Posted: Dec 15, 2020
It feels as though we blinked and here we are wrapping up a very historic and unpredictable year. While 2020 has brought many changes – working from home, quarantining, and finding new ways to communicate with customers, team members, family, and friends – the metal fabrication industry has held strong. In fact, there is a lot to look forward to as we enter 2021, including exciting industry trends to look out for.
2021 will mark the start of a decade that will require organizations to both act on relevant trends and proactively manage uncertainty. Although this year has been one for the books, there is good reason to be optimistic as we enter 2021.
So, what metal fabrication trends will dominate the upcoming year? Check out our predictions below.
Some companies are skeptical of automation as they fear that it takes away from job opportunities. Others are worried about the financial aspect of incorporating automation processes into their rhythm. However, many of the advantages of automation far outweigh the disadvantages. Higher output and increased productivity have been two of the biggest reasons in justifying the use of automation.
Automation includes a variety of other benefits as well, including higher production rates and increased productivity, more efficient use of materials, better product quality, improved safety, shorter time spent on labor, and reduced factory lead times. While there are some hesitations out there, automation can bring substantial opportunities for the future of the metal fabrication and stamping industries if used strategically and effectively.
3D printing is becoming increasingly popular in the world of metal fabrication and we do not see that changing anytime soon. 3D printing technology has made many improvements, all of which have contributed to enhanced opportunities for customization and efficiency. According to Harvard Business Review, 3D printing is at a tipping point and about to go mainstream in a big way. As 3D printing technology continues to evolve, we are likely to see an expansion of printable materials as well.
This may seem obvious, but securing your systems is crucial in the metal fabrication industry. In fact, no matter which industry an organization operates in, it is important to know that they are at risk of being hacked. Machines are capable of being hacked as well, so it is important to prepare ahead of time and implement the necessary software to protect against potential cyber threats.
According to IBM X-Force 2018 Threat Intelligence Index, the manufacturing sector is one of the more commonly hacked industries. So, many manufacturers are increasing their investments in cybersecurity technology.
Reshoring is the practice of transferring a business operation that was moved overseas back to the country from which it was originally relocated. As foreign wages rise, many American companies are exploring the idea of reshoring. According to EVS Metal, these organizations’ decisions also have to do with market volatility and the rising costs of overseas freight transportation by both air and water.
Ultimately, reshoring is a step in the right direction for the metal fabrication industry as the transition will lead to new opportunities in a variety of sectors for metal fabricators.
Robotics is always a fun topic to discuss and it tends to capture the interest of many metal fabricators. As time goes on, we are likely to see an increase in the use of collaborative robots, also known as “cobots.” According to Robotic Industries Association, cobots are providing manufacturers with safe, versatile, easy-to-use automation that supports human laborers.
The great thing about cobots is that they do not necessarily take away from human jobs; they simply assist with some of the more mundane work that is still important to accomplish in the fabrication space. Cobots can make work easier, which helps internal teams to meet manufacturing demands more efficiently, while increasing employee satisfaction.
While 2020 has been an unpredictable year, Dayton Rogers is confident that 2021 will provide new hope, new technology, and new innovation that will continue to push the metal fabrication industry forward. We are grateful for our long-standing and new customers who continue to pave the way with us toward the future of the industry.
About Dayton Rogers
For nearly a century, Dayton Rogers has defined engineering and manufacturing in the metal-forming industry. We not only raised the bar, we created it. At Dayton Rogers, no project is too complex. In fact, we do 3D prototyping to production.
As pioneers in precision metal forming, Dayton Rogers introduced its vision of excellence in 1929 with a simple commitment – to create solutions that are integral to your success. From metal stamping to welding and sheet metal fabrication, our brilliantly engineered solutions are innovative and reliable.