Heavy manufacturing and welding automation trends in 2024

What are the manufacturing trends in 2024 you should be aware of? Pemamek’s first webinar of the year not only unveiled the latest product development, the PEMA Skytrack robotic welding station but also shed light on the prevailing trends within the heavy manufacturing industry.

Despite the challenges posed by the global megatrends and recent geopolitical tensions, the heavy manufacturing sector is witnessing a positive outlook. Companies are actively seeking advanced technologies to enhance production capacity and are striving to innovate their manufacturing processes. 

Megatrends like digitalization and green transformation continue to influence the manufacturing industry. Simultaneously, there are industry-specific trends that significantly impact the work of welders and manufacturers. 

Trends for heavy manufacturing industry in 2024

Talented workforce 

The shortage of skilled welders and a competent workforce worldwide continues to be a significant challenge for the heavy manufacturing industry. In response, companies are increasingly turning to industrial automation, such as robotization and automation of welding processes. The lack of skilled welders alone is becoming a compelling reason for businesses to invest in automation solutions. 

Flexible production

Automation’s importance has always been evident, and it is now becoming even more crucial for effective and cost-efficient production. Both original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and subcontractors are showing a growing need for flexibility and adaptable solutions. Pemamek’s development of the PEMA Skytrack robotic welding station is driven by the industry’s demand for flexibility. The station’s small factory footprint and movable production unit allow easy relocation based on changing customer needs. Its adaptability eliminates the need for recalibration or reprogramming when the production location changes, making it suitable for various types of products, including small batch-size production. 

 Welders as operators 

In workshops, there is a noticeable shift from humans solely as welders to becoming operators. Technology and digitalization are introducing new dimensions to the craft of welding. While welding skills remain crucial, they are now utilized to assist automation in performing specific tasks. When companies invest in welding automation, the role of the welder evolves into that of an operator. The welding operator’s skills remain vital, particularly in the offline programming of robotic cells. Furthermore, an essential skill for welders in the future is a positive attitude, curiosity, and a willingness to learn new things. 

PEMA Robot welding, WeldControl 300 SCAN used by an operator in the picture

In conclusion, the heavy manufacturing and welding automation industry in 2024 is witnessing a transformative phase. Companies are navigating challenges through innovative solutions, adapting to the need for skilled workers, flexible production processes, and redefining the role of welders in the age of automation and technology. 

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