As we move into the new year in manufacturing, we have our eyes on the goals of manufacturers and the trends in manufacturing we see in the region. Moving into 2023, we are watching our local manufacturers look for solutions to do more with less, attract the right workforce and streamline processes to increase efficiency and productivity.
As their partner, Reynolds is helping manufacturers navigate some of their 2023 goals, matching their needs to solutions that eliminate obstacles and increase efficiency.
Here are five trends in manufacturing we are seeing for 2023 and how we are helping to solve the issues manufacturers face heading into the new year.
1. Manufacturers are focusing and specializing.
Manufacturers are pivoting from generalists to streamlining into one focus area. As we watch manufacturers compete for customers and enhance their operations, we are seeing a lot of manufacturers switch from a “Sure, we can do that” mentality to a “We can, but should we?” response.
“Manufacturers are becoming more self aware,” said Scott Mays, president of Reynolds Machinery. “And as a result of that, they are really focusing in on what they are good at, what is profitable and how they can compete in the marketplace.”
Mays said as manufacturers specialize, they are looking for machines that help them laser focus in on those things they are good at and improve the processes from there.
2. Manufacturers are looking to get more out of everything.
With the addition of things like live tools, Y-axes and sub spindles now available as features on the machines, manufacturers are now seeing the incorporation of non-round parts, more processes and more automation on turning centers as well, making them a smart addition to most shops.
As one example, manufacturers can take parts that would have traditionally been milled on a machining center and do most of or all of that on the turning center, bringing the traditional turning center more toward a done-in-one type of machine.
In another example, we are seeing things like Kitamura’s expandable two pallet and multi-pallet machines increase in popularity because of their ability to be expanded in the field, something unique to Kitamura.
“Having the ability to expand on site, allows manufacturers to add on and adapt what they have without having to reimagine the whole shop,” Mays said.
3. Manufacturers are introducing automation.
Automation doesn’t always mean introducing robots onto the machine shop floor, and across the board we are seeing manufacturers looking into automating processes, programming efficiencies and looking for ways to make time-consuming, and potentially error-inducing processes automated to increase efficiency and smooth out productivity.
Mays said even low-volume, high-mix manufacturers are introducing automation in affordable ways. Manufacturers can get into automation for under $100,000, he said, and we see that information surprising a lot of companies who then decide it is worth the investment.
Mays said companies like Hurco have added even more software options to the control, but also that more and more manufacturers are turning to software solutions like Fusion into their machine packages. This option removes cost barriers and provides accessible training solutions as many resources are available via YouTube to train staff and get up to speed on programming solutions that can really revolutionize processes for manufacturers, Mays said.
Late last year, Reynolds announced its partnership with Halter CNC Robotics and introduced the addition of the Halter robot to the showroom floor at the West Carrollton Technology Center.
The Halter robotic system helps increase the efficiency of machine operators. Halter LoadAssistants give manufacturers flexibility to quickly respond to their customer’s needs, enabling production departments to profitably run small and medium-sized batches with quick set up times.
Automation has long been a hot topic for manufacturers, but the shift in 2023, is that we are seeing manufacturers really embrace the accessibility of integrating automation into their shops.