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An Upside for Industrial, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Sector

June 10th, 2021

It seems there is a lot of talk in the United States about quality manufacturing jobs. But, to compete with other countries and their low cost of labor, many manufacturing companies are buying robotic systems, and putting forth robotic mechanized assembly lines. It’s a lot cheaper to invest in a robot, amortize the cost of that equipment over a period of time, rather than paying for union workers, their pensions, and health care benefits.

Yes, I know that sounds like a mean-spirited thing to say in this day and age, but as a businessperson anyone that wishes to make a profit, maintain shareholders equity, and grow a business has to be thinking here. Luckily, there is some good news for industrial, mechanical, and manufacturing corporations right now the United States. Orders are up, and the global economy appears to be recovering. That means there are products to be made, and buyers waiting.

The supply chain is coming back to life, and things are looking pretty good. But before you jump up for joy and assume that this means more people will go back to work. Perhaps you should consider what I have to say. Most of the manufacturing equipment being bought up right now is high-tech equipment, the kind that operates with fewer employees, not more. Indeed, there will be people who will have to run many of these machines, but they will not need the hundreds, or even thousands of people on the line to produce the same amount of goods as before.

In fact, there was a great little article recently in Industry Week titled; “Manufacturing Technology Consumption Up 138.1% – February Consumption Totaled $329 Million” written by the IndustryWeek Staff and posted on April 11, 2011. The article stated in the teaser paragraph: “February U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $329.43 million, according to AMT — The Association For Manufacturing Technology and AMTDA, the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association. This total was down 10.9% from January but up 99.3% when compared with the total of $165.31 million reported for February 2010.”

The labor costs in China are also creeping up, along with inflation there. No longer will people work for 18 to 20 hours a day, 6 to 7 days per week. That sort of slave labor isn’t going to happen anymore. Rather than one dollar a day, these folks wish to live in the middle class, and that means they need to make twelve hundred dollars per year (which will increase after China’s currency is properly reevaluated). Already, that is an increase from one dollar a day to nearly 3 dollars per day. Even China is buying more automation equipment for their factories to become more efficient. In many regards this will level the playing field for manufacturers worldwide, but it doesn’t do very much good for employment in any country.

So on one hand this is very good news for those in the manufacturing business, but for many of the union employees who have pushed very hard to increase their salaries year after year, this doesn’t mean that they will automatically be returning to work to those once previously high-paying jobs. Indeed I hope you’ll please consider all this and think on it. If you have any comments, questions, and/or concerns please shoot me an e-mail.

Adding Convenience With Industrial Mechanical Ladders and Man Lifts

March 10th, 2021

We are all familiar with machinery such as cranes and hoists used to lift and transport heavy objects on a line. Mechanical ladders and man lifts belong to the same family and only differ slightly in their function. Instead of lifting objects, it is used to transport workers and allow access to the inaccessible areas. They are generally mounted on a vehicle and have steps or platforms. Handholds added on either side increase safety further.

Man lifts have increased convenience in the construction industry as well as in firefighting missions as they fulfill the need for a temporary lift at the cost that is only a fraction of the cost of building a permanent solution.

Types of Man Lifts

The two most common designs include the following

Boom Lifts: A boom lift has an extended arm with joints along it and bucket at its end. The joints in the arm allow for greater mobility and the platform to be adjusted to varied heights. The ability to move it in different directions also allows easy access into the narrowest spaces. The boom lift is a common sighting at fire stations.

Scissor Lifts: The Scissor lift is a type of boom lift. It gets its name from its look. It has folding supports arranged in a crisscross pattern. This aerial lift only extends vertically. However, they have a higher capacity between 500-2500 pounds. It can be used to transport multiple persons at a time. The system powering a scissor lift is either a mechanical or hydraulic lift.

Electrically Insulated Lifts – The third type of man lift is not so much a distinction in design as it is in its construction. It is made using electrically insulated components such as non-conductive hydraulic hoses, fiberglass insulated booms and buckets and fiber optic control cables. Given this special feature, this type is used in areas that are prone to electrocution hazards.
Guide to Buying Man Lifts

There are several factors that must be considered when buying or hiring a man lift for a construction site or a fire station or at any other maintenance department.

The first obvious factor to consider is the design. If you are limited on storage space, it is a better option to choose a space saving designs that can be easily folded after use for the ease of storage.

Given the purpose for which it is used, the transport of persons and heavy objects, the man lift should be sturdy in its construction and should be made of quality materials.

Man lifts are a pricey investment and cannot be purchased repeatedly. However, on account of constant exposure to inclement weather conditions it tends to wear out faster. You should opt for a machine with higher durability even if that means paying a little more.

The height and weight capacity are also important features to factor in when shopping for man lifts. The machine you choose should also be easy to use and less-demanding on maintenance schedules.
Finally, you cannot neglect the safety features. Safety is tied to the build quality and the quality of construction materials. However, a few manufacturers also add a few extra features to increase safety such as high speed cut outs, pothole protection, handholds, LCD displays with sensory information, level warnings and static straps. Also, the lift should be an OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute) approved industrial man lift.