Cutting tool orders decline, while tooling suppliers look ahead

October 22, 2020 - 02:30pm
Cutting tool orders decline, tooling suppliers look ahead

The graph below includes the 12-month moving average for the durable goods shipments and cutting tool orders. These values are calculated by taking the average of the most recent 12 months and plotting them over time.While the latest data on cutting tool orders show a decline, orders appear to have “found a bottom” and tool suppliers look to the future with the release of a multitude of new tooling, workholding, machine tools and accessories into the marketplace.

U.S. cutting tool consumption totaled $136.1 million in August 2020, which represents a 0.2 percent drop compared to July 2020 and 33% drop compared to August 2019, according to the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute (USCTI) and AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology.

According to Bret Tayne, president of USCTI, “Sales of cutting tools declined more than might have been anticipated through the summer months. However, in light of the reports of flattening growth in both manufacturing and the broader economy, these statistics are not entirely surprising.”

Tayne said that while orders were soft in August 2020, they appear to have found a bottom. Additional good news, according to Eli Lustgarten, president of ESL Consultants, is that U.S. manufacturing has achieved undergone more than four months of improvement with the ISM PMI over 50. This improvement was led by the recovery of the automotive industry, which is the largest buyer of cutting tools, as well as appliances, electrical, and general manufacturing. Demand will likely be moderate and volatile in the near term reflecting weak aerospace and energy markets and economic uncertainty.

The marketplace has been up-and-down throughout the year as cutting tool orders and PMI numbers fluctuated throughout the pandemic months. That didn’t stop Cutting Tool Engineering from running its IMTS coverage that showcased a range of cutting tools and machine technologies in its August issue. Coverage included dozens of products including tooling and workholding products; machine tools and accessories, and metalworking products. Also available are a showcase of tooling-related videos is also available.

Related Glossary Terms

  • metalworking


    Any manufacturing process in which metal is processed or machined such that the workpiece is given a new shape. Broadly defined, the term includes processes such as design and layout, heat-treating, material handling and inspection.

  • recovery


    Reduction or removal of workhardening effects, without motion of large-angle grain boundaries.


CTE magazine staff

News items authored by Cutting Tool Engineering have been written or edited by the editors of Cutting Tool Engineering magazine. The reports represent material submitted to CTE by outside authors, and edited by CTE editors for style and accuracy.


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