With overall U.S. assembly spending (including assembly equipment, materials and components) by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) estimated to reach a robust $11 billion in 1999, U.S. spending for assembly equipment is expected to hit $2.5 billion, according to a recent U.S. Product Assembly Market Survey1released by Reed Exhibition Companies' Assembly Group, Norwalk, Conn. The study was conducted byASSEMBLYmagazine.

Adhesives and adhesives-dispensing equipment play a major role in assembly operations, and thus our emphasis in this issue on meter/mix/dispense equipment in our features and the Application and End User Spotlight. We will also be exhibiting at ATExpo2, Booth #34024, and look forward to meeting many of you there.

Automatic dispensing is one of the primary equipment categories that U.S. manufacturers plan to invest in for assembly operations, according to the report, with 31 percent of the companies surveyed planning to spend an estimated $102 million in this area.

The hottest spending area for assembly equipment is multistation assembly systems, where 32 percent of all assembly operations say they plan to spend a total of $663 million. End-user demands for semiautomatic, single-station systems will hold steady in 1999, with 42 percent of the respondents saying they planned purchases in the coming year.

Substantial untapped growth opportunities exist for the robotics industry, especially in aerospace, appliances, automotive and electronics.

Following are some of the other key results of the report:

  • Spending for assembly products per U.S. plant is estimated to be $125,272;

  • The Midwest continues to lead the nation with equipment spending, estimated to be $1.1 billion (43 percent of the U.S. total);

  • Manufacturers in the Northeast (Pennsylvania north to Maine) will account for 17 percent or $432 million of 1999 equipment spending;

  • Spending on assembly equipment should increase to 16 percent or $406 million for the Southeast. Manufacturers from Delaware to Florida accounted for 14 percent of all U.S. spending in 1998;

  • Expenditures for assembly products in the Pacific States are expected to increase 150 percent in 1999. Manufacturers from California, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii are expected to account for 10 percent of U.S. spending in 1999.

The report indicates that spending is being driven by OEM needs to increase productivity, improve product quality, reduce product lead time to market, launch new products and increase production capacity.

To receive a complimentary copy of the study, An Overview of the United States Product Assembly Market – A Comprehensive Look at this $10.9 Billion Marketplace, published by Reed Exhibition Companies (quantities are limited), please send your e-mail request to jmcgeachy@reedexpo.com. To request by phone, call 203-840-5934.