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U.S. industry associations are cautiously optimistic about the metalworking market in 2013
Despite faltering global economic growth in 2012, growth in the U.S. metalworking industry remained fairly robust. According to Patrick W.McGibbon, vice president of strategic information and research at the American Association of Manufacturing Technology (AMT), the US machine tool industry was full of orders in 2012, and 2013 may be close to or even the same as the level of the previous year. “In the worst-case scenario, next year’s growth rate looks only to decline slightly,” he said. “The machine tool orders in 2012 are expected to hit a new high. Obviously, the order level in 2013 will not be too bad. Early next year, orders may be There will be a slight dip, but that decline should bottom out in the months from March to the summer. Orders should pick up by next fall, which should help make up for the drop in early 2013.” Cutting Tool Sales It is an important indicator of the prosperity of the US manufacturing industry. The sales of USCTI member companies from January to August 2012 increased by 13.1% compared with the same period in 2011, and compared with the same period in 2010, the growth rate was as high as 48.7%. David J. Povich, president of tool maker Tool Alliance and president-elect of the USCTI, has a very positive outlook for 2013. In an interview with Don Nelson, publisher of US-based Tool Engineering magazine at IMTS 2012, he said, 'It looks like the tool industry is in good shape for the next 6-12 months. The 'back-to-shore' trend, logistics costs and some quality issues mean that Some manufacturing operations will return to the U.S..” Is manufacturing returning to the U.S. on a massive scale? 'Yes, especially high-end manufacturing,' Povich replied. Still, even the more labor-intensive manufacturing industries could benefit from 'shoring back.' Povich noted that “labor costs in China are rising rapidly.” In addition, the development of some new technologies, such as additive manufacturing (ie, 3D printing), may challenge traditional metal cutting.