Record-Breaking Auxiliary Orders Propel North American Plastics Equipment Shipments

Shipments of primary plastics equipment were up 6 percent for the quarter and the year, while new bookings of auxiliary equipment totaled a record-breaking $108.2 million dollars in the third quarter.

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SPI’s Committee on Equipment Statistics (CES) reported that shipments of primary plastics equipment—injection molding, extrusion and blow molding machines—totaled $301.4 million in the third quarter, up 6 percent from the $284.3 million posted in the second quarter. Year over year, the results were down 2 percent.

 

Injection Molding Machines: The value of injection molding machine shipments decreased 4 percent in the third quarter compared to year-ago results, but are up 4 percent for the year so far.

 

Extrusion Machinery: The shipment value of single-screw extruders fell 14 percent in the third quarter compared with last year, with year-to-date shipments down 6 percent. Twin-screw extruders, including co-rotating and counter-rotating machines, jumped 33 percent in the quarter and have risen 35 percent year to date.

 

Blow Molding Machines: Blow molding machine shipment values climbed an estimated 27 percent in the third quarter, with shipments up 25 percent year to date.

 

Auxiliary Equipment: New bookings of auxiliary equipment, including robotics, temperature controllers, and materials handling, hit a record-breaking $108.2 million dollars in the third quarter, up 8 percent compared with the third quarter of 2013. Year to date, bookings have risen 12 percent.

 

SPI noted in a release that the jump in plastics machinery shipments correlates to gains in related economic indicators, with business investment in industrial equipment jumping 16 percent in the third quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, while the total value of new orders of industrial machinery jumped 47 percent according to data from the Census Bureau. Year to date, those figures are up 13 and 34 percent, respectively.

 

Survey Shows Optimism
Machinery suppliers remain optimistic about the market demand for their products in the coming months, according to a quarterly survey of plastics machinery suppliers by the CES. Fully 95 percent of respondents expected conditions to stay the same or even improve in the coming quarter, while 98 percent believed they would hold steady or improve during the next 12 months.

 

Respondents believe North America holds the most promising market conditions in the coming year, with expectations for Mexico greatly improved when compared with the responses from last quarter. Expectations for Latin America, Asia, and Europe were lowered.

 

Automotive and medical are expected to remain strong end-markets, according to the survey, with expectations for packaging, appliances, and construction improved from the previous quarter responses. 

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