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Head of Sales Tony Palmer explains how refurbished automation technology can help IGU manufacturers revolutionise how they operate for less.
In ours and many other industries, it’s very clear that the future is automation.
The UK faces a severe skills shortage, and has done for years. The workforce is aging, with more than 30% over 50, and more than 10% over 60.
Despite repeated warnings of a looming skills crisis, recruitment has been sluggish, and government support has been patchy and ineffective.
All of which meant that, when Brexit was thrown into the mix, the impacts were severe.
By now, we’re all very familiar with the statistics – millions of EU workers, who’d formed a crucial part of Britain’s construction and manufacturing workforce for over a decade, have left the country.
That this came during the greatest public health crisis in a generation, bringing a huge range of other disruptions, has hardly been ideal.
The result has been difficulty hiring workers, difficulty keeping them, and increasing wage inflation.
Robots on the rise
In one sense, the solution to all of this is simple – automation.
Businesses and industries around the world are increasingly embracing it. According to the World Economic Forum, in 2020 67% of work was done by humans, 33% by machines.
By 2025, they expect this to have shifted – with 53% done by humans, and 47% done by machines.
The global market for automation technology is expected to grow by billions of dollars over the course of the decade.
That’s no surprise, because the benefits of automation are substantial. Automated tech allows manufacturers to operate more quickly and efficiently, without the need for breaks, and to a consistently higher standard.
IGU manufacturers are no exception. For decades, most applied spacers manually. But, when fully automated lines able to apply continuously with flexible spacer became available, these gave early adopters a massive leap forward both in terms of quality and productivity.
For example, switching to a fully automated Super Spacer® application line can yield savings of tens of thousands of pounds each year, and increase a manufacturer’s output by 18%, while requiring less than half the number of operators.
Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen more companies than ever switch to automation, and expect to see this increase further throughout the 2020s.
However, there’s one thing that may be holding some companies back from making the decision to embrace it – the cost.
Improving performance for less
There’s no question that acquiring a fully automated spacer application line is a serious investment.
We estimate that a new fully automated Super Spacer application line becomes cost-effective when manufacturers are making over 2,500-3,000 frames per week.
But there are many companies making less frames who could nevertheless benefit hugely from automation.
So what’s the solution? Refurbished equipment.
When companies who’ve already invested in automation decide to upgrade their equipment, their existing machinery can be refurbished, tested to ensure it continues to operate to an excellent standard, then sold on to companies – at a significantly lower cost.
Refurbished equipment offers IGU manufacturers the chance to enjoy all the benefits of automation for less.
For manufacturers making over 2,000 frames a week, taking the refurbished route is an extremely viable way of supercharging their production capacity, and making units more quickly and efficiently than ever before.
Check out this article in Total Fabricator magazine here.
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