The skills gap is projected to result in 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030, making workforce development one of the most critical challenges facing the manufacturing industry.
Metalworking organizations need to fill existing openings while also preparing for an increasingly constrained workforce. To remain competitive, these companies must define and create pathways for new careers.
Automating existing processes is one way to begin reshaping a workforce.
In addition to establishing new efficiencies and lowering costs, automation creates opportunities for training or upskilling by freeing up workers to perform new roles. Adding automation to workflows also reflects a willingness to advance an organization.
Manual processes in waste stream management are prime candidates for automation. Opportunities include:
Fluid management: Centralized cutting fluid recycling systems automatically remove tramp oils and suspended solids from contaminated fluid, control bacteria, and adjust fluid concentration with little involvement from an operator. When cutting fluids are reclaimed and reused, the generation of hazardous waste fluids can be reduced by as much as 90%. In turn, this lessens hazardous waste storage and disposal management.
Material handling: Conveyors automate the transportation of metal scrap from the point of production through load-out, eliminating one of the most strenuous manual tasks in metalworking. Conveyors require little involvement from operators, and they reduce the need for forklift truck operators.
Metal scrap processing: Automated turning and chip processing systems modify stringy metal scrap to create flowable chips and separate cutting fluids from the metal scrap. By reducing overall operator activity in metal scrap management, labor resources can be distributed to other areas of the operation.
According to The Manufacturer, 80% of workers in manufacturing want to upskill.
Metalworking operations that automate existing processes can help provide workers with new opportunities. For more information about automated back-end systems that can jumpstart workforce development, please visit prab.com or contact us.