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FABTECH Explores the Impact of Tariffs on Metal Manufacturing

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Industry experts estimate that steel and aluminum tariffs could cost U.S.-based manufacturing companies more than $10 million over the next five years, and according to research by the Institute of International Finance, result in an annual loss of $40 billion in U.S. exports. Supply-chain disruptions continue as plant managers forecast, purchase and stockpile inventories to minimize the impact of the increased cost of raw materials.

Whether tariffs spur domestic steel development remains uncertain, though Nucor, the largest U.S. steel company, has reported increased second-quarter earnings partly due to higher steel prices. Still, the number of manufacturers producing steel for consumption are far less than the companies utilizing these materials, such as General Motors, 3M, Stanley Black and Decker, and Caterpillar.

 What is thriving in the era of tariffs is the incorporation of robotics into U.S. plants as manufacturers step up automation efforts to help offset increases in material costs. Tractica, the market intelligence firm, reports that the global robotics market, which was $31 billion in 2016, could reach $237 billion by 2022. In addition, automotive companies that invested in automation prior to the introduction of tariffs are now seeing cost savings. 

Tariffs likely will continue to affect the metal manufacturing industry for the near future. With that in mind, FABTECH 2019, November 11-14 in Chicago, includes two Leadership Exchange sessions intended to provide attendees with applicable information and insights for facing tariffs head-on. The first, The Impact of Disruptive Technology and the Future of Manufacturing, will discuss disruptive technologies including 5G, IoT, AI, robotics and automation. This panel discussion takes place Wednesday, November 13, from 12:30 p.m -1:30 p.m. A second panel discussion, 21st Century Workforce: Building Tomorrow’s Workforce, on Thursday, November 14, from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., looks at the intricacies involved with managing workforce gaps. Additionally, the new Robotics & Industrial Automation Pavilion will introduce new technologies and products for making businesses more productive and profitable during these uncertain times.

Register today. 


Related Enterprise Zones: Fabrication, Management, Materials/Coatings

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