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This past November select Firefly employees had the opportunity to attend the FABTECH Convention in Atlanta.  FABTECH exhibits a wealth of innovation and technology solutions with over 1,900 exhibiting companies gathering to celebrate metal manufacturing and advancements.  Here at Firefly Fabrications because we always care about growing as food truck builders, it is important that we stay at the cutting edge of fabrication technology, so we can continue to keep our productivity high, which ultimately keeps the customer’s cost low.

Here are the top 5 best things we learned this year

  1. The advancements in the CNC cutting technology are astounding. Newer models can cut faster and longer than ever before and with the addition of various attachments, the machines can almost run themselves. Autoloading, bending, and stacking of parts is a reality.  Major brands such as Amada and Trumpf showed off the newest models at FABTECH.  This is one of many great ways to create the best food truck parts.
  2. The “state of the industry” seminar was very interesting. They talked about the problems the industry faces, such as a difficulty in hiring skilled labor, the tariffs against China, and connecting with the next generation of labor. The industry is faced with the problem of raising awareness, most students going through school are unaware of how great a career in manufacturing can be.
  3. The usefulness of automated saws is unbelievable. The ability to set a list of measurements on a computer and then walk away from it while it cuts the parts is a game changer. Perfect tolerances are achieved, as well as, faster work times. Coldsaws provide the best finish on cut pieces making them “install ready” without sanding or deburring. It provides a better product at a better price.
  4. Being surrounded by product reps for all the tools used in everyday fabrication was an amazing feeling. Discussing the products that we use and finding better ways to produce the results we want was a big part of FABTECH. Plenty of vendors had samples and product demos. I was able to address concerns I had with product reps and gain advice or recommendations for different techniques and products. We always want to be at the cutting edge while doing all food truck repairs.
  5. Finding a supplier for quality parts is hard to find, but at FABTECH, I was able to find vendors for products we need, as well as, vendors for products previously unknown. There was a vendor for a spot welder we use that’s not in business anymore. They supply replacement parts, consumables, and even do repairs. Even better, they are local to our shop. Another vendor we found was for gaskets and seals. They sent a care package to the office with various samples of gaskets and trim. I was able to find new solutions to old problems by testing samples of these products before we buy them.