In a custom metal fabrication shop, parts generally flow from the first step of cutting to bending to assembly or welding and to powder coating. In each of these operations, automation has a very huge role to play.
Let’s take the example of powder coating in which a robot is tasked to spray the metal part with a powder coat. As that robot wields a gun, there is a vision system that gives it a picture of the workpiece hanging in front of it. Then with the aid of the AI technology, the robot then learns how to perform the job for full coverage. This is just one part of what the future of custom metal fabrication in Toronto would be like.
Another potential area that most engineers believe to be possible later on is the case of shifting to the “service” business model. This means fabricators and manufacturers are paying for the service that the machine provides instead of paying for the machine. In other words, the parts the machine produces will be paid. Thus, the better parts are produced by the machine, the more money the fabricator receives and the same goes for the OEM that sells the products.
Of course, this is in terms of theory only and we don’t know exactly how it will work in reality and remember that the devil is in the details. But yet, with proper coordination and collaboration among interested parties, this would be very possible. With reliable data-sharing between the custom metal fabrication shop and the OEM, this future seems bright for the metal industry.
Each process can be improved with better use and generation of shared information. It may involve training human workers at some point as well as the application of certain software algorithms that can automate most, if not all, processes, including quoting and order processing. This can definitely make the machines more adaptable and improve throughout every custom metal fab shop dreams to achieve.