By Lloyd Graff
I understand that some Japanese machine tool builders are running painfully short of inventory in the United States. Sales in Japan are up 260 percent year to year. The American distributors under ordered last year and the Japanese factories slowed production, while huge Chinese orders flooded in several months ago. Six hundred CNC Swiss lathes went to one builder and 285 machining centers went to another for cell phone dies, swamping the companies. Now American demand is perking up, and the cupboards are bare. It will be interesting to see if ¥92 to the dollar will justify higher prices at IMTS.
The liquidation of Fadal machines in California has surprised the doubters. The liquidator, Machinery Network Auctions, has sold over 100 machines and has about a dozen left.
We hear that companies like Caterpillar, Deere and Case are still starving for inventory. They are pressing their vendors hard and their projections for next year are even more bullish.
On June 28 Cy Zvonar of Industrial Machinery Corporation of Milwaukee will be 99 years old. He still comes to work every day wearing a suit and tie like he has since 1939. It’s an incredible coincidence three generations of Zvonars, Joseph, Cy and Jim, were all born on the same day of the year.
The authorities that operate McCormick Place in Chicago, where IMTS will be held Sept. 13-18, have finally awakened to the threat posed to its convention business by Orlando and Las Vegas. Millions of dollars will soon be flowing into marketing, but unless the total expense of exhibiting and attending is addressed, I can see the day when IMTS leaves the Windy City.
Question: Are you finding it difficult to find new machines off the shelf?