For 2018, there are several trends that are developing in the metal fabrication and machine shop manufacturing industry. In order to remain competitive and have a successful operation, it is worth your time to review the following trends and determine which of these could have an impact on your business, earnings, and revenues.
- “Smart” Metalworking Machinery
The Internet of Things (IoT) is not limited to consumer goods and households. Metalworking machinery is starting to feature “smart” technology enhancements to improve production processes. This trend is going to continue as IoT technologies continue to advance and machine learning improves.
For instance, a “smart” band saw would be able to save your most frequently used cuts. When you needed to perform one of these, instead of having to set up the machine, you would simply choose it from the list, and the machine would automatically adjust to those settings.
- Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
VR and AR technologies continue to move ahead. These technologies allow you to develop and create finished goods in a virtual setting. You can set parameters to see how various factors could affect output, such as changes in humidity or temperature levels inside the facility.
You can also experiment with post-production features, like durability, to pre-determine the quality of your finished goods before they are even produced. In addition, these technologies can help reduce errors, improve quality, lower production costs, and increase productivity.
- Robotic Automation
The use of automation and robotics is nothing new in manufacturing. As technologies have advanced, so, too, have the types of tasks robots can perform. Robots can take the place of a human worker to complete hazardous and dangerous processes, while a human worker safely oversees the production process. The use of robotic automation will also help increase productivity and shorten job run times, improving the overall efficiency of the business.
- 3D Metal Printing (Additive Manufacturing)
Traditional machine shops and metal fabricators used to take raw metals and transform them into new products by shaping, bending, cutting, welding, and performing other such processes. 2018 will see 3D metal printing to continue to grow within the industry. These machines produce finished goods by slowly adding layer after layer of metal during the printing process.
The benefit of additive manufacturing is that the technology allows for complex and complicated pieces to be produced. At the same, overall waste is reduced because only the materials required to create the finished product are used.
- New Regional Market Opportunities
Metal fabricators and machine shops will start to notice newer regional market opportunities. As production costs decrease and output increases, there is no need for businesses to source finished goods from overseas. Rather, they will be looking locally and regionally for suppliers.
These trends could benefit your business this year and into the future, as long as you start implementing now. To learn more about the latest metalworking machinery and equipment for your business, please feel free to contact Quantum Machinery Group at (909) 476-8007 today!