2021 is here, and observers of the metal fabrication industry are trying to predict industry trends. The metal fabrication industry has undergone several changes in the last decade. It is now believed to be worth about $20 billion. This is due to technology advances and market dynamics. If you are a player in the metal fabrication industry, these are the major trends you need to be aware of.
Sustained Industry Growth
The industry is expected to maintain its growth trajectory. Generally, a growth of between 2% and 5% will occur in 2021. The metal fabrication industry’s net worth grew steadily from its $16 billion valuations in 2015. Industry experts expect it to cross the $24 billion valuations by 2025.
Major metal corporations have seen unprecedented increases in sales. Many of their customers, such as the agriculture, defense, and aerospace sectors, have increased their demand. Consequently, the industry is expected to keep growing throughout 2021.
The rise of robotic technologies is a godsend to the metal fabrication industry. Now, manufacturing centers can automate their warehouses. Moreover, they can increase collaboration between the various centers. It is also possible for meteorologists to work on objects from a remote location.
Automation reduces operating costs and increases customization. Workers can now spend more time on innovations and efficiencies. This is expected to increase the applications of metals.
Development and Research
Introducing new technologies to the market is not an easy process. Organizations spend a lot of money on their research and development programs. Not all research programs bear fruit, but some do. Those that do changes the industry. Ultimately, innovations can allow one company to dominate the market.
There is no doubt that the future of metal fabrication lies in 3D printing. This technology is changing how metals are handled in the production process. Data experts and animation gurus can fabricate objects with precise specifications. For example, they can print a countertop microwave to warm your meal anytime. This reduces waste and increases customization. It also enables industries to reduce wastage.
Raw materials form a considerable chunk of the operating costs. However, their price has been reducing slowly in the last several years. That promising trend came to an end in 2017 when US President Donald Trump introduced several tariffs. As a result, the prices of raw materials began to rise again. US metal fabricators were hit hard because they had to spend a lot of money replenishing their dwindling supplies.
The net effect is that many producers will cut down production and increase their prices. This is what had happened when President Bush introduced similar tariffs in 2003. Consequently, producers of raw materials within the United States will see an increase in their profits.
Reshoring and Emerging Markets
Many Western companies moved their factories to Asia because they were looking for cheap labor. The decision seemed to be correct since the wages in Asia remained very low. However, this trend has been changing in the last few years. A combination of government pressure and labor strikes has spiked salaries in the Asian market. At the same time, the US Federal government has reduced corporate taxes. This makes the North American metal fabrication market look promising. The general trend now is that most companies are moving back to the United States. This will create more opportunities for people in the metal fabrication industry in North America.
There is a general concern that the skilled labor availability in the industry is wanting. Companies can’t attract top talent, and some have been forced to invest in employee training. Although automation was expected to tackle this challenge, many companies still face hiring problems. There is no doubt that the lack of skilled labor will destroy many companies in the next decade.
Many problems can be identified in the planning stage. An emerging trend is to conduct assessments during the assembly and cutting process. As a result, industries are introducing custom fabrication processes and integrated piping systems. They’re also paying particular attention to OSHA compliance.
Every industry is undergoing several changes. The changes within the metal fabrication industry have far-reaching effects. Some of them present a worrying trend for the industry in general. Nevertheless, it’s expected that the metal fabrication industry will continue to grow and introduce new innovations in the future.