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Healthy Outlook For Conveyor Industry

After the well-documented difficulties of recent years, the conveyor industry is back and better than ever.

The Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association (CEMA), 110 member companies strong, represents manufacturers and designers of conveying equipment and components for both unit and bulk handling conveyors. As an association, two of the values we promote to members are industry statistics and networking with leaders within the conveyor industry.

Industry Statistics
CEMA tracks new orders and shipped sales volume in seven classes of unit handling equipment and five classes of bulk handling equipment. This year, for the first time in CEMA’s 78-year history, the association’s statistics committee offered a forecast for industry sales volumes in addition to the customary historical data.

For many of CEMA’s members, MHEDA members are the manufacturer’s eyes, ears, hands and feet. We thank you for your efforts and integral role you play in the material handling industry.

At CEMA’s September 2011 meeting, we forecasted an 18% increase in shipments for 2011 over 2010. CEMA projects that industry shipments in North America are at an all time high, exceeding $8 billion for 2011. So after the well-documented difficulties of 2008 and 2009—and contrary to what I see as “cautious pessimism” that surrounds us presently—the conveyor industry is back and better than ever.

Heading into 2012, my message is very positive: The conveyor industry is strong and healthy. That is encouraging for both CEMA and MHEDA. Our next forecast will be released at our Annual Meeting in March 2012, and we can all hope for the positive trends to continue.Aside from the macrodynamics of the economy, at the micro level, our members’ success is due in large part to the professionalism and diligence of material handling distributors. For many of CEMA’s members, MHEDA members are the manufacturer’s eyes, ears, hands and feet. We thank you for your efforts and integral role you play in the material handling industry.

Networking
On a personal level, I must thank MHEDA for the assistance it has offered CEMA and me. Last May, I attended MHEDA’s Convention as a guest. I sought to benchmark a MHEDA meeting for value, content, tone. I was thoroughly impressed with the professional, educational and fun convention that MHEDA provides. I appreciated the welcome I was offered. I learned a great deal and thoroughly enjoyed the company and surroundings.

I offer my personal thanks to Liz Richards, who accepted my invitation to present the MHEDA Strategic Planning Process to the CEMA board. Liz shared MHEDA’s process as well as her insights as to the value and the continuous improvement that goes into MHEDA’s planning. It is my sincere hope that our association, as well as our respective member companies, will continue to collaborate, learn from each other, grow and prosper.

Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association
George Huber III CEMA President George Huber III is president of Industrial Kinetics in Downers Grove, Illinois. CEMA is located in Naples, Florida, and on the web at www.cemanet.org.