Machine tool orders soared in April from a year earlier, AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology said today.
Orders for the month totaled $404.6 million, according to a monthly report. That was up 72 percent from $234.9 million in April 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic slammed the U.S. economy.
April orders were down 12 percent from an adjusted $458.3 million in March. However, orders totaled $1.57 billion for the year’s first four months, a 40 percent gain from the same period in 2020.
“To be 40 percent up over the previous year shows the real strength of the industry in 2021,” Douglas K. Woods, president of McLean, Va.-based AMT, said in a statement.
“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,” Woods added. “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.”
AMT said various industries, including automotive and energy, contributed to April machine tool orders.
The figures are from companies participating in AMT’s U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) program.
The AMT president said there are signs that machine tool orders can maintain their momentum, including better-than-expected attendance at open houses of machine tool companies.
“However, supply constraints have meant new orders are being added to an already growing backlog,” Woods said. “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.”