A report by industry research firm IBISWorld indicates the metal stamping and forging industry grew 2.8 percent between 2008 and 2013. After this year, newfound confidence within the manufacturing industry is expected to boost demand for metal stamping as retail sales improve. The National Retail Federation's retail sales report for November said sales rose 6 percent from October, up 3.9 percent year-over-year, indicating sales were on track to meet the forecast for holiday sales, Appliance Magazine reported.
"Once again, consumers have demonstrated their ability to drive the economy forward," NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. "By-and-large, consumers have pent-up purchasing power and are willing to spend this holiday season. Retailers will compete for each and every shopper and sale, and promotions and deals will continue throughout the month."
Growth in the industry is expected to pick up as more manufacturing sectors order more equipment, including the automotive and aerospace industries. The IBISWorld report predicts that manufacturers will be able to make their metal stamping products more lightweight and stronger, even helping metal withstand corrosion, as they employ new alloys.
"The industry will also experience continued growth in the automotive industry, which is a major buyer due to the custom metal forging used in the production of vehicles," the report said. "Additionally, demand from agricultural machinery will remain strong."
Appliance maker expands metal stamping operations
The manufacturing industry has experienced a resurgence in product demand and new orders during 2013, prompting companies to improve their metal stamping operations.
This includes GE, which recently started making the first new GE Monogram brand refrigerator product platform in over 10 years. The company invested $20 million in a refrigerator production factory in Selmer, Tenn., which included buying new metal stamping and welding equipment. The product line includes a new French door built-in refrigerator made from fabricated steel and anodized aluminum.
The purchase of equipment will help GE obtain more parts to improve its operational efficiency and product quality as adding more metal stamping equipment will allow the firm to insource more parts rather than relying on thrid-party suppliers. Buying more equipment to expand production is a smart investment for companies that may be concerned with risks to their supply chain integrity.
Ray Deming, general manager of Monogram Refrigeration Operation, a GE affiliate, said the $20 million investment will help the company increase the competitiveness of its domestic operations.