The Transition to Robotics and Automation in Metals Polishing
Editor’s Note: Every week, the staff at Diamond Brite Metals will be updating you with insightful market analysis covering all steps of the metals supply chain.
The architectural and commercial metals polishing business is labor intensive. Substantial labor is required for the shipping and receiving, handling, processing, and packaging of raw material. Hourly wages, salaries, benefits packages, and insurance costs increase the cost of goods sold or what is known in the metals polishing industry as the cost of services. This compresses margins and shrinks profits. In other words, the labor cost account in architectural and commercial metals polishing can be detrimental to the business’ bottom line. Compounding this problem is the current market trend for higher wages and more comprehensive benefits. The problem is not only limited to the architectural and commercials metals polishing end but also is apparent in every step of the metals supply chain. From distribution to fabrication, labor is one of the highest direct costs.
But, the transformation to automation, robotics, and optics has tremendously changed the labor landscape. In architectural and commercial metals polishing, robotic handling equipment decreases the need for a labor driven shipping and receiving department and automated packaging equipment allows labor forces to focus on the processing of material. Labor costs can be further reduced by optics that determine surface finishes, based off a template, and automated machines that process material.
The remainder of this blog post will explore the benefits and examine the downsides of automation, robotics, and optics in architectural and commercial metals polishing.
Lower Lifecycle Cost: As mentioned above in this blog post, by adding automated processes, the need for labor lessens and management can improve lead times.
Consistency & Uniform Finish: Mechanical polishing, as opposed to hand polishing, ensures a uniform finish. The addition of optics and automation reduces the possibility of human error further ensuring quality and finish.
Higher Productivity: Automation decreases lead times which improves cash flow.
Expense: The initial investment in robotics and automation is expensive and requires substantial capital.
Maintenance: The technology behind automation and robotics is expensive to fix thereby increasing maintenance costs.
Less Versatility: Automation and robotics can sometimes act as a barrier to versatility and requires additional training for your staff.
Diamond Brite Metals’ Current Use of Automation and Robotics
Diamond Brite Metals currently leans on automation and standardized processes to consistently produce uniform and superior architectural and commercial finishes. Our automatic polishing machines and handling equipment ensures quality and reduces costs. We are able to pass through this cost to the customer. In 2019, Diamond Brite Metals management implemented an operational campaign to invest in new automated processes including robotics and increased optics. These expenditures will allow Diamond Brite Metals to continue to pass along value to our customers and the market.
We welcome any inquiries regardless of size or complexity. For general sales, please contact our Sales Department at Sales@diamondbritemetals.com. For commercial and industrial metals polishing inquiries or questions, please contact Darragh Harten at Dharten@diamondbritemetals.com. For Architectural metals polishing inquiries, please contact Ckarpus@diamondbritemetals.com.