U.S. machinery shipments were a mixed bag in the first quarter of 2006, according to the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. of Washington.
Injection presses declined by 5 percent from the first quarter of 2005, to 849 units. Blow molding machines and auxiliary equipment both reported gains, but extruders declined.
SPI's Committee on Equipment Statistics issued the first-quarter numbers June 19, the first day of NPE 2006. Here's a breakdown:
Injection molding machines. Shipments totaled 849 units, down from 890 units in the first quarter of 2005, and a drop of 11 percent from the fourth-quarter 2005 level of 955. SPI said 3,706 injection presses were shipped in all of 2005.
Single-screw and twin-screw extruders. First-quarter shipments totaled 170 units, down 25 percent from the 226 units shipped in the first quarter of 2005. It was down 21 percent from the fourth quarter of 2005, when 214 units were shipped.
Blow molding machines. Shipments totaled 25 units in the first quarter, up four units from the year-ago period, and down nine units from the final quarter of 2005.
Auxiliary equipment. SPI said auxiliaries showed a 5 percent increase in the first quarter, with bookings that totaled $87.5 million, up from $83.5 million booked in the first quarter of 2005. Auxiliary shipments grew by 4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2005.
SPI also reports first-quarter shipments of 4,626 units of components - screws and barrels for injection molding and extrusion machines. SPI officials said they could not compare this figure to any historical data because of a change in the number of reporting companies.