As your fabrication business grows, you may be facing problems related to labour, productivity, etc. and one of the best ways to eliminate these problems is by automation of your pipe welding operations. So, when should you automate the pipe welding process? Here are some signs that indicate that your process needs to be automated.
Trouble Finding Qualified Welders
The welding industry is going through an acute shortage of labour and it is estimated that by the year 2024, the shortage of welders will rise up to 400,000. This shortage is likely to affect several industries like shipbuilding, oil and gas, nuclear and chemical plant construction, etc. And, if your business operations are in any of the industries that are affected by labour shortage, then it may be time to automate your pipe welding process. These labour shortage issues can be solved by implementing collaborative welding robots, as they can help to increase your crew’s productivity and also enable the welders who are less skilled to handle the work of highly-skilled workers.
Losing Work to Your Competitors
Apart from the labour shortage issues, the highly expensive skilled and qualified welders have resulted in the labour costs going through the roof. Also, there has been a steep increase in the cost of pipes and other raw material. This results in you having to compete with manufacturers who have cheap materials and labour advantage and the only solution to this is to automate the pipe welding process and win projects. By employing collaborative welding robots, you can reduce around 75% of the costs per joint welded.
Unsatisfied Customers Due to Late Delivery
If you find that you’re lagging behind schedule in your deliveries, not only do you have to pay overtime to your employees and pay penalties to your clients, you also face the serious risk of losing your customers to your competitors. This is where pipe welding automation can step in and ensure that all the jobs are completed on time. Collaborative welding robots can help to relieve the bottlenecks in the pipe welding process.
Unable to Meet Demand
If your fabrication is running at full capacity, yet you’re struggling to meet the demand and plan to build a new plant. This will result in you incurring heavy expansion costs. However, you can increase the capacity of your plant in a cost-effective manner without actually increasing your fixed cost. If you foresee a heavy rise in demand, then automation is the best way by which you can be saved from incurring the extra risk.
Welding robots can help to increase productivity by around four times and also increase the efficiency of the welder without altering the flow in production. This will enable you to scale up your operations very easily. Also, having an operation that is scalable can help you bid for larger projects without actually increasing your fixed costs.
To achieve high-quality welds, typically welders must make instant decisions about the angle of the torch, oscillation, travel speed, weave amplitude, etc. and often there may be errors. Also, producing high-quality welds consistently is quite difficult. And, it is usually seen that in an 8-hour shift, as the workers become tired, the quality and consistency of the weld decreases. So, if your fabrication business is struggling with creating welds of consistent quality, then the answer to this is automation. Welding robots can control the weld parameters and produce high-quality welds consistently.
Automation of the welding process and making use of robots can help to bring efficiency in the production system, which will result in cost-efficiencies and increased productivity in the long run.