AMT: Manufacturing Technology Orders Exceed Pre-Pandemic Levels

Technology orders were up 49% year-over-year in June, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report by AMT.
Industrial Production Falls 1.3% in September

U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders totaled $490 million in June, which was a 9% increase over May and a 42% increase over June 2020, according to the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report published Monday by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology.

For the first half of 2021, orders totaled $2.51 billion, a 49% increase over the first half of 2020 and the largest half-year period since 2018.

“The manufacturing technology industry has rebounded from the pandemic-induced recession in a phenomenal way,” said Douglas K. Woods, president of AMT. “The first half of 2021 is only 3% below 2018, when orders were at a two-decade high. Not only has the industry recovered from the 2020 slump, but orders are now exceeding the pre-pandemic trend.

Similar to an increase in orders for manufacturers of metal valves in May, Woods said manufacturers of hardware, springs, screws, nuts, and bolts significantly increased their orders in June.

“These low-complexity, high-volume parts can be shipped within weeks of a machine being delivered,” Woods said. “Production of these commodity parts domestically appears to be an effort by manufacturers to diversify their supply chains in response to the global climate of material and shipping constraints.

“In addition to metal parts, demand for petroleum products up and down the supply chain has driven the price of crude oil to the highest level since October 2018. In order to meet this need, manufacturers of oil and gas field equipment have also increased orders dramatically.”

Orders for medical equipment manufacturers were up by almost 60% in June compared to the first half of last year.

“While manufacturers were in a sprint to produce PPE and ventilators this time last year, we’re seeing more sales of multi-function machines as the items produced are shifting back to components required for delayed elective surgeries,” Woods said. “According to a paper published at the end of 2020, there could be as much as a 36-month backlog in knee and hip replacement surgeries alone, so manufacturers of these components will continue to be busy into the future.

“The current situation in the medical industry is emblematic of what is happening across the economy. As pandemic restrictions are eased, a massive rebound in demand is putting strain on producers and generating an economy-wide need for additional manufacturing technology.”

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