The manufacturing market is very competitive, and the metal fabrication industry is no exception. Knowing industry trends and challenges is the key to remaining stable or taking a leap ahead, not only for the fabrication companies but also for the industries utilizing their services. Here are some metal fabrication trends to look out for.
1. Research and Development
Technological breakthroughs have always taken an integral part in the growth of the metal fabrication industry. Innovations in tools, equipment, machinery, CNC, and automation will continue to make big impact in the industry.
Constant research and development efforts lead to continuous innovation and creation of newer technologies. This opens up doors to bigger opportunities, capabilities, and markets.
Automation brought drastic changes in many industries, including metal fabrication. It helped shorten overall operations and production by simplifying several manufacturing processes, increasing productivity and efficiency.
When it comes to metal fabrication, many companies use automation in cutting, bending, welding and other operations. Automation is proven to be helpful for repetitive tasks and projects.
Utilization of robots and automation in all operations is still not practiced in the industry. Custom fabrication still needs human flexibility, creativity and decision making skills for projects that are mostly based on given specifications.
3. Reshoring and Labor Supply
With the rising costs of outsourcing materials and services, many industries are going local. The continuous effort to improve technology, production and automation all contribute to the growing trend of reshoring.
This reverse trend brings more opportunities to the American metal fabrication industry, providing a bright outlook for growth and development. One concern though is that the rapid growth of the industry calls for more skilled workers.
The average age of welders and fabricators these days is 54. In ten years most of the labor workforce will be retiring, leaving behind a relatively large skills gap. Continuous effort in research and development will most likely offset this concern in the future.
Overall, the metal fabrication industry expects a bright outlook if not for the tariffs on aluminum and steel imports imposed by Donald Trump. With the advancing strong demand, the market can find a way to adjust to the new pricing realties caused by the tariffs.
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