The time of year has come round again for Gear Technology magazine’s ‘State of the Gear Industry Survey 2022’. Is it just me, or does it seem to come round ever quicker?

Although the respondents are based mostly in the US, gear manufacturing is a global business and the same issues and challenges tend to be replicated to a large extent. So, those in other regions should recognise commonalities.

A link below contains the full survey, but here is a much condensed version to provide you with a snapshot.

It seems there are some residual effects from the pandemic that are still weighing heavily with a lasting effect on the workforce, supply chain and economy.

However, the overall sense is an increasing level of optimism. Typical optimism pre-pandemic was around 85%, this fell to 75% at January 2020, rose to 76.5% last year and sits at 80.8% in this survey.

Another issue which is causing most concern is the transition to electrification in the automotive industry. It’s a factor that has nearly all manufacturers expressing concerns. Although many see both opportunity and risk. The size and quantity of gears demanded by EVs compared to ICEs is an issue.

As always these days, labour shortages and the ability to develop the next generation of people with the requisite technical skills is a challenge.

However, some key note figures suggest optimism:

  • Over half expected to increase levels of employment
  • 62.7% reported that production output rose in the last 12 months
  • 66.7% expected output to raise further in the forthcoming months
  • Again, more than half reported increased capital spending

This all looks positive, but if we can put a little caveat on all this; the survey was conducted mid-January. This means that the developing issues in the Ukraine were not factored. It will certainly have some dampening impact. How much, remains to be seen.
Please find the Survey in full here.