This episode of Manufacturing A Stronger Standard was live from FABTECH 2021. Host and President of LestaUSA and DeGeest Corp. Derek DeGeest spoke with JR Rogers, National Sales Manager for Engineered Systems for Wagner, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of surface finishing systems with liquid paints, powder coatings, adhesives and sealants. Wagner is also an authorized equipment partner of LestaUSA.
This is FABTECH’s first time in person since 2019, and Rogers and DeGeest are happy to be in the same room. The in-person aspect is an important topic, but the second most important is automation.
“That’s probably the number one question we get asked: ‘How can we get more automation because I can’t have more employees. The employees I have don’t want to do the job or stay on the job,” Rogers explained. “One of the things we want to do is be able to go from manual gun to partial automation to full automation.”
This means Wagner must have the right tool for the right job. There is no single solution. Rogers noted that most people are moving towards full automation when possible. An example would be powder coating, where robots are used in the cabin. Instead of having a manual operator, a robot can be trained very quickly to take on this role.
“Sometimes it’s just a robot, but a lot of times it complements the automatic guns that are there and takes out the manual part of it,” Rogers said.