Machine tool orders rose in September as business was bolstered by the 2018 edition of IMTS, the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT; McLean, VA) said in a monthly report.
Orders totaled $608.9 million for the month, up 17% from an adjusted $522.4 million in August.
IMTS is produced by AMT and held every other year in Chicago. The September figure represented a 50% from the $405.1 million posted in September 2017 when there was no IMTS.
‘While we anticipated an overall uptick in orders due to IMTS, it was feared that a strong August meant companies would buy less at the show in September,” Douglas K. Woods, president of AMT, said in a statement. “Clearly, that was not the case.”
IMTS 2018 was held ahead of this month’s mid-term elections. There was also continuing concern about trade conflicts, including a trade war between the United States and China.
“While there have been some concerns about tariffs, market swings, and the mid-term elections, none of it is swaying focus on growing the manufacturing base,” Woods said. “We are seeing unprecedented demand for manufacturing technology as companies invest to drive up efficiencies and automate to backfill for skilled worker shortages.”
For the first nine months, machine tool orders totaled $4.09 billion, a 27% increase from the same period in 2017.
The figures are based on information from companies participating in AMT’s U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) program.
Strong Finish Anticipated
The machine tool industry has enjoyed a sustained economic recovery since the spring of 2017.
AMT won’t publish October orders until next month. Pat McGibbon, an AMT vice president, said in a video, that results for that month also will be strong.
October “was really a wonderful month,” McGibbon said in the AMT video. “The IMTS effect went way past September, well into October. An unusual event. It’s the first time I’ve heard of such a thing since the ’80s.”
As a result, “it’s going to be a real strong finish to 2018,” he said.
The McGibbon video is below.