HALTER CEO Wouter van Halteren on results of COVID-19 survey
Automation is key to success in post-corona era
Manufacturing companies need to look at the design of their production environment differently. The capacity utilisation of the machines is ultimately what counts. A study by HALTER CNC Automation shows that German entrepreneurs in particular have become aware of this in recent months. “In the post-corona era, automation is the key to success in machining,” says Wouter van Halteren, founder and CEO of HALTER CNC Automation.
The covid-19 measures will have an impact on the activities of the global manufacturing industry for a long time to come. A number of companies are already looking beyond the corona crisis: what lasting changes will there be in supply chains, the competitive field, and the way of working? Can robotization make manufacturing companies more flexible and agile? HALTER CNC Automation has asked these and other questions to companies in the machining industry – both customers and non-customers.
Short and long-term effects
The results of the study show that machining companies are affected to varying degrees by the Covid19 measures. A large majority of companies are expecting less work in the coming months. According to Wouter van Halteren, the real change that this crisis will bring will be a further increase in pressure on series size and delivery times. Manufacturing companies will have to adapt even faster to changing circumstances. The situation in recent months, in which some supply chains have been paralysed by lockdowns, has increased the pressure on CNC companies to become more flexible in their operations. Wouter van Halteren: “Suppliers will have to be able to quickly increase (and decrease) their capacity in the coming years, without having to hire extra people, increase overtime or purchase extra machines.”
You make money with the utilization rate
The research results show that this awareness is particularly prevalent among German entrepreneurs 38% of them give as their main reason for automation the increase in efficiency of CNC machines. Half of the German metalworking entrepreneurs agree with the statement that automation is a means of increasing flexibility. This percentage is lower in the Netherlands and Italy. The research results also show that many entrepreneurs intend to invest in machines as soon as they start investing again. In the Netherlands this percentage is 40%, in Germany 35%. Almost three out of four German companies are considering robotization, while in the other countries the percentage varies between 20 and 25%.
Higher return on existing machines
“Those companies who fail to automate will miss opportunities,” says Wouter van Halteren. “When our customers install a HALTER robot on their CNC machine, we see the spindle efficiency increase from 30 or 40% to 70 or 90%. Automation helps companies get more out of their existing machines, without having to invest in new machines and without the need for additional operators.” In addition, robotization makes companies more flexible because they can have unmanned production hours, allowing them to scale up and down quickly.
The complete report, “COVID-19: The challenges of the manufacturing industry”, can be downloaded free of charge from the HALTER CNC Automation website.