Interview with Northwest Steel Fab., Inc.

6. April 2020

An interesting interview between managing director Mr. Andreas Hofer and Mr. James about his new machine from ZEMAN in times of corona virus

 

How is your factory and work flow affected by the Corona virus? 

This Virus has stopped or slowed down life as we know it in many aspects. Within the company we have had to create/follow many rules for this virus. We are spending a lot of time out of our day dealing with the invisible enemy and the unknown.

Do you think that the ZEMAN machine is offering a fix to a problem that fabrication business is now facing very hard:  humans are a huge bottleneck in the production line. 

The Zeman machine allows an operator to do the work of multiple people within the safety of his own working platform. That is a real value when it comes to safety and maintaining social distancing. 

Will the virus have an impact on the future availability of rather aged and therefore regretfully vulnerable numbers of  fitters and welders? 

Most of our older welder/fitters are not currently working for their own safety.
 
How does the ZEMAN machine help to support your business and protect people?

The Zeman machine is a real asset in a time of crisis like this. Doesn't get sick, the operator has his own working space and it does the work of multiple people.
 
What would be the consequence for NORTHWEST Steel without the ZEMAN robotic support?
Reduced Production.

Where are the advantages and how best do you implement the robotic applications?
Doesn't Get Sick/Social Distance/Works at a constant rate of speed/Consistent Quality.
Find its strengths and run with it. 
 
Thinking about similar impacts on health and availability of people, will you intensively pursue the way into automation? Buildings still will go up, even if there is a hit in fabrication.
Yes. It's the future.
 
Is ZEMAN as an oversea supplier of robotic machines a good partner in terms of on-line support even in days of international travel bans?

So far its been great and we have received some of the best support. Often we have problems with getting support when we install new machines but with the Zeman support has been great. 
 

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