Market confidence driving investment

The number of CNC links currently being bought by fabricators has nearly doubled, according to figures released by BM Aluminium, which highlights the accelerating pace of automation in the aluminium sector.

BM Aluminium’s managing director Dean Hodges said: “In a normal year, we would expect to be setting up between 20 and 30 new CNC machine links using our LogiKal software module, but we have set up that number just in the last six months, and demand shows no sign of slowing down.

“Clearly, it’s being driven by Covid on two different levels: one, using a CNC link can potentially reduce the number of people required in the workplace and help with social distancing; and two, it means fabricators can increase their volumes much more easily and keep up with the current levels of demand.

“The LogiKal CNC module does much more than just optimising material usage, it smooths the whole machining process and means fabricators can get more from their machinery investment.

“There’s obviously been a long-term trend towards CNC links for saws and machining centres, but we’ve really never seen a dramatic spike like this in the 14 years that BM Aluminium has been distributing LogiKal.”

Around a quarter of the CNC links since October 2020 have been for new customers who are starting out with a CNC module to link LogiKal directly to their machines. However, three quarters have been for existing customers who are linking software to CNC machines for the first time.

“I think that’s a reflection of the level of confidence in the market at the moment and the very significant investments being made right across the aluminium sector in new machinery as fabricators look towards future proofing their operations by building in extra capacity,” Dean said.