Sheet Metal Laser Cutting Machine Price

2022 could be a big year for manufacturers investing in technology and tackling two of the industry’s biggest challenges: a lack of workers and an unstable supply chain.Getty Images
Monthly Chris Kuehl, International Economic Analyst for Manufacturers and Manufacturers Association.President and President of Armada Corporate Intelligence, based in Lawrence, Kan., in partnership with Morris, Nelson & Associates, Leavenworth, Kan., to launch the Armada Strategic Intelligence System (ASIS).In it, Kuehl and his team outline the cross-section of manufacturing that touches the metal fabrication business.Almost all of these industries have had a long journey throughout 2020 and 2021.Business declined in early 2020 for obvious reasons, followed by a sustained rebound, albeit faltering, as global supply chains recovered.Some metal fabrication operations are going all out, while others are not as strong as they can be—as long as they have the materials and people they need to get the job done (see Figure 1).
“[We are seeing] continued strong mid- to long-term demand trends in the end markets we serve, and growing interest in our services from more companies,” said Bob Kamphuis, Chairman/CEO/President of Contracts Manufacturing giant MEC on its quarterly conference call with investors in November.”However, our company’s supply chain constraints have caused some recent production delays.” This is not because of a shortage of raw materials for MEC, but because of a shortage of MEC’s ​​customers.
Kamphuis added that supplying MEC’s ​​facilities in Mayville, Wisconsin and throughout the eastern half of the U.S. with the supply chain — including the raw material supply chain — “has caused only minor disruptions. This means that when our customers are able to increase their We’ll be ready when we sell.”
As one of the largest contract manufacturers in the U.S. (and repeatedly ranked #1 on The FABRICATOR’s FAB 40 Top Manufacturers list), MEC serves nearly every industry in Kuehl’s monthly ASIS forecast, and many of this business may be related to MEC experience.
U.S. metal manufacturing is a manufacturing industry that has been tied to supply chain disruptions.The industry continues to pull, eager to take off.That pull is likely to get stronger with increased spending on infrastructure, thanks to legislation recently passed in Washington.Global supply chains must catch up, and until they do, inflationary pressures will persist.With all this in mind, 2022 will be a year of opportunity.
The ASIS report draws information from the St. Louis Fed’s Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) program for the big picture, industrial production data covering both durable and non-durable manufacturing.It then delved into the various sectors related to metal fabrication technology: the primary metals sector that provides raw materials to metal manufacturers, which in turn supplies parts to various industries.
Manufacturers themselves exist in a range of categories used by the government to classify manufacturers, including fabricated metal products, an all-encompassing category that includes construction and structural metals; boiler, tank and vessel manufacturing; and those providing services to other sectors. contract manufacturer.The ASIS report does not cover all the areas covered by metal manufacturers – no report does – but it does cover sales areas for the majority of manufactured sheet metal, plate and tube in the country.As such, it provides a brief look at what the industry could face in 2022.
According to the October ASIS report (based on September data), manufacturers are in a much better market than manufacturing as a whole.Machinery (including agricultural equipment), aerospace, and fabricated metal products, in particular, are likely to see substantial growth throughout 2022—but this growth will occur in a business environment impacted by supply chain disruptions.
The report’s projections for durable and non-durable industrial production suggest this moderation (see Figure 2).The September ASIS forecast (released in October) showed that overall production fell by a percentage point in the first quarter of 2022, held steady, and then declined by a few percentage points by early 2023.
The primary metals sector will experience substantial growth in 2022 (see Figure 3).This bodes well for business activity further down the supply chain, as long as manufacturers and others can continue to pass on price increases.
Figure 1 This snapshot is part of a more detailed forecast released by Armada’s Strategic Intelligence System (ASIS) in November, showing forecasts for specific industries.The graphs in this article are from the ASIS forecast released in October (using September data), so the numbers are slightly different.Regardless, the October and November ASIS reports both point to volatility and opportunity in 2022.
“From steel to nickel, aluminum, copper and other metals impacting the industry, we are still seeing some all-time highs,” Kuhl wrote.“However, [fall 2021] saw some deceleration in prices for many commodities as supply chains began to catch up… Some buyers reported that they were seeing improved product availability. But overall, global supply remains nervous.”
As of press time, the United States and the European Union have negotiated a new agreement in which tariffs on steel and aluminum from the European Union of 25% and 10%, respectively, will remain unchanged.But according to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, the U.S. will allow a limited amount of duty-free metal imports from Europe.It remains to be seen what impact this will have on material prices in the long run.In any event, most industry watchers don’t think demand for the metal will wane anytime soon.
Of all the industries that manufacturers serve, the automotive industry is the most volatile (see Figure 4).The industry declined sharply in the first and second quarters of 2021 before regaining momentum by the end of the year.According to ASIS forecasts, this momentum will continue to strengthen in the first and second quarters of 2022, before slowing down again later in the year.Overall, the industry will be in a better position, but it will be a journey.Much of the volatility stems from a global shortage of microchips.
“Industries that rely heavily on chipsets are facing the weakest outlook,” Kuhl wrote in September.”Most analysts now see the second quarter of 2022 as a period in which the chipset supply chain will normalize significantly.”
The changing numbers in the car forecast show how volatile the situation is.Earlier forecasts were for the auto industry to remain stable with little significant growth.At the time of writing, ASIS is forecasting very healthy growth in the first few quarters, followed by a decline later in the year, likely the result of inconsistent supply.Again, it goes back to microchips and other purchased components.When they arrive, production resumes until the supply chain blocks again, delaying production.
