WASHINGTON — Shipments of plastics machinery increased for the fifth straight year in 2014 — a strong report issued a week before NPE 2015 kicks off in Orlando, Fla.
Twin-screw extruders and blow molding machines jumped by double digits — each by more than 25 percent.
The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.'s Committee on Equipment Statistics compiles the report. SPI said shipments of primary equipment — injection molding presses, extruders and blow molding machines — increased by 7.6 percent in 2014 from the 2013 level, when measured in dollar value.
Last year ended strong, according to SPI in Washington. Primary machinery shipments totaled $346.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, up 9.8 percent from the revised shipments total of $315.1 million in the third quarter. And the fourth quarter was up 8 percent from the prior year's fourth quarter.
“The economic fundamentals that favor continued investment in capital equipment are expected to persist through 2015 as well,” said Bill Wood, the plastics economist who analyses the data for the Committee on Equipment Statistics.
The value of shipments of injection molding machines, the largest plastics equipment segment, grew 5.3 percent in 2014 from the year before. Injection press shipments advanced 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter from the 2013 fourth quarter.
Single-extruders declined by 3 percent in 2014 from 2013, measured in value. The sector increased by 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 from the year-earlier fourth quarter.
The value of shipments of twin-screw extruders jumped 26.3 percent for the full year 2014. That sector includes both co-rotating and counter-rotating extruders.
Blow molding machines spiked up 38.1 percent for 2014, SPI said.
New bookings for auxiliary equipment, for companies that report the data, increased 9.2 percent in 2014, over 2013 bookings. Auxiliaries gained 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter from the year-ago fourth quarter.
SPI said the participating auxiliary companies reported new bookings of $103.5 million in the fourth quarter.
Wood said the upward trend in plastics machinery corresponds with the long-term trends in two areas covered by the U.S. government measuring overall industrial machinery. The Bureau of Economic Analysis said business investment in all industrial equipment grew by 13 percent in 2014 from the year before. Investment increased 16 percent in the fourth quarter compared with the fourth quarter of 2013.