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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The IMTS Effect?: U.S. Metalcutting, Metalworking Equipment Orders Up in September

U.S. consumption of machine tools and metal forming and fabricating equipment increased 40.7 percent from August to September, one of the biggest recorded growths since the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) has been monitoring such data with its United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) tracking program.

The data, collected from participating manufacturers across the country, shows that September orders totaled $667.47 million, up 13.4 percent when compared to the total of $588.80 million reported for September 2011. The year-to-date total of nearly $4.3 billion is up 5.6 percent compared to the same period in 2011. However, year-to-date equipment investment among Northeast manufacturing companies continued to trail last year’s pace, with September recording precipitous drops in orders compared with levels in September 2011.

“In the 17 years that this data has been collected, there is only one other month that broke $600 million. Both of those were in months that reflected sales from IMTS, showing its strength as the largest manufacturing event in the Americas,” said Douglas K. Woods, AMT’s president. “It’s possible we could average $450 million a month for all of 2012 — the largest year ever. This speaks to tremendous strength in the manufacturing industry, and is proof that IMTS 2012 was the strongest show seen in years.”

The USMTO also breaks down regional orders:

Northeast Region

Total: $70.8 million

Percent change from August: +42.6 percent

Percent change from September 2011: -37.1 percent

Year-to-date (YTD): $561.9 million

Percent change from 2011: -8.4 percent

Southern Region

Total: $103.1 million

Percent change from August: +57.9 percent

Percent change from September 2011: +32.1 percent

YTD: $619.54 million

Percent change from 2011: +15 percent

Midwest Region

Total: $206.8 million

Percent change from August: +34.2 percent

Percent change from September 2011: +20.7 percent

YTD: $1.4 billion

Percent change from 2011: +4.5 percent

Central Region

Total: $182.1 million

Percent change from August: +43.5 percent

Percent change from September 2011: +14.8 percent

YTD: $1.2 billion

Percent change from 2011: +9 percent

Western Region

Total: $104.7 million

Percent change from August: +33.7 percent

Percent change from September 2011: +53.4 percent

YTD: $510.1 million

Percent change from 2011: +8 percent

As manufacturing marketing guru AJ Sweatt wondered aloud on Twitter, are these numbers a product of “The IMTS Effect?”


Although an unverified ponder, Sweatt’s point is interesting. IMTS 2012 was the year’s largest manufacturing event in North America and IMTS reported some of the highest show participation numbers in years.

Brian Lane

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