The aerospace field is developing rapidly.As Cool wrote in September, “The outlook for the aviation industry looks very good, accelerating into early 2022 and continuing to be high throughout the year. This is one of the most positive outlooks for the industry as a whole.”
ASIS forecasts annual growth of more than 22% between 2020 and 2021—not too extraordinary considering the trough the industry experienced early in the pandemic (see Figure 5).Nonetheless, ASIS forecasts that growth will continue into 2022, with huge gains in the first two quarters.By the end of the year, the report predicts the aerospace industry will grow another 22%.Part of the growth was driven by a surge in air cargo.Airlines are also adding capacity, especially in Asia.
This category includes lighting equipment, household appliances, and various electrical components related to power distribution.Companies serving these niche markets face a similar situation: there is demand but no supply, and inflationary pressures persist as material prices rise.ASIS forecasts that business will grow in the first half of the year, then decline sharply, and be largely flat by the end of the year (see Figure 6).
As Kuhl wrote, “Key materials like microchips are clearly still in short supply. Copper, however, has not made the headlines like other metals,” adding that copper prices rose 41% year-over-year through September 2021.
This category includes lighting fixtures and sheet metal enclosures widely used in commercial buildings, an industry that is being hit by broader workplace trends.Construction opportunities related to manufacturing, transportation, warehousing and healthcare abound, but other areas of commercial construction, including office buildings, are dwindling.”The rebound in business construction has been slow as reopening and resumption of work have taken much longer than expected,” Kuhl wrote.
Figure 2 Growth in overall industrial production, including durable and non-durable goods manufacturing, is likely to remain subdued throughout 2022.Growth in durable goods manufacturing, which includes metal fabrication, is likely to outpace broader manufacturing, though.
The industry includes agricultural equipment manufacturing as well as many other sub-sectors, and as of September 2021, the industry’s growth curve is one of the most pronounced in ASIS (see Figure 7).”The machinery industry is expected to continue its impressive growth path for three reasons,” Kuhl wrote.First, shophouses, factories and assemblers have delayed 2020 capex, so are now catching up.Second, most people expect prices to go up, so companies want to buy machines before then.Third, of course, is the lack of labor and the push for mechanization and automation across manufacturing, logistics, transportation, and other sectors of the economy.
“Agricultural spending is also accelerating,” Kull said, “as global food demand creates enormous growth potential for commercial farms.”
The trend line for metal fabrication reflects an average, at the individual company level, that is highly dependent on the store’s customer mix.Most manufacturers not only serve many other sectors, but are small businesses with a few customers that drive most of the revenue.A major customer went south, and a factory’s finances took a hit.
All things considered, the trend line fell with just about every other industry in early 2020, but not by much.The average remained steady as some stores struggled while others thrived — again, depending on the mix of customers and what’s going on around the customer’s supply chain.However, starting in April 2022, ASIS expects to see some notable gains as volumes grow (see Figure 8).
Kuehl described an industry in 2022 dealing with disruptions to the automotive supply chain and broader shortages of microchips and other components.But manufacturers will also benefit from a booming aerospace, tech, and especially corporate spending on machinery and automation.Despite the challenges, growth in the metals manufacturing industry in 2022 looks very positive.
“One of our biggest priorities is maintaining and expanding our skilled employee base to help us realize our growth potential. We expect that finding the right people will continue to be a priority for the foreseeable future in most of our regions Challenges. Our HR teams are using a variety of creative recruiting strategies, and as a company we will continue to invest in flexible, redeployable automation and technology.”
MEC’s ​​Kamphuis made the comments to investors in early November, adding that the company has generated up to $40 million in capital expenditures for its new 450,000-square-foot site in 2021 alone.Hazel Park, Michigan plant.
The MEC experience reflects larger industry trends.Now more than ever, manufacturers need flexible capacity that allows them to ramp up quickly and respond to uncertainty.The goal boils down to increasing the speed of work, from the initial quote to the shipping dock.
Technology continues to drive the industry forward, but two constraints make growth challenging: a lack of workers and an unpredictable supply chain.Stores that successfully navigate both will see a wave of manufacturing opportunities in 2022 and beyond.
Tim Heston, Senior Editor at The FABRICATOR, has covered the metal fabrication industry since 1998, beginning his career with the American Welding Society’s Welding Magazine.Since then, he has covered all metal fabrication processes from stamping, bending and cutting to grinding and polishing.He joined The FABRICATOR staff in October 2007.
FABRICATOR is North America’s leading metal forming and fabrication industry magazine.The magazine provides news, technical articles and case histories that enable manufacturers to do their jobs more efficiently.FABRICATOR has been serving the industry since 1970.
Now with full access to the digital edition of The FABRICATOR, easy access to valuable industry resources.
The digital edition of The Tube & Pipe Journal is now fully accessible, providing easy access to valuable industry resources.
Enjoy full access to the digital edition of STAMPING Journal, which provides the latest technological advancements, best practices and industry news for the metal stamping market.
Enjoy full access to the digital edition of The Additive Report to learn how additive manufacturing can be used to improve operational efficiency and increase profits.
Now with full access to the digital edition of The Fabricator en Español, easy access to valuable industry resources.

Post time: Feb-17-2022