Like a lot of businesses, manufacturers have been greatly affected by market fluctuations due to the pandemic. Now, with industry and consumer demand slowly catching up after many long months of shutdowns, producers of all types of goods in all types of manufacturing are working to adapt and expand. Their strategy: investment in more manufacturing technology.

Major Investments In New Equipment

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According to the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), U.S. companies have spent $2.5 billion on manufacturing technologies over the first half of this year, nearly 50 percent more than in 2020. From May to June of this year, orders for various technologically driven solutions increased by nine percent, a 42 percent jump compared to June of 2020.

AMT’s president, Douglas K. Woods explained that manufacturing equipment investment is spurred by a rebound that’s exceeding pre-pandemic demand, pointing to a strong industrial recovery from 2020’s slump. Many manufacturers are now dealing with a backlog of orders in addition to new business.

Orders for hardware and component manufacturing equipment have been on the rise. According to Woods, “Manufacturers of hardware, springs, screws, nuts, and bolts have significantly increased orders in June 2021. 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.” Woods also noted the benefit to manufacturers who purchase such equipment, which enables them to start selling and shipping products within weeks of integration

A Reflection Of The Larger Economy

Medical manufacturing machinery orders have also been on the rise, with a 60 percent increase in equipment sales over the first half of this year compared to the same time last year. This demand is mostly fueled by the increase in nonessential and elective medical procedures that were put on hold through the worst months of the pandemic. Manufacturers of components for knee and hip replacement surgeries, as well as other operations, are now working to catch up on a 36-month backlog of orders. Per Woods, these developments are a reflection of larger trends in the economy.

Stainless steel and ultra high molecular weight polyethene hip replacement. Credit: Science and Society Picture Library

What do you think of the recent boost in manufacturing technology investments? Share your thoughts in the comments.

ABOUT The Association for Manufacturing Technology

Founded as the National Machine Tool Builders’ Association in 1902, AMT rose in response to the popularity of early machine tools like mills, lathes, and grinding machines. As machine tools advanced, NMTBA launched the first National Machine Tool Builders’ Exposition in 1927. Throughout the 20th century, AMT promoted its members and industry by holding jaw-dropping expositions, developing global economic forecasting conferences, and pushing into foreign markets.

Today, AMT is committed to advancing the manufacturing technology industry by facilitating the adoption of transformative technologies; fostering community and partnerships; producing events that create new business opportunities; supporting global business growth; and enhancing industry knowledge about technology, legislation, and workforce development.

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