According to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report published by the Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT), orders of manufacturing technology dipped slightly in May 2022 to $441.2 million. May orders were down 14% from April 2022 but nearly equal to May 2021 orders with a modest 1% decline. Year-to-date orders reached $2.42 billion, a 20% increase over 2021 orders through May.

“Order activity has begun to moderate, but given the slight decline from record heights, 2022 is shaping up to be one of the best years over the last two decades,” said Pat McGibbon, chief knowledge officer at AMT. “In any other year, numbers like we saw in May 2022 would be one of the high points, but after the run we’ve seen the previous 12 months, the monthly change is more of a return to normal than a dramatic pullback.”

McGibbon noted that, since May 2021, the average monthly units ordered and their values have been in the top 25% of the program’s entire history, so this dip is much more of a return to normal than a dramatic pullback. The impact of inflation on the prices for manufacturing technology, difficulties over filling position vacancies and continued conflict in Europe have caused increased risk aversion among customers, leading to more cautious capital investment decisions.

“The impact of the pandemic on supply chains led to the reinvestment in industries that were nearly shuttered by imports. Industries like the manufacture of mold and dies, fabricated metal products, screws, and hardware have expanded capacity well beyond their pre-pandemic levels.” McGibbon continued: “In addition to securing supply chains from public health disruptions, there may be a renewed push to further reshore production, given the recent dangers to intellectual property outlined by the U.S. and U.K. intelligence agencies.”

Charts courtesy of the Association For Manufacturing Technology
Charts courtesy of the Association For Manufacturing Technology

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