Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

President's Column: Technology Is Driving Change, We Must Embrace It

Angie Simon 400x462Technology is driving change in our industry faster than ever before, and quite frankly, faster than many of us are prepared for. Regardless of your comfort level, innovation and technical advancements are sweeping our industry.

In this issue, SMACNA covers the purchasing decisions and experiences five contractors have recently gone through on their path to owning new laser cutters. The cover story really resonated with me as my shop just made several major purchases as well, including a laser cutter and coil line for sheet metal, a robotic welder and tiger stop for piping, and a water jet for cutting duct lining. These major upgrades and new additions will bring our shop in line with other fabricators in the area and will enable Western Allied Mechanical to be more efficient and more competitive, and most
importantly, expand capacity to grow and take on more work that already awaits us.

Once installed, these pieces of equipment will change everything about our shop from cost of operations to estimating, to production time and capacity.

With cutting speed improvements going from 275 inches on our plasma to 1,200 inches per minute on our new laser, and a water jet capable of cutting 3,000 inches per minute, our ability to pre-fabricate quickly increases, expanding our opportunities at the same time.

While each piece of technology substantially increases efficiencies, it will also allow us to add more field installers to handle the additional capacity.

I encourage all SMACNA contractors to take a close look at the latest innovations in equipment and build a financial model to examine the impact new equipment can have on your costs and the possibilities of new revenue as result. Change is upon us and if we don’t embrace technology and innovation, our competitors will, and they surely will pass us by.

Angie Simon
SMACNA President