U.S. machine shops and other manufacturers consumed $173.38 million worth of cutting tools during February, increasing significantly the value of their total from the previous month, in an indicator of improving manufacturing activity. The result is 9.3% higher than January’s cutting-tool consumption total ($158.65 million) but still 4.0% less than the total ($180.56 million) reported for February 2015.
The figures are drawn from the monthly Cutting Tool Market Report (CTMR), presented jointly by the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute and AMT – the Assn. for Manufacturing Technology.
Cutting tools are the high-value consumable parts used in machine tools to shape raw material into finished or semi-finished parts, or to remove excess material from existing parts. Examples drills, countersinks, taps, milling cutters, boring bars, and indexable inserts, among others.
Because tooling needs to be replaced relatively frequently during manufacturing processes, U.S. cutting tool shipments are a good measure of overall manufacturing activity, similar to manufacturers’ shipments of durable goods.