Through the first nine months of 2014 U.S. shipments of primary plastics equipment — for injection molding, blow molding and extrusion — grew 6 percent in dollar volume from the same period of 2013, according to the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.'s Committee on Equipment Statistics.
SPI reported the value of those primary machines totaled $301.4 million in the third quarter, a 6 percent gain from the second quarter, but down 2 percent from what the trade group called a “robust” third quarter of 2013.
Injection molding machines, twin-screw extruders and blow molding machines were up for the first nine months. Shipments of single-screw extruders declined. Bookings for auxiliary equipment set a record in the third quarter.
“The market conditions that drive investment in new industrial equipment have prevailed throughout all of 2014, and I expect these conditions to persist in 2015,” said plastics economist Bill Wood. “These are: low interest rates and the need for increased productivity in order to meet rising aggregate demand.”
Wood analyzes the machinery data for the Committee on Equipment Statistics. SPI released the third quarter results on Nov. 25. SPI released statistics about the dollar value of equipment, not the number of units produced.
Shipments of injection molding machines are up 4 percent for the first nine months, January through September. For the third quarter, the value of injection press shipments declined 4 percent from the year-ago third quarter.
Single-screw extruder shipments are down 6 percent for the nine-month period of 2014 compared with same period of 2013. The segment dropped 14 percent for the third quarter, compared to the third quarter of 2013.
The value of twin-screw extruder shipments jumped by 35 percent for the first nine months of 2014, and they were up 33 percent for just the third quarter. Twin-screw extruder numbers include both co-rotating and counter-rotating extruders.
Blow molding machines grew by an estimated 25 percent for the year to date, and an estimated 27 percent on a quarterly basis.
SPI reports that auxiliary equipment sales are strong. New bookings of auxiliaries totaled a record-breaking $108.2 million in the third quarter. That is a gain of 8 percent compared with the third quarter of 2013. For the first nine months of 2014, bookings are up 12 percent from the same period in 2013.