The Secret To Increasing Fabrication Output With Fewer Welders Is Revealed
This case study discusses a 4000 tonne per annum fabricating business’s decision to install a structural steel robot-welding beam assembly machine.
The fabricator’s brief was to increase tonne/m2 to win work in the current market. The owner’s initial thought was to move into larger premises and increase his workforce. However, a gap analysis identified the fabricator’s current assets were not competitive in capacity, profitability or reliability when compared to their natural competitor’s operations. To maximise profits and become competitive, the owner needed to reduce man hours per tonne.
How was value going to be realised from an investment in a structural steel robot-welding beam assembly machine?
Whilst the industry had shifted to importing fabricated steel from low cost countries, the gap analysis identified that there were business opportunities for projects where offshore fabricators could not meet short term delivery schedules.
By improving automation, the fabricator was able to reduce staff overtime requirements and significantly improve their reputation for reliably delivering projects on time, thus also avoiding delayed delivery penalties from their clients.
Investment in a structural steel robot-welding beam assembly machine can be a more effective solution than a factory expansion to increase tonnage in the workshop!
Over the years, the fabricator had experienced cycles of reduced market activity. The business had needed to reduce skilled labour to survive and had been affected by the expenses associated with recruiting, retaining and maintaining a skilled workforce.
Investment in the robot welding beam assembly machine reduced the skilled labor required by the business to meet its production and delivery requirements and therefore produced an auditable ROI. When work was available or faster deliveries were required, the fabricator was able to process larger tonnage per week by increasing the number of shifts the robot cell worked.
The fabricator used the estimating functions in the programming software to achieve fabrication times 60-85% faster than manual welding. The fully automated welding robot safely fabricates fittings to beams at high speed and high quality, allowing the positioning robot to precisely select the exact fitting location with zero down time and crane handling. This feature enabled the fabricator to secure contracts with short term delivery schedules over offshore competitors.
If all of our assets and our people have the versatility to do not only what we need today but in our future, how much more confident would we be with what that future looks like?
Partnering with a machine tool supplier who has knowledge and expertise to match your business’s performance outcome requirements to a machine tool specification will assist you to bid for and win work. Specialist Machinery Sales Australia’s clients have reported value in engaging us to participate in the design process and create a specification that maximises ROI. Our clients are able to forecast a more competitive, efficient and productive product offering and are also able to diversify into alternative revenue streams.
Contact us to discuss options to enable your fabrication business to win more and do more.
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