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Robot Orders Jumped 24 Percent in 2007

Friday, February 22, 2008
North American-based robotics companies saw orders to North American manufacturing companies rise 24 percent in 2007, reversing the declines of the previous year, according to a new report released by the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), Ann Arbor, MI. For the year, 15,856 robots valued at $1.07 billion were ordered by North American manufacturing companies; including sales to companies outside North America, robot orders reached 17,261 valued at $1.15 billion Most of the growth, says RIA, resulted from sales to automotive manufacturers and their suppliers. In this market segment, which accounted for 64 percent of all orders, robot sales in North America climbed 43 percent. RIA executive vice president Jeffrey A. Burnstein comments: “As automotive companies went on a buying spree in 2007, orders for spot-welding robots increased 100 percent, coating and dispensing rose 38 percent, material handling jumped 14 percent, and arc welding jumped 10 percent.” RIA is online at

Economic Stimulus Package
Delivers Huge Benefits to Manufacturers

Thursday, February 21, 2008
The Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act of 2008, recently signed into law, does more than just benefit individuals and families--it delivers huge tax relief to manufacturing companies, according to a press release issued by AMT—The Association For Manufacturing technology. First, businesses will receive a 50-percent bonus depreciation for new capital expenditures ordered and placed into service during 2008. Bonus depreciation allows businesses an extra one-year boost in how much they can deduct on capital expenditures that depreciate over time. For example, under the old law, according to AMT, a new $100,000 machine could provide a 2008 depreciation deduction of 14 percent, or $14,000. Now, first-year depreciation climbs to $57,000--half of the purchase price plus the 14-percent regular depreciation on the remaining property basis. The new law also more than doubles the amount that small businesses can write off for new or used equipment purchased during 2008, from $128,000 to $250,000. And, it significantly increases the amount that can be purchased during the year and still allow manufacturers to receive the full benefits of the Section 179 expensing option--from the previous cap of $510,000 to $800,000. Download a PDF explaining the benefits further at

Manufacturers Optimistic Despite Stumbling Economy

Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Small and mid-sized manufacturers exhibit optimism regarding the economy in 2008, and most plan significant capital improvements during the year, according to a January survey conducted by the Chicago, Il-based Prime Advantage, a manufacturers’ buying group. Nearly half of its members (46 percent) list raw materials (including stainless steel, nickel and copper alloys and plastics) as their primary concern for the year, with energy costs ranking second (17.5 percent) and costs related to logistics and supply-chain management running a close third (16.4 percent). Rounding out the list of concerns: inflation, labor, foreign competition, overhead costs and healthcare costs.
The survey also finds that more than half (66 percent) of Prime Advantage member companies plan significant capital improvements in 2008, including investments in new press brakes, turret punch presses, laser-cutting machines, robotic-welding cells and metal-stamping equipment. This finding is supported, the group says, by findings from the Business Roundtable’s CEO Economic Outlook survey for the fourth quarter of 2007, in which CEOs predicted a 35-percent increase in capital spending during the first six months of 2008.
Learn more about Prime Advantage and its more than 450 member companies and 110 endorsed suppliers, at


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