What if your “going to work” changed overnight?
If you work in the welding and manufacturing industry, that’s exactly what happened with COVID-19. It had impacts on the metalworking industry that completely changed every facet of the business.
Wondering how this COVD-19 has changed how the metalworking industry does business? Keep reading to discover the answer!
One Day At A Time
Arguably, the biggest change in the manufacturing sector has been the difficulty of forecasting very far in the future. As a result, most of those in the metalworking industry have started taking things one day at a time. Manufacturers are implementing administrative controls like workers are working in thinner shifts and of course, 6-feet apart.
Part of that is because of the uncertain future surrounding most aspects of the business. Differences in state regulations and which businesses are qualified as “essential” has changed how easily the industry can conduct business.
Coming off the heels of a slow 2019 (a year filled with tariffs and a general reduction in consumer demand), metalworking businesses must now take a “day-to-day” approach to survive.
Overall Reduced Demand
2019 showed signs of slowing consumer demand. Thanks to COVID-19, that reduction has continued in 2020. Unemployment in the U.S. has exceeded 40 million since March due to the pandemic. This is the worst unemployment rate since the Great Depression.
That’s because of the different ways that the virus has affected consumer lifestyles. When people can’t safely travel, for example, it’s going to reduce the need for gas. With the high unemployment rate, consumers are not looking to buy cars. Consumers are concerned with their finances to cover necessities only.
And in business, for example, travel to construction projects or power plants for what was routine inspections or maintenance has been limited. Many are turning to remote monitoring and pausing projects. In that respect, some will note that the transportation industry could go into decline right next to the oil industry.
The Answer To The Problem
Some aspects of metalworking have suffered because of reliance only on flexible automation or robotics. Anyone relying on electronic components has experienced production, import, and price gouging. That’s why fixed automation, or mechanized welding, is more important than ever. This approach is cheaper than robotic welding and, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, is more efficient than ever.
In this day and age, there are still many fabrication facilities in the metalworking industry that utilize hand welding. With the current welder shortage, it is often difficult to bridge the skilled labor gap. The advantage of mechanization is that productivity can be increased with the few welders that fabricators already employ. Productivity can be increased from 10-40% with a mechanized process. Getting more product out the door is more important now than ever before!
Mechanized welding gives your business the best of everything. Productivity and quality increase significantly compared to manually hand welding, and a more economical initial investment compared to robotic welding, Bug-O machines are the answer to improve productivity, reduce material handling, and create a safer work environment for welding operators. With fewer starts and stops and proper weld size and placement, you will save on costly rework as well as reducing consumable costs caused by ‘over welding.’
Metal Manufacturing Industry: What’s The Forecast?
We have to force ourselves to find a new normal. We shouldn’t just stop. We need to be making plans and encouraging strategy and planning for the future. Fixed automation is oftentimes known to have high production rates. And while industries like power and energy, industrial construction may have slowed a bit, at Bug-O Systems we recognize that there is no shortage of needs — both in welding and cutting.
With your mechanized welding, you can set yourself apart from the competition with speed, efficiency, and versatility.
Now you know how COVID-19 has affected the metal manufacturing industry, but, do you know who can help you get your business back on track?
We specialize in the design, manufacture, and application of products for the cutting and welding industry. We service industries from power and, utilities to infrastructure and construction, and to refineries and beyond. To see what Bug-O can do for your business, contact us today!