Metalworking Machinery

Metal Fabrication and Machine Shop Manufacturing Trends for 2018


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!

Women in Metalworking Machinery Manufacturing

Women in Metalworking Machinery
Metalworking Machinery Manufacturing

When you think about metalworking machinery manufacturing, you might picture this industry as being a “males-only” industry. However, you would be sadly mistaken. While, indeed, there are more men that work in this particular industrial segment, women still make up a decent percentage of workers.

In fact, women started getting into manufacturing back during World War II (WWII) when men were being drafted for the war effort. Women started taking over many of the positions previously held by men. Globally, there was a significant increase in the number of women working in manufacturing from the period between 1940 through 1943.

Even Queen Elizabeth II did her part. She joined the UK’s armed forces and worked as a mechanic repairing military vehicles and was also a military truck driver! Here in the United States, “Rosie the Riveter” became an iconic image that promoted women’s roles in manufacturing during WWII.

Many women worked in factories building airplanes, military vehicles, and automobiles. Other women worked in machine shops as machinists producing related parts and components. While the dominance they established during WWII declined after the war, many women continued to work in manufacturing.

Today, women still make up around one-third of the workers in manufacturing. In fact, they have held steady at this rate since the 1970s, with little change. Some women have even started their own metal fabrication and machine shops!

What the Future Holds for Women

As technologies continue to advance, women will need to adapt just like their male counterparts. This means pursuing educational opportunities in computer programming, industry-specific software applications (i.e., CAD, CAM, etc.), and ongoing training to ensure they can operate advanced machinery.

The younger generation of women that is considering entering the metalworking industry needs to focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) coursework and related degree programs through trades schools and universities.

Women will be important to fill gaps being created as technologies continue to advance. Even as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and other automation continue to grow in manufacturing, the demand for skilled workers to operate the AI, robots, and machines will also continue to increase.

If the United States hopes to compete globally with other metalworking businesses, they will need to adapt by hiring more women. In fact, U.S. trade schools, universities, and businesses in metalworking manufacturing have started to take more of an interest in recruiting women and encouraging them to pursue careers in this field.

Just in two short years, schools have seen a jump in young women’s interests in going into manufacturing. In 2015, only 12% of women were actively working toward a career in manufacturing. Now, in 2017, this has grown to 29%. It is expected the rate will continue to grow over the next decade and could potentially reach as high as 50%.

Here at Quantum Machinery Group, we applaud women already working in manufacturing, and those women actively working toward a career in metalworking. For all of your metalworking machinery and equipment, please feel free to contact us at (909) 476-8007 today!