CEMA: The conveyor industry is growing again
The conveyor industry is back on the mend, with members of the Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association (CEMA, http://www.cemanet.org), expecting a return to growth in 2010.
“We're expecting CEMA members to report sales that are flat to up 2% for the year,” according to Dan Fannin, vice president of marketing for Emerson Power Transmission. Fannin expects the market to reach $6.2 billion this year, up from $6.06 billion in 2009. Sales will still be more than $1 billion below the $7.8 billion association members racked up in 2007.
Still, up is up, and that's great news for the conveyor industry, which has fared the recession better than the overall materials handling industry.
Fannin delivered his report in Scottsdale, Ariz., where I've traveled to attend CEMA's annual meeting. The most important take away I've gotten is that things seem to be getting better. Don't get me wrong;. No one told me business is great. Fannin, for instance, said he was trying to be conservative in his assessment and added that getting that 2% growth will depend on whether the anticipated orders come in with enough time for conveyor manufacturers to ramp up production and ship before the year is out.
But I heard from a number of companies that end users are once again sending out requests for proposals and asking for quotes. “It all starts with proposals,” one manufacturer told me, “and we're seeing them again.”
This is the second year in a row I've been to CEMA, and I've really enjoyed spending time with this group. I have two other blogs from the event, including a report on a panel discussion that included the guys in charge of buying materials handling systems for Miller Coors and UPS and a look at what conveyor users want. Look for them at http://www.mmh.com/blog/cemapanel and www.mmh.com/blog/conveyorusers.