We read article after article stating the biggest problem for fab shops is the difficulty filling skilled-labor jobs. In May of 2017, Industry Week posted that an estimated 2.7 million jobs are likely to be needed as a result of retirements of the existing workforce, while over 700,000 jobs are likely to be created due to natural business growth. The article continues to explain there’s a perception or stigma that manufacturing is outdated, legacy work that is of little interest to the new breed of workers and the skilled-labor shortage has turned into a perfect storm threatening to impeded a manufacturer’s ability to deliver on customer demand.
Here are a few common responses that we hear regarding dedicated, traditional robotic cells:
We run small batches of parts that would take too long to program on a robot.
I don’t have enough work or I can’t afford to keep a full time robot programmer on staff.
Takes up too much floor space, too expensive, and too complicated.
Manufacturing is a competitive industry. Domestic manufacturers have been competing with overseas manufacturers for decades, which often offer lower cost labor. With competition high and approximately 96.4 percent of U.S. manufacturers qualifying as small businesses, per the U.S. Census Bureau, they are turning toward automation for leaner operations.
Automation Increases Productivity
Automation delivers higher productivity and is represented in various applications including robotics. According to Robotic Industries Association (RIA), end-to-end automation in manufacturing can double or even triple throughput. With automation, the equipment can also keep running, giving these manufacturers a competitive edge.
Cladding is a key part of corrosion protection in several vital industries. However, most cladding machines can only deposit material at a rate of two or three pounds per hour. For busy companies, this rate is simply too slow and can cause a bottleneck in production schedules. Fortunately, ARC Specialties has introduced four new cladding system models precisely engineered for high speed cladding. All four of these models deposit material at a speedy eight pounds per hour, representing a giant leap beyond older, slower systems.
With traditional systems, the low pound per hour deposition rate is either the result of old equipment design, or the welding procedure itself. The new ARC-5i, ARC-5PL, ARC-5XP, and ARC-5HVT cladding systems solve both of these problems with a cutting edge design that delivers Inconel® welding deposition rates up to eight pounds per hour. Inconel® 625 is the alloy of choice, it is a nickel alloy containing chromium and molybedenum that is highly resistant to corrosion. ARC’s engineering innovations and process development give ARC customers the ability to double or even triple their output with systems specifically engineered for speed, offering higher welding speeds and pre-programmed welding procedures.