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The Latest Metalworking Trends & Developments in the US

Machinery & Equipment in the USA

The Largest Market for Machinery Worldwide

With a sales volume of more than $400 billion, the US is the largest machinery market in the world. The majority of the 30,000 companies are small and medium sized, but it also includes global players such as Caterpillar, the agricultural machinery manufacturer Deere and technology conglomerate General Electric. US companies ensure their preeminence in the highly competitive global machinery market with their pursuit for innovation, the increase of productivity, efficiency and sustainability. Leading universities in engineering contribute to the strength and leadership of the region.

The Midwest contributes greatly to the strength of the US economy, specifically in the machinery market. Traditional clusters in the areas of machine tools, industrial machinery, energy, agricultural and mining equipment are all located in the Midwest region, as are leading universities like the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois.

Important Market Statistics, Trends, and Developments

  • The total value of manufacturer’s shipments in the machinery industry dropped in 2016 by 5.7%, primarily driven by large decreases in mining and construction machinery. However, metal working machinery and material handling equipment increased during the same period by 12 % each.
  • Nearly a third of US-manufactured machines were exported in 2016. Overall, export sales decreased in the last two years by 10% each year. Exports to Germany stayed constant during this time with a sales volume of $4.5 billion. Large shares were exports in engine, turbine and power transmission equipment and industrial machinery.
  • The US imported machinery with a value of $151.7 billion in 2016. With a share of 12.2%, Germany is the third largest importer behind China and Japan.
  • Especially important are metalworking machinery imports. Here Germany increased its market share, even though the market itself shrunk in the last year. Germany also increased its market share in industrial machinery to 13% in an otherwise constant market.
  • The Midwest is home to a number of machinery clusters. An example is Ohio, which is known as a center of machinery in general, as well as certain niches such as plastics processing machinery. Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska are just some of the states with strong agricultural and construction machinery sectors. Due to its history as a food processing center, the Midwest is also strong in food and beverage machinery as well as packaging machinery.

Opportunities for German Companies

  • The ongoing automatization of the industrial production (Industry 4.0) opens new business opportunities for companies, especially the cross-linking of machines to networks, monitoring of industrial facilities (Internet of Things) and the design of production processes with robotics.
  • New materials, such as titanium or carbon fiber, require new advanced technologies for processing and offer great opportunities for German companies in the near future.
  • The relevance of Additive Manufacturing is increasing steadily. Ongoing development of the 3D print technology together with improved materials create new opportunities.
  • Energy engineering companies can take advantage of new advancements in hydraulic fracturing. In order to extract the recently explored deposits of oil and gas, new machinery will be necessary.
  • Since the economic recession in the US, the industrial machinery industry has strengthened alongside increased industrial production for key downstream markets. While the drop in oil prices in 2014 and 2015 have negatively affected the industry, steady growth through 2020 is expected and presents a prime area suited for German expertise.

Organizations & Links

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