“WE NEED TO RELY MORE HEAVILY ON AUTOMATION TO ACHIEVE RESULTS IN THE CURRENT MANUFACTURING ENVIRONMENT”

John Kaikis 2

JOHN KAIKIS

NATIONAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT - FAGOR ARRASATE USA 

The return of industries that were off-shored, supply chain problems, labor shortages… How do you see the industry evolving?
Speaking to my experience in the US market, I believe that we will continue to be challenged by the shortage of skilled technicians for the foreseeable future. I truly feel that to maximize the gains in the current manufacturing environment, we must have a concerted effort to attract, train, and retain skilled labor at the national level. A side result is that we are relying more heavily on automation to achieve results.

The difficulty in finding workers is driving the need for automation in many plants to maintain production. What do you think Fagor Arrasate can contribute to industry automation?
Fagor has a broad portfolio of automation solutions to share with the market. I think that expanded use of AI and Machine Learning will maximize those solutions and reduce the dependence on certain areas of highly skilled workers. Increased training utilizing Augmented Reality, and becoming an extension of our customers operations, along with utilizing processes such as i4.0 will pay major dividends for our partners.

Transfer and servo technologies are becoming increasingly important in stamping systems for the household appliance industry. Fagor Arrasate has a lot of experience in these solutions. How do you think it is positioned in the market to take advantage of this increasing demand?
Having previously been a customer of Fagor, I am uniquely positioned to witness firsthand the technologies that we can offer to improve stamping quality and productivity in complex drawn parts. While the servo solution is not for every application, it offers unparalleled control of the stroke profile to optimize part integrity. I have always been impressed by our transfer applications which feature very rigid structures and smooth motions that never vibrate or flex. The total integration into the press control says to me, why would you want it any other way?

What are the prospects for market evolution?
I feel that the industry could be in the beginning of the next industrial revolution with the rise of AI and true machine learning. Just as the rise of Wire Electrical Discharge Machining and CNC Mills revolutionized tool and die making in the 1980’s, who knows what is next. I do feel that regardless of what business you are in, successful companies will be quick, nimble and course correct according to a rapidly changing market. Those that focus on “end to end” solutions will win.

Meet John Kaikis

Kaikis began his 40+ year career in 1981 as an apprentice tool and die maker in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from the Tool and Die Institute and College of Dupage as a Journeyman Die Maker and Designer. He has held many positions in his career and has experienced many facets of the stamping, molding and fabrication business. John takes a never too old to learn approach and remains passionate about the manufacturing world to this day. John and his wife Tracy and their three sons live in Louisville, Kentucky.

OUR NEW U.S. SERVICE FACILITY IS NOW UP AND RUNNING TO SERVE OUR U.S. CUSTOMERS

Its objective is to reinforce our after-sales, engineering and spare parts services in the United States, where Fagor Arrasate has carried out numerous projects in recent years and where our customer portfolio is booming.

The new service plant, located in Portage, Indiana, near Chicago, has a workshop equipped with a bridge crane, a warehouse area and a modern office building, occupying a total of 625 square meters (6,727 square feet).

At Fagor Arrasate we are committed to offering an expert, close and direct service, from the conception of the project and throughout its life cycle. We firmly believe that our customers’ challenges are our challenges and, therefore, our goal is to accompany them in their success stories.