Steve Cox, Regional Sales Manager at Press Room Equipment Co
While necessity is the mother of invention, change is the driver of innovation—and the metal stamping industry has faced substantial changes over the past 20 years, resulting in highly sophisticated solutions. Understanding current trends, where the industry is headed, and opportunities for process improvements can help companies maintain their competitive advantage.
What Has Stayed the Same and What Has Changed?
The processes used in the metal stamping industry have generally stayed the same; companies still unwind material, straighten the material, and feed that material into a press. However, these tasks have become more efficient and automated as technology has evolved. Gone are the days of manually hand-feeding presses. U.S. companies must continually enhance their operations and product output to stay competitive with manufacturers across the globe.
Labor Costs, Efficiency, & Safety
Companies are increasingly seeking ways to reduce labor costs, improve efficiency, and increase safety—and the COVID-19 pandemic has catapulted these issues to the forefront. Organizations continually struggle to hire and maintain employees, so the ability to do more with less is crucial. Our professionals have the expertise to help our customers identify their goals and develop solutions that can eliminate the double-handling of products to enhance their overall process. A common trend we’re seeing is companies integrating servo feeds, straighteners and payout reels into their production lines.
Servo feeds are accurate and versatile, and they can feed up to 1,000 strokes a minute, which highly increases efficiency. Press Room’s Un-Coiler allows a company to put a full pallet of material onto the payout device instead of having to upend each individual coil, which cuts down on material handling, time, and the chance of injury. Our payout reels can handle larger load capacities, which reduces the need for workers to change coils as frequently, thereby increasing safety and efficiency.
In addition, we have specialized equipment that can automate the transfer of parts between machines, enabling our customers to reassign workers to higher-value, lower-risk roles and adhere to social distancing requirements.
Return on Investment
Manufacturers no longer have the luxury of planning 10 to 20 years out. Increased market accessibility has led to competition around the world, resulting in shorter contracts with customers. While return on investment isn’t a new consideration, manufacturers are facing shorter time frames for ROI, so when they make an investment, it has to pay out quickly. We help many customers determine how much money they have to spend and how quickly they can recover it, as well as offer suggestions on how to increase their ROI.
The metal stamping industry has seen a whirlwind of technological advancements over the last decade, and we strive to help customers keep up with the rapid pace of change. A growing trend for manufacturers is to integrate programmed control functions that can communicate with their existing machines.
Press Room can develop controls that perform specific machine functions as well as communicate or interface with your existing machines, eliminating the need for an operator to enter data more than one time. With our Waddington servo feeds, customers can not only track what’s going on with their servo feeds but also diagnose issues with other machines in their line with the data collected. This advanced technology can help customers improve operations and minimize the number of people required to accomplish a task. We also provide remote diagnostics. Since this can be performed with a computer and internet connection, it can save customers time, money, and headaches.
Future State of the Industry
Robotics & Automation
Companies that want to stay ahead of the curve are looking into robotics solutions. Transitioning to automated systems can help organizations manage workforce fluctuations, reduce chances of injury and worker fatigue, and achieve higher, more accurate output. For more information about our robotics and automation services, see our robotics & automation page.
Press Room has worked with diverse customers seeking various levels of support. We’ve evolved to adapt to our customers’ needs. Whether you have an in-house engineering team and just want us to develop parts or you’re seeking a full-service solution provider and integrator, we have the experience and expertise to transform your operations.
For more information, reach out to a Press Room professional at (800) 688-2645 today to see how we can help.