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Spotlight on the U.S. Industrial Machinery Manufacturing Sector

Posted by IndustrySelect on Tuesday, February 20, 2024


Reach 44,000 industrial machinery & equipment manufacturers and 112,000 executive decision-makers with MNI's Industrial Machinery & Equipment Industrial Database

Key Facts and Trends on the U.S. Industrial Machinery Manufacturing Sector

Seeing industrial machinery in action has become so commonplace that Americans rarely give it a second thought. A simple commute to work uses a small industrial machine — an engine in your car, bus, or train. At home, lawnmowers keep your yard looking beautiful.

Industrial equipment manufacturing is a textured part of our past and present, and it will shape our future.

The U.S. industrial machinery sector is a vital part of the American economy, employing over 1.7 million people and generating billions of dollars in revenue each year. While facing abundant challenges, from supply chain disruption to worker shortages, the sector is still expected to grow in the coming years, driven by increasing automation, the rise of artificial intelligence, and the growing demand for clean energy technologies.

This article will provide an overview of the U.S. industrial machinery sector, including its size, importance, and challenges. We’ll also take a look at some of the latest trends in the sector, such as the increasing adoption of automation and artificial intelligence.

A Brief History of Industrial Machines

From calculators to spinning machines, the Industrial Revolution raised factory productivity. It created a vibrant middle class. It also displaced the workers who had performed manual labor before the devices were invented.

Machines powered by steam or electricity quickly showed that they could make a more uniform product than their human counterparts. More importantly, they could do so far more efficiently.

For those who could adapt to changing times, industrial machines provided the chance to show how mechanization could advance society. The first calculator was the precursor to the modern computer. The first spinning machine was the precursor to the modern sewing machine.

While a few tasks still require handwork today, the Industrial Revolution ensured that machines were here to stay.

Industrial Machinery Today

MNI offers a detailed look at the U.S. industrial machinery sector based on extensive data points they collect firsthand from the nation’s nearly 400,000 U.S. manufacturers. The following statistics offer significant insight into today's industrial machinery market, providing exclusive insights for those who do business with industrial machinery manufacturers.


There are more than 43,212 U.S.-based industrial machinery manufacturers. Currently, 1,755,205 people are based in industrial equipment manufacturing. This figure is 1.57% higher than last year’s 1,728,054.

Company Profiles

Industrial machinery manufacturers in the US report average annual sales of $1.4 trillion. This amount points to the fact that they sell much of their finished products internationally — currently 37%. That figure is striking against the manufacturing industry as a whole, which sells only 29% abroad.

On the other hand, US industrial equipment manufacturers import 12% of their raw materials. Nationally, manufacturers average 11%.

The majority of US industrial machinery manufacturing companies (40,954 out of 44,085) are privately owned. Women own 819 companies, and minorities own 318 companies. Only a handful of industrial machinery manufacturing companies (2,480) are publicly traded.

Geographical Trends

Industrial machinery companies are spread relatively evenly throughout the United States.

Midwest: 16,954 companies (38%)
South: 12,541 companies (28%)
Northeast: 7,697 companies (17%)
West: 7,658 companies (17%)

Types of Industrial Machinery

Industrial machinery is now so widespread that it would be hard to imagine a sector without machine-assisted work. An assembly line allows parts to move from one area of the factory to another. Complex co-bots assist their human counterparts. From the simple to the complex, industrial machinery is the mainstay of our economy.

• Metalworking machinery manufacturers produce everything from punches and laser cutters to drills and presses.

• From loaders and tractors to cranes and cement mixers, construction machinery manufacturers support the fundamentals of building construction and infrastructure.

• From conveyor belts that move cans and bottles to beverage dispensers and professional cleaning systems, service service machinery manufacturers play a vital role in the success of the service industry.

• Lawn and garden machinery manufacturers produce everything from tractors and mowers to lifts, shears, and chainsaws.

• The oil and gas industry is constantly evolving, given supply chain changes and geopolitical developments such as the Russia/Ukraine war. But oil and gas machinery manufacturers continue to crank out drills, seismic readers, and pipelines.

• Engine and turbine manufacturers make the world go around. This sector produces internal combustion, electricity, gas, hybrids, and hydroelectric equipment.

• Finally, while computers reshaped the printing industry, there is still a demand for the items printing equipment manufacturers provide, such as foods labeling, serializing, and engraving equipment.

Challenges in the U.S. Industrial Machinery Sector

Technology Today, advances can be hyperbolic, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is the ultimate game-changer. Industry 4.0 and other technologies have made their lasting mark on the entire manufacturing process, and companies now rely on the successful combination of humans, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI), for success.

To leverage this technology, manufacturers are looking to gain an understanding of current workflows and insight into how robotics and AI can streamline processes. Neither the robots nor the computers are designed to take away from a skilled human workforce. Its essential to know if a new piece of equipment or software is necessary. They must determine if it will improve work conditions, output, and balance — and their ability to market their final product?

Supply Chain Due to global supply chain disruptions related to COVID and conflicts overseas, U.S. industrial machinery manufacturers are looking for more suppliers closer to home.

Labor A persistent labor shortage has remained a challenge in the post-COVID years. Currently, job openings in manufacturing are at historic highs, and industrial machinery manufacturers are no less challenged by the difficulties in finding workers. Moreover, due to the rise of advanced manufacturing, companies in this vital sector are seeking workers with specific technology skills. More manufacturers in this sector are seeking help from staffing agencies and workforce development firms.

Softening Demand Following the historic spike in new orders during the pandemic, demand is beginning to wane. Manufacturers in this sector are seeking more sales and marketing help to drum up more business.

Production Challenges As labor shortages and supply chain disruptions derailed output, manufacturers are playing catch-up in fulfilling backorders and meeting deadlines for current orders. Industrial machinery manufacturers are no exception to this rule. Many are seeking help with automation tools such as ERP software, robotics and more.

As a vital and sizable part of the U.S. manufacturing sector with enormous purchasing power, U.S. industrial machinery manufacturers will be on the lookout for the products, parts and services to help them succeed. If you’re looking to reach out to direct decision makers in this powerful sector, MNI stands ready to help you in that mission. Each industrial company in IndustrySelect's live database contains up to thirty detailed facts, researched firsthand by MNI. Powerful functions let you search for companies and build & save lists of prospects, generate reports, export data, and more. IndustrySelect data also includes direct contact information for high-profile prospects. Try out a free demo or join our weekly demonstration webinar to learn more.

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