Orders for machine tool technology rose slightly in November 2013, up 0.6% from October for a total of $437.79 million, according to IndustryWeek.

Writes Robert Brooks:

The new result represents a 20.7% improvement over the November 2012 result, and it brings the year-to-date (January-November) total to $4,399.22 million, down 7.7% from the comparable result for the first 11 months of 2012.

The data was gathered from the monthly USMTO report, compiled by the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) and is “based on actual data for metal cutting equipment and metal forming and fabricating equipment, as reported by participating companies,” according to Brooks in IndustryWeek.

AMT President Douglas K. Woods puts a positive spin on the so-so machine tool numbers.

“With a strong upswing in automotive sales, the PMI (Purchasing Manager’s Index) at 55 for the month of December, and manufacturing employment continuing to climb, there is no question that the industry headed to the end of 2013 on a very strong note,” said Woods.

“It’s also noteworthy that from 2010-2012, November had always been a downturn month for manufacturing technology orders. To see month-over-month and year-over-year increases in orders for November 2013 is yet another sign that manufacturing continues its position of economic strength.”

The USMTO report covers nationwide activity in addition to six geographic regions. In the most vital Northeast region, machine tool orders climbed just 0.2% from October to November, totaling $71.54 million. That is, however, a 3.8% increase over the November 2012 figure.

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