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Packaging machinery leads automation growth

Automation products for the North American packaging machinery sector generated sales of nearly $0.75 billion dollars in 2002, with motion and motor control products accounting for the largest percentage of these sales. Linear actuation equipment and vision products contributed significant percentages, as well, according to a recent report from IMS Research, Austin, TX.

The study notes that the packaging machinery market is a highly robust market for automation equipment manufacturers. While the value of many machinery sectors in the U.S. contracted more than 10 percent during the period 2000 to 2002, packaging machinery sales held stable (see sidebar). Furthermore, during market recoveries, packaging machinery shipments tend to outperform other machinery segments. According to IMS senior analyst Adrian Lloyd, "The packaging machinery sector's large dependence on the food and beverage industry makes it especially robust in downturns. For manufacturers of automation equipment, this represents an ideal market to target during periods of difficulty, as it is typically less exposed to the levels of contraction other industries experience. In addition, recent improvements in demand provide strong evidence towards a general improvement in the state of the industrial automation sector as a whole."

The IMS research indicates that growth in the industry is likely to be fairly consistent over the next five years, with a compound average annual growth rate for all products of 4.5 percent through 2007.

Worldwide outlook
The global general motion control market decreased significantly during 2001 and 2002 due to the low level of capital investments across most industries. But now, a more upbeat view of the market's future is emerging with a noteworthy increase in orders during 2003, according to a new study from ARC Advisory Group. That study pegs worldwide compound average growth rate (CAGR) at 6.3 percent over the next five years. The food and beverage industry, which was one of the stars during the bleak years, is expected to continue its stride as investments in consumer goods manufacturing remains bright.

More information is available:

IMS Research:

ARC Advisory Group:

At a glance: The packaging machinery market
• The value of packaging machinery shipments in the U.S. edged ahead a mere 0.06 percent in 2002 but is expected to pick up through the end of 2005.
• Conveying, feeding, orienting and placing machinery leads the packaging equipment market with 21.3 percent of its total. Second is coding, dating, printing and marking machinery at 9.5 percent, followed by palletizing/ depalletizing and unitizing equipment at 7.8 percent.

• The food market represents 39.3 percent of total packaging machinery shipments; beverages 20.9 percent; and pharmaceuticals 9.6 percent.

• U.S. packaging machinery shipments are forecast to reach $5.385 billion in 2005, up from $5.141 billion this year.

Source: PMMI
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