We aren’t in the business of replacing welders with technology, what we’re aiming to do is to help shops better utilize their talent, so their top welders can work on the right tasks.
The dwindling supply of qualified labor in the welding industry is a significant issue for pipe fabricators, which is accelerating the need to automate. More automation can free up skilled welders from doing repetitive work, enabling them to do the more difficult welds.
The average salary for a welder in the US is close to $50k per year. However, pipe welding tends to demand higher wages due to the difficulty, experience and skill required. In some states experienced pipe welders can demand up to $125 per hour. Because of this fluctuation in different industries, and new projects popping up in certain regions, fab shops are always at risk of losing their best welders due to higher wages even if it’s only a few more dollars per hour.
On average our customers say that one SWR™ can achieve 3-5X what a skilled welder achieves. With this type of productivity project timelines can be drastically shortened. Depending on your operations, one SWR™ can easily save you upwards to $150,000 or more right off the bat.
There is a welder shortage crisis. Pipe welding is particularly difficult and requires more skill and experience than other forms of welding. To add to the challenge, the welding industry is seeing a big decline in welders available to fill jobs. The National Association of Manufacturers states that nearly 81% of manufacturers are unable to hire the number of welders they need. In addition to this, the average age for a welder in the United States is 55 years old, indicating that the majority of skilled welders will retire in the next 5-10 years. The American Welding Society (AWS) also predicts that there will be a shortage of 314,000 welders in the United States by 2024. These data points give us significant insight into the trends facing the fabrication industry.
This is where robotics and AI can come into play to address the looming welder shortage crisis. Being that the average age of welders is in the 50s, this problem will only become worse. Every region is different when it comes to welder shortages, however, since demand and projects can instantly disrupt job markets, it’s the perfect case for businesses to act now.
What our customers are saying:
“The best investment that we have ever made! Our Novarc SWR™ has reduced operator fatigue, increased productivity and increased the overall quality of work produced. The beauty of the system is the input the welder has to maintain the standards of the craft.” – F.W. Sims, Mechanical Engineering
“Novarc did some testing for us and we fell in love.The first project we did we cut off 4.5 man weeks of shop welding, so we saved around $114,000 on that project, and it made us competitive and added value to the end user.” – Jim Jeffrey, Operations Manager, Western Allied Mechanical, Mechanical Engineering.