I talked with a metal fabricator this week that installed a precision punch press with a six-station tapping unit about four years ago. The turret punch has been working hard the past several years, but the company finally has gotten around to working with the tapping unit. It"s incredible how big of a difference it has made in the short amount of time the company has been using it.
They have moved away from manual insertion of weld nuts and PEM®-style inserts and are relying more on the tapping unit on the punch press. News has actually spread to its customers in the point-of-purchase industry, those folks responsible for the special shelving and displays in retail establishments, and they are demanding that more work be done with this automated process.
This is a great story in a sea of dismal news. Where would this metal fabricator be if it had not made the investment in tapping automation? The company"s director of engineering admitted things were slow at his company, but said the punch press has kept older customers coming back with new requests. Business may not be up this year, but it"s not totally gone.
In this marketplace, that"s a situation that needs to be celebrated. It"s not about growing the business and shattering revenue records; it"s about surviving and making changes that put you in a better position to beat the competition when the economy is in full upswing mode.
That"s why I encourage those shops that are making changes to improve their operations to apply for The FABRICATOR"s Industry Award 2010. We"ve honored two businesses—Shickel Corp., Bridgewater, Va., in 2009, and Seconn Fabrication, Waterford, Conn., in 2008—that grew their businesses successfully over the years, but this year we know that may not be the case for a lot of shops. We know that many shops are doing great things, and we want to celebrate those successes, even if it isn"t growing top-line revenue, with the industry.
The application process is quick and simple. Go to here and fill out the form. The application deadline is Sept. 30.
Please tap into this chance to promote your business. Manufacturers need some good news, and we want to help share it.