Companies in the U.S. metal forming industry convert ferrous and nonferrous metals—such as steel, titanium, copper, brass, aluminum and various alloys—into a variety of intermediate or end-use products utilizing processes such as cutting, stamping, welding, punching, bending, laser cutting, roll forming and coil processing. According to industry intelligence firm First Research, there are approximately 55,000 companies in the U.S. metal forming industry. On an annual basis, industry revenue totals approximately $340.0 billion.
Despite a number of economic headwinds throughout 2022—including high inflation and rising interest rates—First Research indicates that revenue for the U.S. metal forming industry grew by 13.2% during the year. According to The Fabricator, much of the industry’s success can be attributed to the effects of reshoring. For example, Jamie Robbins, sales manager at Dayton, OH-based custom sheet metal fabricator Staub Manufacturing Solutions (“Staub”), reports that the business experienced a “dramatic” decline in demand in March 2020 when COVID-19 lockdowns began. “But then the orders started coming back with a fury,” says Robbins. “Customers who previously purchased parts from overseas now wanted to bring their manufacturing back, mainly based on the lead time to get products from overseas.” The Fabricator notes that the reshoring trend applies “to a broad swath of the shop’s customer base, from those looking for medical work to others looking for trailer truck parts.” In order to keep up with growing demand, Robbins says Staub has increased its focus on automation and has boosted its cutting throughput with higher-power, fully automated fiber lasers.
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