New life has been injected into the primary plastics machinery industry: the numbers show sales of injection molding, extrusion, blowmolding and thermoforming equipment took off in the third quarter of 2013.
Shipments of primary plastics equipment totaled an estimated $3,276 million in Q3, according to the Committee on Equipment Statistics of the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), up 20% from the second quarter.
It was the strongest performance of any quarter all year. Year-to-date numbers show an increase of 12% for primary plastics equipment shipments compared with last year.
A snapshot of the data shows shipments of injection molding machinery rose 20 percent in the third quarter when compared with the same quarter a year ago. Shipments of single-screw extruders increased nine percent, and shipments of twins-screw were up 12 percent. Shipments of new thermo-forming equipment were up 50 percent in Q3 compared with last year.
The auxiliary equipment segment (robotics, temperature control, materials handling, etc.) of the plastics machinery industry also rose. Orders for auxiliary equipment totaled $99.9 million dollars in Q3, a 12 percent increase from the second quarter of this year.
The healthy rise in the CES numbers on plastics machinery shipments mirrors solid gains in the two major U.S. data series compiled by the federal government that measure activity levels in the industrial machinery sector: the report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and data collected by the Census Bureau. According to the BEC, business investment in industrial equipment increased five percent (seasonally-adjusted, annualized rate) in the third quarter over last year. The Census Bureau report shows that the total value of U.S. shipments of industrial machinery increased 13 percent in the third quarter.