Protomatic Shares Valuable Insights from IMTS

Protomatic has gained valuable insights concerning the direction of the manufacturing market at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS).

The observations confirmed many of the company’s future plans.

The following areas will be the focused on by Protomatic.

An improved business climate

Manufacturing businesses in the US are improving.

Protomatic vice-president Doug Wetzel said: "It was encouraging and invigorating to see IMTS ‘Show Euphoria’ after such a long drought of economic malaise."

Reshoring was a popular topic as many parts are returning to the US for manufacturing.

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) discovered extra manufacturing costs are being incurred due to difficult communications, miscommunication, special fees, import duties, slow responses to product demands and higher transportation costs.

The economic value in purchasing locally is creating healthier local economies.

Shortage of trained labour

There is a trained labour shortage in the US and on the international manufacturing market. In the US, this may be due to demography. In China, the one child policy has created labour shortages of talented employees.

Discussion at the show confirmed there is a focus on developing automation to reduce reliance on talented workers, who are not always available. This implies using smart systems and software tools to simplify complex problems.

Protomatic provides a positive work environment for employee retention, including ongoing training and state-of-the-art tools for employees so they are able to solve complex manufacturing problems.

Equipment is ageing

The ageing of manufacturing equipment in the US was a major topic at the show, as people were actively looking for new equipment and tools.

The performance of raw machines drops 10%-20% for a ten-year-old machine, compared to a modern CNC machine, which can drop 20%-30% for a 20-year-old one.

These figures do not include loss due to reliability or increasing costs to find repair parts for ageing computer equipment.

Protomatic monitors the productivity and lifespan of its machines. By being consistent with equipment purchases, the company is currently running at an average equipment life of 8.4 years, which is close to the industry’s suggested target average of seven years.

This allows the equipment to hit a 16-year age limit. When older equipment is averaged with newer equipment, the average is eight years.

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