Manufacturing technology demand strong in 2011

January 9, 2012

The resurgence of U.S. manufacturing since the 2008 crash has been a slow and steady process, but one that has seen the industry become one of the leading sectors of the overall economy. According to an article in MCADCafe, manufacturing technology is one area that experienced a dramatic turnaround.

The news source reported that the most current data concerning U.S. manufacturing technology orders for 2011 put the year's total at $463.32 million, a number that is 80.5 percent higher than the level reached in 2010. This is also the second highest dollar amount in the past 15 years.

"It’s long been recognized that analysis of manufacturing technology orders provides a reliable leading economic indicator, as it is an indicator that manufacturing firms are investing in capital equipment to increase their capacity and improve productivity. Manufacturing technology provides a foundation for all other manufacturing," Douglas K. Woods, President of The Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT), told the news source. "These machines and devices are the equipment that turn raw materials such as steel, iron, plastic, ceramics, composites, and alloys from their original state as stock materials into what will become durable goods such as airplanes, cars, and appliances, as well as consumer and other goods that are used every day."

The positive news in manufacturing has been felt by the entire sector, as the U.S. is still challenging China for dominance in the industry. In 2010, the Asian superpower accounted for 19.8 percent of global manufacturing value, slightly above the 19.4 percent posted by American companies, according to the article.

Woods told the news source that the traditional factors that promote and signify growth in an industry converged at the same time for manufacturing, as he noted that the entire manufacturing technology sector has seen an increase in overseas demand, due to the increasing competitiveness of pricing for U.S. products.

A recent poll conducted by Kennametal, a global manufacturing leader in tooling solutions, engineered components and advanced materials, revealed that Americans of all ages were unaware of the notion that manufacturing is leading the economic recovery.

"Contrary to public perception, the manufacturing industry is leading the economic recovery,"  said Carlos Cardoso, chairman and president for the company. "It is time for our industry to reintroduce itself to the American people in a manner that encourages them to understand the vitality and importance of U.S. manufacturing to the global economy.

Cardoso also emphasized the availability of manufacturing jobs and the sustainability of the sector.