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‘No Shortage of Work’ – COVID-19 Causing Some Productivity Decline, But Factories Still Producing

MachineMetrics data indicates Automotive slips to No. 4 in machine utilization as Aerospace moves to top position. While average machine utilization drops 2.2 points, the company reports Medical Device and Aerospace Defense sectors are showing upticks.

Posted: March 31, 2020

Bill Bither is founder and CEO of MachineMetrics, a Massachusetts-based industrial data analytics firm.

Based on data from hundreds of small, medium and large manufacturers his company works with, Machine Metrics (Northampton, MA) Founder and CEO Bill Bither reports that as of March 21, average machine utilization dropped 2.2 points from the week prior. While significant, it’s a level just above productivity last fall; most factories are still producing, Bither states.

“When segmenting data by industry, Automotive – typically the best performer – has dropped to No. 4, leaving Aerospace as the top performer in machine utilization,” says Bither. “This correlates to the plant closures that have been publicized.”

Industries that are seeing a slight uptick according to Bither’s analysis, include Medical Device and Aerospace & Defense.

“Many of our customers tell me that they continue to have no shortage of work and remain in operation,” says Bither. “Given our dataset, we can conclude the automotive is currently the main driver of decreased productivity so far, but if other industries follow suit, we have a long way to drop.”

MachineMetrics customers represent a statistically significant number of machines across hundreds of U.S. manufacturers of various sizes. Machines represented in Bither’s analysis are primarily used for metalworking such as CNC mills, lathes, grinders, but also fabrication such as lasers, presses, and welders. MachineMetrics is a data analytics firm that provides an industrial IoT platform.

Click here to read Bither’s full report with supporting graphs.

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