On the strength of the past 18 months’ global manufacturing revival, the North American forging business is prosperous and forgers are mainly confident of continued success. But that does not make the forging business secure. Forging is strong but forging has problems, and forgers know it.
The 2019 FORGING Business Outlook Survey seeks to identify what makes forgers prosper and what challenges they face. Each year, during October, FORGING approaches readers by email to collect and evaluate their insights about the current year’s business conditions, and their expectations about the conditions emerging in the year ahead.
We want to develop a forecast that is specific to North America’s forging operations, and we aim to identify the problems that our respondents and their businesses have faced in the past year. We hope to learn forgers’ opinions about the economy, their markets, and their business prospects.
Beyond all this, we want to learn what plans forgers are making for the coming business cycle, and to understand better how their expectations for the year ahead are shaping their decisions for capital investments or expansions.
But, first we want to know who the survey respondents are, so that their responses may be understood in light of the operations and materials that inform their forging-industry experience and perspective.
The survey respondents are industry executives, managers, and operators active in North America’s forging industry. They forge or form all major types of metal — alloy, carbon, and stainless steels; aluminum, brass and copper, and titanium. Their operations reflect the various plant sizes of the forging industry, from less than 20 workers to 250 or more.
The respondents are engaged in all the processes typically characterized as forging, including open- and closed-die forging, impact extrusion, and ring rolling.
Finally, the respondents are representative of businesses across the spectrum of forging operations, from those with less than $1 million/year in shipments to some doing shipping over $100 million worth of materials annually. And, while the survey is designed to track shipments as a measure of business performance, we also seek information that will help characterize production activity.
The full 2019 FORGING Business Outlook Survey report is available for download here.