Business Indicators Set a Positive Tone for Manufacturing
The metalworking industry responds accordingly and expands offerings to meet demands.
Posted: February 22, 2022
The year is off to a great start and metal fabrication equipment suppliers and job shops are making the most of the opportunities. New orders, production and employment in the manufacturing sector are expanding, according to the January Manufacturing PMI released by the Institute for Supply Management. The PMI came in at 57.6 percent, which was a decrease from December’s 58.8 percent, but still registered a 20th consecutive month of growth.
One company is doing its part to assist small and medium-sized job shops in expanding their capabilities in order to meet their customers’ requirements. In January, Mid Atlantic Machinery, Harrisburg, Pa., announced the newest addition to its umbrella of companies: Mid Atlantic Machinery Automation, or MAMA. The new company is responsible for all automation implemented by Mid Atlantic Machinery. This includes its innovative Robotic Modular Fabricator Package, which enables Universal Robots’ collaborative robots to automate press brake operations, among other machinery.
“Fabricators are facing unprecedented challenges to meet current customer demands,” said Joshua Mayse, the former lead applications engineer for robotics who is now the vice president of MAMA. “Labor shortages, supply chain issues and other obstacles are accelerating the need for automation in the industry. MAMA is here to help small- to medium-sized shops compete globally by being able to implement affordable, versatile automation solutions.”
“Our research and development will continue to evolve and enhance future short run applications,” added Kevin Kilgallen, president of Mid Atlantic Machinery, a distributor of machine tools and fabrication equipment.
Job shops continue to benefit from these innovations and are investing in equipment that will assist in meeting their customers’ demands. TAB Industries LLC in Reading, Pa., has purchased a new Metalworking Widebelt EZ Sander finishing machine with companion dust collector to expand its range of automated equipment for deburring, grinding and slag removal. The 37-inch Arclight Dynamics sanding system offers increased speed and throughput capabilities for finishing large parts while also offering a brushed finish as an option. The new finishing machine was necessary to cut time in finishing and maintain in-house control and supervision over large part production, noted Tom Brizek, president of TAB Industries, which offers metal fabrication, CNC and traditional machining, MIG/TIG welding and other services. The purchase is the latest investment in machinery and automation by TAB Industries, which also includes two laser-cutting machines, a new press brake, and a variety of auxiliary equipment.
In LaGrange, Ohio, TrimLine recently added its second AIDA 630-ton progressive die direct drive servo press. TrimLine is an IATF 16949 approved automotive supplier and established high volume metal stamper specializing in the design and fabrication of high precision tooling. The addition of the second machine will assist in meeting customers’ demands, which includes taking advantage of the servo press’s pendulum motion capability to achieve a 25-to-30 percent spm increase over the company’s previous mechanical press production method.
The investments in the future by these two companies, and so many others in the industry, bodes well in meeting the demand that lies ahead for metal fabricators and machinists.
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