"In this world that we are living in, where labor is a problem and people can't get workers, it makes the payback on automation much more palatable," Early said. "In this machine, you can have one robot standing in one place the entire time. And instead of every three to four minutes the robot doing something … the robot is being utilized more effectively and so the automation payback makes sense."
Now more than ever, customers are seeking equipment that brings enhanced automation to the shop floor. This, Early said, is driven in part by the labor shortage, but it's also being driven by the desire to further enhance efficiencies in the production process.
Those are things that Desma knows well, Early said. Customers also can find confidence in the technology and design of Desma machines. After all, the company has been on the cutting edge of the technology, Early said, pointing to Desma USA's parent company Kloeckner Desma Elastomertechnik GmbH, which is headquartered Germany and has been helping European customers find success with automation and efficiency.
"The Europeans are very keen on labor costs, and the products developed by Desma—be it brush systems or sliding devices—have always had a slant toward improving ergonomics or improving how few operators you need on a machine or for any given cycle time," Early said. "And when you look at robots being used … it has a common control system. Desma is leading the way for having one common control system for an automated cell vs. having a robotic control system talking to the Desma machine control system. We think that is an advantage for customers from a trouble-shooting standpoint."
In helping to bring automation to the shop floor, Desma USA also is working to ensure that its customers have exactly the kind of maintenance and technical support they need to keep their machinery up and running.
To this end, the Desma 968 Rotary employs the company's Smart Connect software, which allows customers to access an array of data instantly through a mobile app. This, Early said, gives supervisors and engineers the power to manage an entire production floor from anywhere in the world.
And when they need support from Desma, the company will be there to help.
"(Technical support and maintenance) is an area we are continuing to staff up and add processes and add people," Early said. "The rubber industry in America is continuing to demand machines that are efficient and reliable, and suppliers that can support it. We are working hard to fill that space."
In the years ahead, Early said, customers can expect to see more automated machinery options from Desma.
"We are bringing a lot of automation in-house at Desma," Early said. "… We see the future as needing more automation, and we are investing in our company to be able to do that."