How tariffs and innovation drove the agenda at NASCC

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An insider’s view on America’s turbulent Steel Market

Some 5,175 steel fabricators, engineers, students and analysts converged on Baltimore, Maryland last month. They were there to be part of the North American Steel Construction Conference, the annual meeting that brings together everyone who’s anyone in the US steel industry.  
During the 130 educational sessions and at the 200 stands, there was a palpable change of mood from the previous year. At AVEVA, we welcomed record numbers and everyone was asking questions. Why were people so hungry for information this year?

Fabrication is in a state of turmoil

The US steel market is reeling from the impact of the 25% import tariffs imposed on steel imports to America in March. Here are a few insights I gained from talking to delegates:

  • You need flexibility: Steel prices are uncertain from day to day. The busy season is approaching, and people are worried about how to manage changing costs. As fabricators, you need a flexible system that can map material pricing to drawings, to RFIs, and to change orders. You need a system that has your back in changing times.

  • You want innovation: Fabrication is a trend-led industry. As a new generation is coming in to manage your shops, companies are embracing the potential efficiencies that technology can offer them. The industry used to be wary of too much technology – now you want to have all the information available at your fingertips.  It was exciting to see our customers in Baltimore start to discover tools like AVEVA Engage, AVEVA ProCon and AVEVA FabTrol and see how we can help to boost your operating efficiency.

  • You need systems that talk to each other: As you start to use more digital tools, you need your different technology systems to work together. Your machine controllers need access to management software, and those systems need in turn to talk to the customer’s software tools. By using the same technology platform across all systems, you could save hours on every project. A common system also helps to build trust with your customers, because they can see that their information is correct, and it’s delivered on-time.

Save 40% of your man hours every year

For the first time this year we had a Business Value Calculator tool on our stand. The calculator allowed our visitors to compare they efficiencies they would gain from using AVEVA FabTrol with spreadsheet or paper-based processes. Our team walked delegates through their daily tasks and used the calculator to show how much digital tools could save them.

The results – which proved savings of up to 40% of man hours – shocked many people.

With the uncertainty of the market do you need to find ways to boost efficiency in your shop? Find your hidden money with our white paper, or call one of our team to work through the business value calculator.



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Would you like to learn more about how AVEVA can help increase efficiency in your shop? Read our whitepaper Find the hidden money today.

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Sara has spent over 20-years in fabrication, during which time she has held positions in miscellaneous fabrication, shop floor assembly production, detailing, and most recently, technology, affording her a broad background and detailed understanding of the different industrial disciplines.

For the past 15 years, Sara has worked in technical services and sales for AVEVA, before progressing to account management.Working in collaboration with fabricators, Sara strives to understand their processes and challenges and identify efficient solutions by looking at trends in the industry, best practices, and drawing on AVEVA’s tailored steel fabrication tools and expertise.

She is passionate about fabrication, and is excited about the shift in the industry towards embracing technology to drive the industry forward at a faster pace than ever before.

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