The expected rise in steel prices does not necessarily mean the rise of total costs.  In the HVAC industry, one way to offset increased steel prices is to reduce the cost of labor to make ducts and fittings by being more efficient.  How do we do this?  Machine automation.

A machine can work all day long.  They do not take breaks, call in sick or even need vacation.  They are consistent in their production, leading to fewer errors, therefore reducing time needed to fix mistakes.  They also produce less scrap, leading to decreased material waste.  One other area of savings is in training.  Training is expensive in both the cost of the education itself, but also in the time away from work.   This expense is no longer required for any tasks moved from manual production to automation.

While investing in this technology may have high initial costs, it saves businesses money in the long run.  Automated tasks mean reduced number of labor hours and reduced number of employees needed for manual labor, thus allowing workers to put more time toward tasks that cannot be automated.  Businesses may also question the cost of maintenance, however, investing in high-quality and reliable machinery minimizes the need for maintenance and optimizes overall performance.

If you have considered an investment in automation in the past, this is the time to do it.