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The numbers and statistics don’t lie, by 2025 in North America approximately 30% of the welding workforce will be retirement eligible. The average age of a welder today is 55. Ya, these are truly staggering numbers to be concerned about.

Coming out of the pandemic, we are seeing most areas of our economy bouncing back and some sectors like construction and mechanical contractors are booming in many regions. Engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) in the private and public sectors on large scale and complex infrastructure projects is poised to explode in the next 4 years.

According to the American Welding Society, the industry will encounter a shortage of about 400,000 welders by 2024. Buyers need to be pro-active and start the process of investigation, sourcing and buying their pipe welding robots, now. Automation is the only way to navigate forward successfully into the already started workforce shortage. Step number one for some pipe shops, simply start with some basic education on what robot welding is and from there, the differences between welding methods and cobot options to purchase will unfold naturally with some mouse clicking.

The need to add automation into a pipe shop is a big step and it is not an insignificant investment. As part of balancing robot welding automation with a declining workforce, a solid step is to visit a supplier facility for an open house to build trust and get that hands on experience of understanding what your supplier is about from the ground up. You can even ask for a weld sample to x-ray and inspect the quality if you can’t travel. Is there a better way to get a closer look at a completed weld directly from your cobot manufacturer?

It’s time to connect and start the conversation in your buying process. What is your next step to ensuring the coming workforce shortage does not hurt your business?