Recent reports indicate the US metals industry is rebounding as part of an overall manufacturing lift. According to a Modern Metals article citing statistics from the latest GE Capital survey of middle market manufacturing company CFOs, “85% of respondents expect the economy to grow or be stable in the next 12 months, and 88% expect their industry to grow or be stable during the same time period.” Regarding the metals sector, one source remarked “it is clear to steel companies that business activity has returned to the robust period similar to 2007 and 2008.”
Additional research reveals that, while good news for metal fabricators and their sawing operations, this economic upturn brings with it rising expectations – particularly cutting more materials at higher yields and at a faster rate.
This means fabricators face increasing operating challenges, including (1) process and workflow bottlenecks; (2) resource allocation and efficiency; (3) training and maintaining talent; (4) customer delivery and (5) managing costs.
The following explores each of these top five hurdles in greater depth, while demonstrating how one fabricator approached these challenges to meet growing demand and to remain competitive.