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This Thomas Index Report is sponsored by Metal Tech, a leading provider of custom precision metal stamping and machining services.

Hello. In this week’s Thomas Index Report, we’re going to take a look at sourcing activity for CNC Machining by users of the Thomasnet.com platform. Our data shows that over the past 12 weeks, sourcing activity for this category is up 28% over its historical average. It’s also up 38% year over year.



Computer Numerical Control, or CNC machining, is a subtractive manufacturing process that uses computerized controls and machine tools to create parts by precisely cutting and shaping metals, plastics, wood, and other materials. Since the very first basic CNC technology was introduced in the sixties, it has grown to become one of the most widely-used machining processes throughout the modern manufacturing industry.

Today’s advanced five-axis CNC machines can create incredibly complex parts, and what they are capable of doing only promises to grow as Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things reshape the smart, interconnected factory floors of tomorrow. With more and more manufacturers upgrading their facilities to embrace Industry 4.0, and with economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector growing for 35 consecutive months, it’s no surprise that our data is showing this steady and upward trend in sourcing activity for this core manufacturing process.

While our data shows the increase in sourcing activity for CNC Machining as a service, it also shows an increase in sourcing for CNC equipment. In fact, sourcing activity is up 39% or more year over year in the categories of CNC Machines, Used CNC Machines, and CNC Routers. This is a clear indication that manufacturers and machine shops are sourcing new equipment to add capacity, to grab a larger share of the growing demand for CNC machining services.

Moving on, here’s a look at the top 10 industrial product and service categories being sourced on the Thomasnet.com platform over the past 4 weeks. 

CNC Non-metal Machining Parts

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