By Paul Benny, CEO
[Originially published on LinkedIn)
The past few years have brought an unimaginable array of variables to the forefront of the metal forming industry. From the pandemic shutdown to supply chain pandemonium and the ensuing economic boom to the Russia-Ukraine War and inflation-fueled woes, it feels like we've lived a century in a few short years.
All this fluctuation – not to mention rising costs of raw materials and increasing competition from low-cost manufacturing countries – makes this a tough time to be in the manufacturing business. Despite all this, the outlook is pretty solid for the metal forming industry in 2023.
New Technology is Key for the Metal Forming Industry
However, we remain optimistic in spite of all this! American Punch Company, a punch and die manufacturer in Ohio, agrees, noting that the outlook for the manufacturing industry in 2023 is positive, with significant growth potential driven by technology advancements and increased global demand.
Deloitte goes so far as to say, “Despite supply headwinds, labor shortages, and an uncertain economic environment, the manufacturing industry continues to surpass the expectations of previous years. To maintain this growth, leaders should leverage digital technologies, adopt strategies for the future of work, and drive supply chain resiliency.’
Clearly, market chatter supports our assertion that new technologies and new processes are the keys to the future. Companies, manufacturers, and entire industries must adopt new technologies – like FluidForming – to remain competitive and resilient.
With resiliency in mind, the metal forming industry has experienced significant advancements in automation, material science, and digital technologies that have the potential to transform the way metal parts are designed, produced, and assembled. Take, for example, the dual sled FormBalancers with sled robots, enabling manufacturers to increase production time by 70-100%.
The Metal Forming Industry Focuses on Sustainability
We’ve been touting the virtues of sustainable metal forming for years, but it seems as though the industry is finally catching up. Sustainability has become a key focus for the metal forming industry, as manufacturers face emissions mandates and seek to reduce their environmental impact while improving their social responsibility. This includes reducing waste, minimizing non-conforming part scrap, increasing energy efficiency, and maximizing material use.
Embracing Additive Manufacturing
To be clear: FluidForming is a metal forming process and the FormBalancer is a metal forming machine. However, unlike many forming presses, the FormBalacer can accommodate 3D printed tooling.
New Materials For New Ideas
Advances in material science are opening up new possibilities for metal forming, including the use of lighter and stronger materials such as aluminum, titanium, and composites. These materials offer significant benefits in terms of weight reduction, fuel efficiency, and performance and they’re all well-suited for FluidForming. (For more information, check out Metals Commonly Used in the Hydroforming Process with FluidForming.)
The metal forming industry stays resilient with processes like FluidForming, FormBalancer technology, and service from FluidForming Americas. To learn more about FluidForming, FluidForming Americas, and the FormBalancer’s capabilities and benefits, contact FluidForming Americas at (800) 497-3545 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FluidForming Americas, Inc. is a member of the Precision Metal Forming Association and is AS9100 Rev D, ISO 9001:2015 certified. ITAR registered.