SIC 3542

This industry covers establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing metal forming machine tools, independent from the hands of an human operator, for pressing, hammering, extruding, shearing, die-casting, or otherwise forming metal into shape. This industry also includes the rebuilding of such machine tools and the manufacture of repair parts for them. Establishments primarily engaged in the manufacture of electric and gas welding equipment and soldering equipment are classified in SIC 3548: Electric and Gas Welding and Soldering Equipment; those manufacturing portable, power-driven hand tools are classified in SIC 3546: Power-Driven Hand Tools; those manufacturing rolling mill machinery and equipment are detailed in SIC 3547: Rolling Mill Machinery and Equipment.

NAICS Code(s)

333513 (Machine Tool (Metal Forming Types) Manufacturing)

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 287 establishments operated in this category for part or all of 2001. Industry-wide employment totaled approximately 12,000 workers receiving a payroll of about $500 million. Of these employees, 7,200 worked in production, putting in almost 15 million hours to earn wages of nearly $270 million. Overall shipments for the industry were valued at almost $1.8 billion. The vast majority of companies in this industry were small or medium sized, with only about 8 percent employing more than 500 workers.

Ingersoll International Inc. of Rockford, Illinois, led the industry with 2001 sales of $400 million and 2,500 employees. However, the company took a downturn in 2003, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April of that year. The following August, Ingersoll was acquired by the Camozzi Group of Italy, in conjunction with Rockford-based Imta. Camozzi, with a background in and commitment to the machine tools industry, intended to devote time and money in research and development. At the close of 2003, Ingersoll was back on the upswing, having been awarded lucrative contracts with the National Center for Advanced Manufacturing.

In second place for this industry was Trumpf Inc., of Farmington, Connecticut, with 2001 sales of $286 million and 600 employees. Rounding out the top three was Minster Machine Company of Minster, Ohio, with sales of $136 million and 900 employees.

The metal forming machine tool industry is closely related to the metal cutting industry. Many machine shops employ both types of machine tools. The primary difference between metal cutting and metal forming concerns the way in which the finished product is removed from the raw metal. Metal forming is a process by which a piece of metal, generally a flat sheet stock or a rod, is forced into another shape by means of pressing the material beyond its present yield strength condition. Because most metals can be formed in this way, the metal forming industry is significant to many major industries throughout the United States. According to Standard & Poor's, automotive manufacturers represent the leading metalforming machinery market.

Since the metal forming industry is linked so closely to the automotive industry, growth in the industry is closely linked to the health of domestic car manufacturers. Consequently, the metal forming machine tool industry did not enjoy extraordinary success in the 1970s and 1980s. Public demand for American-made products, however, encouraged automakers—even those held by Japanese firms operating in the United States—to purchase American-made tooling whenever possible. Metal forming equipment manufacturers in the United States hoped to benefit from this movement.

Most metal forming companies were concentrated around the Great Lakes region and some northeastern states. Another smaller concentration of metal forming interests lay along the West Coast and Alaska. In the mid-1990s, the number of domestic shipments outweighed foreign shipments of complete metal forming tools. Foreign competitors rallied for a share of the metal cutting tool market rather than the metal forming tool market. In 1994, U.S. machine tool production—cutting and forming—was valued at $3.7 billion, Japan's production was valued at $6.7 billion, and Germany's was valued at $5.3 billion.

In the 2000s, new cutting methods were becoming more widely used. As with many manufacturing industries, trends in technology in the metal forming machine tools sector were closely tied to computer and electronic innovations, including those for design and control. Due to the need for technologically advanced products, competition was keen and computers played a large part in the development and refinement of new products for the industry, particularly those geared toward the automotive industry. The job shop industry was expected to help buoy this industry through increased product demand. Flexibility was key, with the 2000s trend toward innovative products for individual needs and desires.

Employment for the metalworking machinery manufacturing industry as a whole was expected to increase steadily each year until 2012. Similarly, output was expected to rise nearly 5 percent each year during the same timeframe, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. This increase would result from the computerization and automation of the industry, as well as such labor-saving innovations as machining centers, which condensed production time and increased efficiency.

Further Reading

Baker, Deborah J., ed. Ward's Business Directory of US Private and Public Companies. Detroit, MI: Thomson Gale, 2003.

Hoover's Company Fact Sheet. "Ingersoll International Inc." 3 March 2004. Available from .

Ingersoll International. "Ingersoll Machine Tools, Inc. Wins Contract." 23 December 2003. Available from .

——. "Meet the New President and CEO." 15 August 2003. Available from .

Nugent, Thomas M., ed. "Steel and Heavy Machinery: Basic Analysis." Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys , 24 December 1992.

U.S. Census Bureau. Statistics of U.S. Businesses: 2001. 1 March 2004. Available from .

U.S. Department of Commerce. Annual Survey of Manufactures. Washington: GPO, 2002.

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economic and Employment Projections. 11 February 2004. Available from .

US Industry and Trade Outlook. New York: McGraw Hill, 2000.

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