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The Association of Professionals for the Competitiveness of Machining (ASPROMEC) has its offices in:

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Aspromec promotes the meetings of its Industrial Sector Observatory in Seville


Aspromec promotes the meetings of its Industrial Sector Observatory in Seville

Last 25 de marzo Aspromec, Association of Professionals for the Competitiveness of Machining, convened a new meeting of the Industrial Sector Observatory. The appointment took place this time in Seville, in order to continue pressing the situation of the metal-mechanic sector, analyze the period before the pandemic, the initiatives developed to survive in these unusual times and the future that holds, after overcoming the health crisis that is damaging the economy so much.

The Aspromec initiative aims to collect information in various Forums/Observatories that serve as industry sector analysisl at different strategic points. After a cycle of meetings that will continue to be held throughout the year, and that are added to the two already carried out in 2019, the points developed in the Aviva Project will be updated and a series of conclusions will be drawn up that will be presented later.

In addition to the members of Aspromec, participated in the debate Fernando Lasagni, CTO Materials & Processes de Catec; Paola Corbalan, CEO of Reyvarsur; Antonio Ramirez, Vice President of Fedeme; and Luis Pizarro, member of the Board of Directors of Andalucía Aerospace and general director of Aeronautical Machining and Assemblies. for his part, Francisco Moreno, president of Aspromec and general manager of Tebis, took the opportunity to announce the celebration of the first machining congress, which will take place at the end of 2021; as well as the third edition of the Aspromec Awards, to be delivered during the first quarter of 2022.

Aspromec and the Industry 4.0

The debate began with a highly topical topic, how is the industry 4.0. As the debate guests said, “It is not an option, it's here and if we don't address it in time it will be much more difficult later”. In relation to this topic the training is essential. In addition, as on so many other occasions, the small size of Spanish machining companies was put on the table, disabilities, especially in foreign markets, where there is no technology problem, but muscle and size.

But the conversation about the usefulness of some tools was especially intense.. The entrepreneur is always in favor of technological development, when he gives you something. Must be able to make a trade profitable, reason why the need must be focused well. was mentioned, as an example, aerospace, in which the manufacturing series are not very large, so automation must be studied very well. Sometimes, stated, the focus is placed on automation in relation to technology, when perhaps it is more useful to automate the management of the company through ERP.

In any case, It is a very traditional sector., in which design engineers have had contact with the manufacturing world and in which the link between experience and technological development must be taken into account, to raise any automation. A development for laser sheet metal cutting may become more important than spending a lot of time on an automated cell.

It was also valued, as very relevant, the interdisciplinary collaboration. The joint work of, for example, materials development and design and manufacturing. must not be forgotten, what's more, that in the aeronautical sector the client greatly limits the ability to develop because it imposes the way of doing things.

The rave reviews of automation, also in sectors where the series are not too long, with special reference to collaborative robots. Its use in tasks such as loading and unloading parts is making great progress and to face the difficulty of investment, that many companies face, There are options on the market like the renting. A practical formula for companies that do not have the capital, to address a major investment.

The difficulty for operators to go to workshops due to the pandemic is accelerating the automation of some processes. The search for solutions has also increased, through the digitization in processes where production bottlenecks occurred. The need to seek financing through various programs has also increased with the pandemic and many are automating processes together with technology centers..

In summary, the world to come is digital and automated. It will be a progressive process., it is already being, and workers will stop doing repetitive and even unhealthy tasks, to dedicate to other functions with more added value. Automating and digitizing increases the competitiveness of the company and, therefore, Progress. but that yes, automating for the sake of automating does not make sense and you have to locate the need very well.

Aspromec analyzes the renovated machinery park

In general terms, the machinery park of Spanish companies was valued positively: it is quite renovated and adjusted to the needs. But there is no doubt that an investment in equipment requires a in-depth analysis of demand needs and prospects of pieces that will arrive. Invest for a chance? Invest when an order arrives that requires it??

The discussion went further: A company is more than a workshop and sometimes functions that are very important are forgotten. Having a knowledge management system is sometimes more important than having a state-of-the-art machine. Besides, not everything is industrialization, but you also have to know how to go out and look for opportunities, other sectors or markets. Something as basic as making yourself known is a 'must' for many production companies. Indeed, it was affirmed, that they don't know how to sell and, even worse, they don't want to collaborate.

Aspromec learns from crises

The previous crisis of 2008 y 2009 It helped companies to diversify and even learn to look for clients. You worked with the hope that the workload would come back and, one of the main affected by the crisis was the price. But the current one is a crisis of demand and supply at a global level. There are highly indebted companies with no resources to survive. In the world of machining, the differential element with the previous crisis is the new cycle of mobility, the possible change in the necessary parts, new materials and concept 4.0. The future of the automotive machining sector is questioned. The main affected is no longer the price, but it is before a drastic change. But all this opens a new period of opportunities, especially collaboration and management.

And also of 'reinvention’. Companies present in the debate explained their experience, starting from an activity that has collapsed as a result of the pandemic and taking special care of liquidity, penetrating fully in the manufacture of hydroalcoholic gel dispensers.

It is about, undoubtedly, a good example of how, taking advantage of the existing productive means and through the diversification of the type of production and the client portfolio, the impact of the crisis has been reduced. In this way, the growing importance of internationalization was highlighted.

Even in the aerospace sector, fully affected by the current crisis, there are opportunities. It is also time to give way to new generations with renewed ideas and ways of facing challenges., be critical and see this situation as an opportunity to take these types of steps.

There was no shortage of demands addressed to administrations and financial entities, who must be able to accompany entrepreneurs. ERTES were classified as a fallacy, the lack of support for investment was cited and irony was made about what are considered strategic sectors. There was also talk of the lack of flexibility of the Administration, the difficulties in accessing aid or how the aeronautical sector has been left out of the investments announced by the Government.

There was also self-criticism: the responsibility is also the employer, make your business profitable, focus on what they can and not think so much about what they should help. "We don't have the help to get out of this," he said..

The future with Aspromec

According to AFM data, 2018 closed with an increase in the turnover of the machine tool sector of the 5,4%, year 2019 recorded a decrease of 1,2% and the 2020 fell to the 21%. The German association VDW expects German machine tool production to grow by 6% in 2021. Seeing that before the pandemic, symptoms of weakness were already observed, the debate revolved around an uncertain future.

on this occasion, stated, what does not depend as much on domestic demand, but of the evolution of the world economy. By some estimates, until 2024 there will be no recovery of production. Concern about the environmental objectives for the year was also expressed. 2030, an issue on the table that is not being paid enough attention.

In the aeronautical sector, a recovery in air transport is expected for the second quarter of 2022. The experts present consider that with vaccination trips will return and that physical presence will continue to be needed for many activities, professional and leisure.

The future was also approached from a more general point of view. You will always have to transform materials, be new or more conventional, but the world of industrial transformation will always exist. Research in new materials, its applicability and transformation models will mark the coming years. Although reinforced plastics may register a relevant development in the future, the metal has properties that cannot be matched by other compounds and there is no prospect of that changing in the short or medium term.