The Machinery and Equipment Industry in the United States

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The U.S. Machinery and Equipment Manufacturing Industry

U.S. machinery industries had total domestic and foreign sales of $413.7 billion in 2011.conveyor belt with dollar bills The United States is the world’s largest market for machinery, as well as the third-largest supplier.  American manufacturers held a 58.5 percent share of the U.S. domestic market.

U.S. manufacturers’ commitment to technological innovation is key to their continued leadership in a highly competitive global marketplace. Application of information technology to machinery to achieve greater productivity, efficiency, and sustainability is critical. In addition, numerous American universities are engaged in advanced research in related engineering and scientific disciplines that contribute to competitive U.S. machinery industries.

Machinery and equipment manufacturing industries provide essential and highly sophisticated technology for many other manufacturing and service industries. Process control and other automation technologies enable end-users to maximize the productivity of their equipment.  Sales of many types of machinery typically are accompanied by a variety of high-value services, including specialized architecture, engineering, and logistics.

More than 1.3 million Americans were employed directly in manufacturing machinery and equipment in August 2013.  These jobs are almost entirely in high-skill, well-compensated professions and trades.   Machinery manufacturing also supports the jobs of hundreds of thousands of Americans in a variety of other manufacturing and service industries.

Thousands of U.S. companies manufacture machinery and equipment.  Most are SMEs, but there are also many large, publically traded firms and iconic American brands that do business on a global scale. Machinery and equipment is manufactured throughout the United States, but is concentrated in the industrial Midwest.  California and Texas are also important locales for machinery industries.

U.S. machinery and equipment manufacturing industries are also strong and consistent exporters.  In 2012, U.S. machinery industries reported exports worth $184.0 billion, an increase of 6.2 percent over 2011, and recorded a $9 billion trade surplus.  Many machinery manufacturers find the United States to be a premier location to manufacture for export to neighboring markets like Canada and Mexico.

Industry Subsectors

Agricultural and Food Machinery and Equipment: Equipment used to grow, process, package, transport, and distribute food and beverages.  Agricultural and Food Machinery and Equipment includes agricultural equipment, food processing and packaging machinery, commercial and industrial refrigeration equipment, and commercial food service equipment.

Construction Machinery and Related Equipment:   Construction and mining equipment and related systems.  This subsector includes self-propelled equipment, implements, accessories and components for use in construction, forestry, mining and utilities. Off-road diesel engines and fluid-power technology are also important components of off-road equipment.

Manufacturing Machinery: Machinery and equipment used to manufacture a wide range of goods out of metal and plastic. Manufacturing Machinery consists of technologies that find application in many other manufacturing industries, such as automotive, aerospace and medical devices. It includes machine tools for cutting, stamping and forming metal; plastics and rubber manufacturing machinery; and a wide range of cutting tools, dies and accessories.

Industrial Process Machinery: Equipment and technology used in a wide range of industries to operate and automate industrial processes.  Industrial process technology includes basic products such as electric motors, pumps, valves and compressors and industrial controls, as well as material handling equipment.  Process control systems are especially important to achieving the greatest productivity from industrial plant and equipment.

Power and Energy Equipment: Equipment and machinery for generating, transmitting and distributing electric power as well as machinery used for oil and gas exploration and production.  Major categories include turbines, power transmission equipment and internal combustion engines (except automotive gasoline and aircraft) for electric utility and industrial applications.  Also includes oil and gas field machinery.