the lowest orders in a decade, but the previous three months were business as usual, so to be 40% up over the previous year shows the real strength of the industry in 2021,” said Douglas K. Woods, president of AMT. “Parts that would normally go to job shops are now being produced in-house by larger manufacturers with the means to increase their production capacity. This is not to say production is shifting away from job shops; they are still operating at near capacity and increasing machine orders month over month, but increased consumer demand has necessitated more capacity, and confidence in the sustainability of that demand has justified the capital expenditure by large OEMs. As a result, our members have seen a resurgence of multimachine orders near 2018 levels.
“There has been strong demand for metal cutting technologies in 2021, and orders for new forming technologies have more than doubled where they were at this point in 2020. Cosmetic automobile design changes drove increases in forming technologies and helped spur demand for cutting technologies from the mold and die industry. April orders were further strengthened by energy exploration and mining expanding out of Texas into nearby regions in response to increased market prices. Industries related to consumer products also increased orders in April, such as off-road vehicle manufacturing, electrical equipment manufacturing, and commercial and service industry machinery.
“Another optimistic sign for the industry is the number of open houses our members report having over the past few weeks where attendance has exceeded their expectations. This signals a renewed comfort with in-person sales calls and a pickup in regular maintenance as opposed to emergency visits. However, supply constraints have meant new orders are being added to an already growing backlog. The demand for manufacturing technology is there, and the suppliers who can deliver on orders will be in a position to one-up their competition in the near term.”
The United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) Report is 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.