I recently read an article on MSN about the “Factory Boom” currently underway (read it here). The author talks about the application of automation to a production facility as one avenue to dramitically increase profitibility. His example is a company that had the vision, in the middle of a recession, to spend $700k on robots last July as part of a sustained effort towards automating the manufacture of their product. According to the article, the company increased their sales from $800k in 1998 to $3.9M last year, while their workforce only increased from 18 to 25 over the same time period.
While factory automation is one avenue to a step-increase in productivity and quality (and one which EWI supports fully), another road many are travelling is finding ways to innovate their product through other technologies. EWI receives calls literally every day from companies all over the world asking about new methods to manufacture their components to save money or improve reliability or decrease scrap.
One frequent example is companies that use arc welding processes (GMAW, GTAW) and are being eaten alive by the production costs. Costs of welding consumables keep going up, as do skilled labor costs (that is, of course, if you can FIND skilled welders). We frequently get asked to review arc welded components and discuss ways we can transition those parts to other lower-cost processes, resistance projection welding (RPW) for example.
I’m thankful to say that, as we appear to be emerging from this down econcomy, we are getting more and more calls from folks just like you who are looking to make their process / product better. If you’d like to do the same, feel free to give me a call or email!