Last year was a banner year for sellers of manufacturing technology. According to a February 14 report from the Association for Manufacturing Technology, technology orders from manufacturers broke $5.9 billion last year, the highest year on record.
According to AMT, the later half of the year in particular saw orders increase dramatically. August through December 2021, the association reported, saw a streak of orders breaking $500 million each month, the first such five-month streak on the agency’s records.
In total, the $5.9 billion spent on manufacturing technology in 2021 was more $2 billion more than in 2020. AMT reports the $5.9 billion in 2021 orders beat 2020’s $3.8 billion total by 55%.
“After five straight months of historically high orders, it is difficult to describe 2021 as anything other than exceptional,” said AMT President Douglas Woods.
Woods went on to note that much of the growth in orders came from areas that “were not typically industry drivers,” including construction. AMT reports manufacturers saw “outsized demand” for grinding machines used to produce drill bits and other construction tools to meet demand in last year’s housing market.
Woods predicted that the boom would temper soon, though: “While forecasts still call for optimism in 2022, we do expect to see some pullback in the first few months of the year,” said Woods, citing expanded backlogs, key component shortages, and unfilled jobs.