Supply and demand side of engineering
With margins at record levels in many industries that make equipment and tools, plant engineers may find negotiating for a better deal a bit easier these days.
With margins at record levels in many industries that make equipment and tools, plant engineers may find negotiating for a better deal a bit easier these days. Of 19 tools and equipment industries tracked by Plant Engineering , 13 sport record-high to near-record-high margins.
Some simple statistics will make the cost/price picture clear. In the hand and edge tools industry, between March 1998 and March 1999, the average product price rose 1.1%. Meanwhile, the average direct costs to produce hand tools fell 2.3% over the same time, thanks to sharp cost declines in carbon steel and alloy steel. In the handsaws and saw blades industry, average product prices actually fell 0.2%. But manufacturing costs, again due to metals price deflation, dropped 4.1%. In these diverging price/cost trends, factory managers will find their case for price concessions.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey