Metal Powder Industry Growing
The powder metallurgy (PM) industry in North America has turned the corner, according to David L. Schaefer, president of the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) and vice president of business development at Cloyes Gear & Products Inc. Iron powder shipments in North America increased 12.4% in 2002, and the PM parts sector of the market grew 13% last year. Shipments of copper and copper-based powders increased 9.2% in 2002, and the PM parts sector of this increased 7.1%. In contrast, powder shipments in Europe declined in 2002 while Japan, Taiwan and China enjoyed an increase. North American iron shipments through April of this year increased 8.6%, and copper powder shipments increased 3.2% through April. According to Schaefer, PM executives are cautious about the balance of 2003, stating that overall business levels could be up 3.5% at best, or remain even with last year if the national economy continues at its current pace.