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Machine Tool Orders Soar in November

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Machine tool orders surged in November, AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology said today in a monthly report.

Orders totaled about $650 million for the month, AMT said. That represented a 14 percent jump from an adjusted $571 million in October 2021.

The November figure also more than doubled November 2020’s $307.6 million. The year-earlier figure occurred as the industry was recovering from the initial waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“November orders illustrate continued recovery despite ongoing challenges brought on by the pandemic,” Douglas K. Woods, AMT’s president, said in a statement.

“Tool and die, valve manufacturing, forging and stamping, and hardware – sectors in decline due to decades of outsourcing prior to the pandemic – continued to make a comeback due to reshoring,” he said.

The pandemic first was felt in March 2020. Manufacturing plants shut down to implement new safety procedures. COVID-19 has continued even as production resumed. Currently, a new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, has caused a surge in cases.

AMT said two industries, aerospace and off-road equipment, have shown an increase in demand. Aerospace had been hit hard in 2020 as airlines canceled orders for new aircraft amid lower demand for air travel.

For the first 11 months of 2021, orders totaled $5.3 billion, a 58 percent increase from the same period the year before. 

The figures are from companies participating in AMT’s U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) program.

Woods said demand may remain strong for machine tools this year.

“If manufacturers can continue to successfully adapt, I can see the momentum of the manufacturing technology industry continuing into 2022,” he said.

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