Published July 26, 2022
by Dave

How Today’s Manufacturing Technology Is Changing the Way We Service Machine Tools

Global disruptions including COVID-19 have caused machine tool manufacturers to incrementally halt their production, manufacturers to face disturbed supply chains, constrained access to raw materials, and personnel shortages. Even as life is slowly coming back to how it was before the pandemic, the machine tool industry is still facing the negative effects of a period of rapid growth followed by the complete halt of their operations and ongoing disruptions to their supply chain.

Manufacturers continue to find ways to get past these disruptions and minimize downtime while simultaneously addressing skills and staffing gaps.

Machine Shops Face Ongoing Changes to The Way The Workforce Does – and Does Not Want to Work as Advanced Manufacturing Technologies Evolve

Companies using CNC Machine tools are growing, as indicated by the ongoing demand for new equipment and machines. According to the latest reports, the machine tool market is expected to grow by 4% in the following years, reaching a market cap of nearly $97 billion by 2027. This growth comes as the demand for production in markets such as military and aerospace is accelerating. With increasing demand, manufacturers are focusing on reducing downtime and improving machine tool usage efficiency to grow their capacity and meet demand. Three significant trends have emerged as a result of this need:

1. Automation and Robotics Are Used More Widely and In New Manufacturing Applications

Automation is nothing new in the manufacturing space and has been a growing trend for over a decade now. However, its adoption continues to grow in the United States as automation and robotics become more and more accessible to manufacturers of all sizes. And, solutions are being used in new and different ways.

Cobots, robots, and more sophisticated automation have become more prolific on shop floors. Manufacturers facing workforce shortages are finding new and creative ways to get the most out of their existing assets and team by integrating automation and robotics alongside CNCs to do activities such as machine tending.

By automating certain repetitive tasks, manufacturers are eliminating errors and increasing efficiency and productivity. The result is a leaner manufacturing cycle with less stoppage and downtime. Moreover, by employing digital solutions like cloud computing, manufacturers are reducing the time needed to manufacture products and respond to the increasing demand.

With these new technologies come new ways that equipment must be serviced and demand for new skill sets. It is important for manufacturers to proactively address new strategies for staffing their team to be ready for and provide ongoing support for these technologies.

2. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Provides Greater Data Accessibility for Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Systems

Repairs to CNC machine equipment can be expensive, so manufacturers are turning to analytics and predictive technology to cut down on repair-related downtime. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), connected manufacturing, automation, and other digital technologies are making data more accessible and actionable for manufacturers of all sizes than ever before. Manufacturers need to staff up with service providers that know how to not only support your machine tools but can navigate around how these technologies are implemented without disrupting them.

3. New Technology is Making it Easier to Locate and Hire People in a Different Way

New technologies introduced to the market have allowed manufacturers to reconsider how they staff up and outsource the support of their machine tools and operations. The UP! App, for example, allows manufacturers to:

  • Hire skilled service providers as needed vs. committing to a long-term employee for a job that doesn’t require someone present for a 40-hour workweek
  • Gain access to people with specific skills related to their equipment and technologies used
  • Proactively hire service providers in a way that strategically complements their existing workforce in a hybrid labor service model
  • Ebb and flow staffing based on hiring/retention challenges and changes to production demand

Manufacturers Use The Up! App to Close The Gaps in Workforce and Temporarily Place Highly Skilled Providers to Service Machine Tools

In this fast-paced world, any second wasted is money wasted and can put you behind your competitors. That’s why at The Up! App, we are focused on helping you find skilled employees and streamlining the process for you.

When you use The Up! App you will get:

  • Instant access to an extensive network of qualified technicians. No need to waste any time performing online research looking for the right workforce.
  • Simple and streamlined communication through our in-app messaging option. The app also supports video and photo capabilities.
  • The selection of your choice of the right service provider for your needs is based on a wide array of factors, such as location, ratings, experience, and availability.

Manufacturers that want to stay on top of the latest trends and meet the growing market trends need the right workforce with the right skill set and mindset. The UP! App service providers are experts in long-standing and new technologies and can fill workforce gaps or complement your current team’s skills. Download The Up! App today to instantly connect with a vast network of service providers.