Machinery manufacturers can take to heart the general optimism of those in the secondary woodworking markets.
The Woodworking Machinery Industry Assn. (WMIA) and the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America (WMMA) represent manufacturers and importers of panel processing and solid wood machinery, as well as related tooling and accessories.
“The information that the WMIA office has gathered from its members is that there has been a slight business improvement over the last [few] months or so, both in terms of inquiries about new machinery, as well as actual orders,” said Riccardo Azzoni, WMIA executive vice president. “This could be partly attributed to the usual year-end tax related activity, but it seems to go a bit further as some customer’s business has picked up and retooling has become a necessity.”
He also noted a stronger demand currently for panel processing equipment over solid wood machinery. Meanwhile, a glut of used equipment in the market will continue to affect new machinery sales. “The key for an overall improvement is obviously tied to the availability of loans and the housing market, which lately has shown some signs of improvement,” he added.
Other issues impacting the wood machinery and tooling industry include combustible dust and boiler MACT regulations, along with extension of the depreciation bonus. The Manufacturing Reinvestment Account Act, which would allow manufacturers to save pre-tax dollars to invest in plant, equipment, job training or workforce development, has also been a top issue for associations, according to the WMMA.
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