Welders are in short supply, and have been for a few years. 81% of companies looking for welders are having troubles filling those jobs.
Automation helps cover jobs that are dangerous, dirty, and dull, but nowadays employers are increasingly relying on robots to fill jobs that are hard to hire. Welding is one of those jobs. 80% of welding tasks could be automated, experts say, assuming that there are expert welders to run the automated welders and to do the remaining 20% of more refined welding tasks.
The American Welding Society predicts a deficit of 400,000 welders by 2024. The average age of a welder right now is estimated at 55, and new welders aren’t being trained in useful numbers.
So as robot welding solutions are developed, the need for welders may decrease…but the need for people with the skills to run and support automated welding machines will increase.
The worker shortage may continue to be an issue, even though the specific workers needed may change.
Two new phenomena in the marketplace could provide solutions.
First, Cobots, or cooperative robots could help. Robots that require support from welders — and provide support to welders — might be more affordable and more adaptable. Cobots are usually smaller and more versatile than a typical industrial robot. They can typically undertake multiple tasks as needed, and be moved around the factory floor.
Second, rental services, or robots-as-a-service, might reduce the up-front investment for companies that need welders off and on. With fewer mistakes and more consistent results, automated welding could save time and money as well as filling the need for hard-to-find welders.
Robotic welders can currently be leased or even hired by the hour on an as-needed basis.
New problems and solutions may come and go, but chances are good that you still have some Indramat machinery in your facility. Indramat motion control systems last so long that it seems like most factories still have a few around. When you need service and support for them, we’re your solution. Call us for immediate assistance.