It’s a Good Year to Buy

With worldwide economic growth continuing well into 2018, shops should consider what purchases they will need to keep up with production requirements.

You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go.
— Yogi Berra

Business has been strong for the metalworking industry lately, and many companies are positioning themselves to take advantage of these good times to solidify a brighter future. Much of this strategy comes in the form of equipment and software purchases, which can help a shop improve efficiency and increase production. What are your company’s plans for growth? Have you considered your needs for the coming year? Are you prepared to keep pace with your competition?

According to the latest research from Gardner Intelligence, 2018 should see strong worldwide economic growth and growing corporate profits across a range of industries. Senior Economist Michael Guckes says, “Machine tools play an essential role in taking technological developments from the latest in high-efficiency turbines to electric vehicles from the drawing board to the factory floor. The production ramp-up required to bring such goods to market in several of the largest industries will continue to grow machine tool purchases in 2018.”

To keep up with this growth, shops should consider what their equipment and software needs will be. While decisions such as these generally will finally be made by company leaders, they can certainly be initiated by anyone who is influenced by them. Machine operators, for instance, know how their equipment is performing better than anyone else. They know if it’s able to perform to the shop’s (or customer’s) requirements or if new machines (or accessories) will be needed. So, it would make sense that they, too, have the opportunity to suggest purchases.

In the metalworking field, some of the most important decisions facing company leaders involve the purchase of capital equipment. Such acquisitions can require substantial investments, and solid research is important to ensure that the machine can handle the work as expected and that a solid relationship can be established and maintained with the supplier.

But keeping a shop appropriately equipped goes beyond only the machine tools. Buyers need to consider tooling, workholding, software, materials, and all other support equipment. Keeping these requirements straight and knowing where to look for such purchases can be a challenge. That’s where Production Machining’s Buyer’s Guide (and online Supplier Directory) fits in.

These tools are designed specifically for our production turning audience. Travis Egan, Gardner Business Media’s Metalworking Group Publisher, says, “This buyer’s guide is different from others that may cover other niches of the industry, or perhaps one from Modern Machine Shop that may address a broader spectrum of the metalworking audience.” Just as our monthly issues look at the more targeted audience at a deeper level, the Buyer’s Guide also provides that narrowly focused perspective. By staying within these boundaries, we can provide a tool that is easy to navigate. Readers can quickly find the products they need and the suppliers best equipped to sell.

PM Publisher Joe Campise says, “The Buyer’s Guide provides quick answers regarding which players are available in each area of the precision parts market.” He points out that even beyond the supplier listings, advertisers within these pages are equally targeted to our audience. Their pages, including the supplier showcases, provide further details about their products that may fill an immediate need in the shop.

The other consideration of the print buyer’s guide concept is that a tactile directory can simplify the research process. “The argument goes hand-in-hand with the reasons a print publication is still a viable product,” says Chris Koepfer, PM’s editor-in-chief. “People can go online and search for specific subject matter, or suppliers of equipment, but the results may be overwhelming. Instead, we do the heavy lifting and narrow the search to only the most relevant information.”

Consider this tool your go-to guide, and keep it around as needs develop throughout the year. Mr. Guckes adds that 2018 will likely continue down the same positive-growth path that began in late 2016 and early 2017. “Gardner Intelligence believes that machine tool consumption will increase between five and 10 percent at least through the first half of 2018 and potentially climaxing in September at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS).”