2015 will bring change to a variety of industries, and metal fabrication is no exception. With the proliferation of 3D printing technology and the improved economy, it’s very likely that metal fabrication will see both renewal and change in the upcoming years.
Improving Economy Sees Resurgence in Metal Fabrication
A continually improving domestic economy is bolstering a need for metal fabrication, especially where jobs that were once outsourced are coming back domestically. According to WeldingSchool.com,?the energy and construction industries?are growing aggressively, by as much as 12% and 20% in 2014, respectively.?Through 2015, it’s likely that economic improvements will continue supporting the metal fabrication industry—and the manufacturing industry as a whole—and that there will be a need for both experienced and knowledgeable technicians. In markets where the growth outpaces supply, metal fabrication technicians will find that salary rates will likely increase. As much of this is driven by the oil and gas industry, some of the increases may be localized to areas that have a large oil and gas presence.
Commercial 3D Printing Becomes More Viable
Though 3D printing is still at least a few years off from becoming a standard in consumer markets, commercial 3D printers have become quite robust; two thirds of industrial manufacturers now use the technology, according to Computer World. 3D technology will allow the metal fabrication industry to create more detailed parts on demand, and to fabricate parts on-the-fly as needed. For the industry, this also means that metal fabrication will be interlaced with understanding of 3D programs, and a need for further education may be necessary. Rapid prototyping may become a part of the design mechanics for many companies, leading to a need for fast, agile manufacturing through the use of commercial 3D printers. This may also develop a need for more specialized workers, who can work with a variety of fabrication needs and who are knowledgeable about the software and systems in use.
Metal Fabrication “Boot Camps” Become Popular
Boot camps for metal fabrication are already emerging in areas that are? considered hotbeds for the metal fabrication industry, as reported in the FDL Reporter. Throughout 2015, metal fabrication boot camps will likely become popular as a way to jump-start a career quickly in areas that have significant demand. Metal fabrication boot camps cover a wide variety of equipment and techniques, with the goal of educating technicians so they can immediately begin working within their field. These boot camps are valuable not only to new students, but also professionals who may not be aware of the newest metal fabrication techniques. As metal fabrication is an industry that is quickly changing, older techniques are becoming outdated very quickly.
Metal Fabrication: A Positive Outlook
The future of the metal fabrication industry will likely be even more tech-heavy than ever before, requiring technicians who are highly trained in both computerized technology and the basics of fabrication itself. Demand will also likely increase, creating a void that new graduates can fill. To compensate, new programs will be developed to help those interested in metal fabrication get a head start towards employment.?Overall, the future looks extremely promising for those within metal fabrication, and it’s likely that this trend will continue for some time.