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Canadian manufacturing growth moderated in December, according to the latest seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index.

Production volumes and incoming new work expanded at softer rates than in the prior month. The pace of manufacturing job creation also moderated in December, partly reflecting a drop in business optimism to its weakest point since February 2016.

The index reached 53.6 in December, down from 54.9 in November – the weakest improvement in business conditions since January 2017.

Survey respondents commented on less favourable demand conditions, particularly in the energy sector. There were also reports that global trade frictions had held back export sales during the latest survey period. New business volumes continued to rise in December, but at one of the slowest rates seen over the past two years. This partly reflected a stagnation in export sales.

Manufacturers continued to add to workforces in December, but the rate of job creation slowed from the survey-record peak seen in November. Anecdotal evidence suggested that less upbeat projections for output growth had acted as a brake on staff hiring at some firms.

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SMTCL is the latest machine tool builder to announce it's investing in manufacturing in North America.

Most recently, DMG MORI opened its manufacturing facility in Davis, CA. And Haas, which has always manufactured its machines in California at a 1 million sq ft facility, recently announced its intention to expand its facility to accommodate growing machine tool demand. Mazak Corp., which has been manufacturing in North America for 40 years, has expanded its manufacturing operations 15 times, most recently in 2012 with a 200,000 sq ft addition, increasing its total floor space to 800,000 sq ft.

SMTCL's COO Jerry McCarty says SMTCL, considered among the world's largest machine tool builders, will be manufacturing in the US by the end of 2015.

A manufacturing factory in North America will complement SMTCL's current manufacturing facilities in Europe (Germany) and Asia (China). "The United States was chosen because that is where our customers are and we know that we can find workers and vendors that have the dedication to quality that we need", McCarty stated in a press conference at IMTS earlier this week. "We will employ Americans and this facility will be managed by Americans. I can also tell you that although we will continue to use the world's best components in our machines, we will also use a number of local US vendors to provide contract machining, fabricating, and electronics."

The site of the new manufacturing facility has not been determined, but McCarty says SMTCL-Americas will begin manufacturing VMCs and expand with other products as the market dictates. 

SMTCL plans on purchasing or building a 100,000 square foot facility and employing between 100 to 120 employees. "We will need manufacturing engineers, machine assembly technicians, and service technicians, as well as purchasing, accounting, and general management professionals," said McCarty.

McCarty added that he hopes to be manufacturing in the US by the end of 2015. "These machines will be shipped to our customers in the United States, Canada, and Mexico and we look forward to helping our customers compete in the world economy."

SMTCL produces 80,000 machine tools each year and has revenues of $2.9 billion. The company has more than 300 products in its machine tool line-up.

SMTCL-Americas

 

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