The manufacturing sector has realized incredible growth in the last few years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), manufacturing jobs have grown to reach roughly 12.6 million jobs while the manufacturing industry has reached $1.2 trillion in economic output.
Marlin Steel is one of those American manufacturers who is on the cutting edge of incorporating modern technology to meet demands. Using factory automation, Marlin Steel has improved the efficiency, productivity and safety of its factory employees. Recently, Marlin Steel was featured in an article by ShareAmerica about how technology is changing American manufacturing.
Read ahead to learn more about how Marlin Steel is using smart technology to move ahead of the competition and provide better products for clients than ever before.
Creating a Safer Employee Environment at Marlin Steel
By using smart manufacturing technologies, such as wire bending and welding robots, Marlin Steel provides a better working environment for employees. Robotic automation creates a safer factory environment for workers than ever before. Where American manufacturing employees once were likely to lose fingers and eyes in dangerous factory floors from lose sparks and metal shards, they can now leave the dangerous work to machines. Additionally, robots can run night and day without getting tired or injured from the same repetitive physical motions and heavy lifting that takes a toll on human employees.
The robots at Marlin Steel do not replace American workers. Instead, Marlin’s automation tools supplement the company’s employees. Although these robots take the brunt of the physical labor, they still need human operators to oversee the production and programming work. While employees find ways to improve efficiency and accuracy, the robots handle the most physically demanding, dangerous, and repetitive work.
Improving Productivity for American Manufacturing
For decades, every Marlin Steel wire basket was crafted by hand. Marlin Steel shifted to incorporate American manufacturing robots in 1999 and has since boosted its sales eightfold.
Marlin Steel is just one example of the many American manufacturing businesses that are making the switch towards smart manufacturing, which incorporates robotics and automation.
The inclusion of high-tech machinery in American manufacturing increases both sales and production because manufacturing robots do not tire. Unlike human employees, they can be hard at work making parts morning, noon, and night while maintaining consistent precision. Each bend that a robot makes in steel wire will be just as precise as the last, and done at a speed that a manual laborer just can’t hope to match.
Consistency is a necessity when making products where mistakes can be disastrous, especially when clients are in the medical or aerospace industries. High-tech machinery is able to maintain that critical level of consistency that is impossible for human employees.
Marlin Steel currently employs robotic manufacturing tools such as automated welders, wire bending robots, and CNC press brakes, that help improve both manufacturing speed and accuracy. This inclusion of manufacturing automation tools has made Marlin Steel’s team both productive and efficient and able to keep up with high demands for custom wire forming jobs.
By making the switch towards smart factories, American manufacturing is innovating more and hiring more highly skilled employees.
Ensuring Better Product Quality
Through smart technology, American manufacturing can become more precise than ever before. Besides welding robots being able to maintain a higher level of precision on the factory floor, there are other ways that smart technology allows for better manufacturing quality.
For example, Marlin Steel uses finite element analysis (FEA) software to ensure that each of the wire baskets designs made by the engineering team meets their client's requirements. Before delivering a custom wire basket, Marlin Steel’s engineers use the FEA software to simulate the manufacturing conditions the baskets will be used in and test how well the basket design will last against those stresses.
Adopting such smart technology as a staple of Marlin Steel’s manufacturing process minimizes costs and delays associated with making a series of prototype baskets and retooling for each new prototype. With FEA, Marlin Steel can design and deliver a superior custom wire basket more efficiently than ever.
These are just a few of the examples that Marlin Steel has set as reasons why other American manufacturing companies can benefit from smart technology. If American manufacturing companies want to keep up with their overseas competition, increase overall productivity, and design more innovative and higher-quality products, then new factory automation is essential for the future.
Want to learn more about Marlin Steel’s products or more about how factory automation is used in Marlin Steel’s manufacturing process, contact us today.