Image Above: The Wegoma WSA-4-AUTO inline welder in the Avantek showroom
It’s a common theme throughout the industry – there just aren’t enough young people learning a skilled trade, which will have a major impact on us all in years to come. Recruitment is already difficult and employment costs are rising across the sector.
Innovative machinery company Avantek is helping to address this, both internally and for fabricators – with two very different focuses!
Managing Director Nigel Bishop explains: “Our company and wider group has always had a history of apprentices – so when the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced earlier this year we saw it as a great opportunity to recruit even more young people. Becoming an engineer is a highly sought-after career, and competition for the roles has been fierce – we have now had four apprentices within Avantek, taking on roles including installation and maintenance, sales, customer service and warehousing.
“This will give us a solid foundation for expanding our already large team of experts, who between them provide full coverage of the UK to all of Avantek’s customers.
“If a fabricator is struggling to employ enough people, and then a vital machine breaks down, it just exacerbates the problem. Our aim is to keep all machinery fully operational so at least that’s one less thing for our customers to worry about.”
Not only is Avantek providing a wider range of support options for customers, it has pioneered the design and launch of the Wegoma Auto Welder, available in 2 to 6 head options – with which the company is seeing tremendous success!
Nigel continues: “We know a standard welding machine usually needs an expert welder to operate it. The same welding machine can produce a beautiful window, or a sub-standard one – depending on who’s running it.
“We also know this expertise is becoming more difficult to find, and retain. That’s why we wanted to introduce the Wegoma Auto Welder.
“We won’t lie, it costs more than the standard UNI Welder – but it comes with the assurance that absolutely anyone in the factory can operate it!
“Fabricators switching to the auto are suddenly discovering that they can re-deploy their expert team members to other value-add tasks, such as finishing and quality control. The Auto Welder can actually produce a window of a higher quality than its UNI counterpart – all under the guidance of someone who only started work yesterday!”
The savings to be made are potentially huge, and Avantek can help calculate the likely payback for fabricators wishing to take the plunge. Both machines can be seen fully working, side by side, in Avantek’s state of the art showroom in Derbyshire, to get a full comparison.
If you’re a fabricator, you can even take delivery of your Auto Welder next week if you have the space – Avantek Machinery carries stock of the most popular sizes of this innovative machine!
“We’re lucky to be part of a worldwide group, Quanex Building Products, which has continued to invest in the company for the benefit of our customers,” says Nigel.
“That means we actually have stock of machinery ready for delivery now – unlike other suppliers, for whose machines fabricators may have to wait up to 16 weeks.
“We also carry spares in stock and offer full service contracts – so if you choose to purchase from Avantek, you can be assured that not only will you receive a faster installation, you’ll have less downtime over the machine’s useful life!”