In an earlier blog we addressed the importance of the supply chain when it comes to metal fabrication. That is only one part of the market in the dynamic world of metal fabrication. Metal fabrication challenges present themselves in many different forms, and the supply chain can be just one of them. Labor, international tariffs, automation, and more all present challenges for metal fabricators.

At IMH Products, we are not immune to these challenges. Our leadership is, however, proactive in preparing the company to face them.

Today’s Metal Fabrication Challenges

Automation Technology – A simple walk around the production floor at IMH Productions will show an observer the interaction between human labor and automation. From robotic welders to automated laser cutting, IMH Products meshes automation with human capital. There are still elements that present challenges. For example, when using our robotic arm for forming it still takes time to program and calibrate the process.

Environmental Challenges – The United States is making a much needed pivot to sustainable production techniques.  As this industry evolves, it is moving towards using technologies and practices that reduce the impact. IMH Products works actively to reduce waste, recycle materials, and improve efficiency so less resources are used in the production of our components. We also strive to follow EPA guidelines to pollution prevention.

Inventory and Customization – This somewhat relates to the supply chain, but a fabricator cannot complete components without the correct inventory. This is an ongoing challenge, and companies need to find efficient ways to manage their inventory. This includes the inventory of raw materials coming in and the inventory of the parts going out. Customization is also key because each customer’s needs are unique. There is no one-size-fits-all.

Price Volatility – This is a common weakness in metal fabrication. Inflation can affect the cost of materials and labor. Variables including worldwide demand, raw material pricing, and overcapacity, can impact profitability.

Solutions for Metal Fabrication Challenges

Fortunately, these issues have solutions that many fabricators are willing to implement. When it comes to automation, investment in technology can make a huge difference. The latest equipment may cost a bit up front, but in the long run it can produce components faster and more efficiently, which lowers costs.

Inventory and customization can be solved by developing custom capabilities such as ERP software. These tools can be used to maximize customer service and efficiency. An ERP system built for metal fabricators should come with the ability to integrate data from CAD systems with the rest of the production process.  

End-to-end supply chain visibility is also a solution. This can also be solved by investing in an ERP system. This allows suppliers to fulfill current and forecasted orders since the system alerts users who are running low on stock and of the material price increases across multiple sites and locations.

By meeting these challenges head on IMH Products is able to be at the forefront of American metal fabricators. For more information on how we can become a supplier for your business contact us at