Of all the buzzwords that emerged from the unprecedented year of 2020 (think: quarantine, social distancing, etc.) no word feels more relevant to our MTI family than "pivot."
Little did we know when we turned our calendars to 2020 in January, those pages would soon get crossed-out and edited beyond recognition, eventually settling into their new homes in the garbage can.
While the pandemic shifted our priorities and altered some projects in 2020, we are humbled by the perseverance and ingenuity of our team that helped us come out stronger on the second half of the year, despite the unexpected challenges.
In this blog, we will look back at some of 2020's highlights that are paving the way for a bigger and brighter 2021.
THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM
Months before COVID-19 dominated all airwaves and discussions, our itineraries were packed with trade shows and events, aiming to educate more people about the benefits of our friction welding technologies.
In February, we were able to attend our first and only in-person event of the year at LIFT in Detroit - just weeks before the world came to a screeching halt.
The Joining in Car Body Engineering 2020 Conference gave us the chance to highlight the benefits our LF35-75 linear friction welder can provide to the automotive industry.
A CHANGE OF PLANS
By early March, it was clear that business as we knew it was about to change drastically. Once the U.S. and UK government enacted restrictions to quell the spread of COVID-19, MTI shifted to remote work and closed our facilities for several weeks to keep our MTI family and our customers as safe as possible.
However, our buildings weren't always empty during that time -- our Manufacturing Services team reported for duty to join parts for businesses that the government deemed essential, ensuring business kept moving during one of the most critical times of the pandemic.
Also at the height of the global health crisis, our UK team worked safely to complete and ship a double-ended axle machine, which was able to leave our doors shortly after shipping restrictions were lifted.
As more in-person events began canceling indefinitely, we took a more aggressive approach in going digital. In April, we hosted our first of many live webinars, focusing on our newest solid-state joining technology, Low Force Friction Welding. In one of those webinars, we teamed up with EWI to help guide the discussion.
Offering support for webinars was just one way EWI helped propel Low Force Friction Welding in 2020. MTI and EWI also collaborated to publish several joint research papers on the technology, which are available now for download.
In the fall, we also teamed up with LIFT and TWI to host a Solid-State Joining Virtual Summit, which highlighted the advantages of friction welding and allowed us to share the capabilities of our LF35-75.
On the topic of teaming up, we continued to strengthen our relationship with FWT in 2020. Despite the pandemic-induced travel restrictions, we were still able to make meaningful progress with our India-based friction welding partner.
To learn more about our cost-effective, globally sourced SPARTAN direct-drive friction welders, click here.
Low Force Friction Welding wasn't the only one of our technologies to see more progress in 2020 - the year also brought significant advancements for plug welding.
Plug welding is primarily used to refill damaged holes on aerospace components such as fan and exit cases. Our process allows aerospace companies to salvage these components by fixing each individual hole, instead of scrapping the entire assembly.
You can read more about the advantages here.
MTI was proud to make headlines in 2020. Most notably, we were recognized for one of our efforts with EWI.
MTI is involved in a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) research project, which focuses on the durability of friction welds created with dissimilar metals.
The DOE's Office of Fossil Energy and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) selected two projects to receive approximately 10 million dollars in federal funding for the cost-shared research and development endeavors.
MTI is working with EWI on one of the selected projects.
Here is a look at some other notable happenings in 2020:
- MTI UK's Manufacturing Services division expanded its CNC capabilities
- Our U.S. Manufacturing Services team putting its first turnkey solution family of parts into production from raw material to pre-weld machining, welding, heat treat, to post-weld final part machining
- Expanding offerings in our Service & Spare Parts department, including machine relocation
- MTI U.S. and UK supporting several local charities during the holiday season
Now that distribution of the vaccine has begun, brighter days are on the horizon not just for the world, but for our MTI family as well.
Our UK team is entering 2021 with a full schedule of builds and projects, thanks to dedicated work during 2020.
And while the Aerospace industry as a whole took a hit from 2020's flight reductions, our US team is already seeing new signs of life from this critical business sector, signaling a recovery may not be too far off.
Even though we're only a few days into the new year, we are filled with a restored sense of confidence about 2021 and gratitude for our employees' flexibility in the challenging year of 2020 to set us up for success!
TALK TO US
If you'd like to learn more about Low Force Friction Welding, the LF35-75, our expanded CNC capabilities or any of our other broad offerings, contact us today to begin the conversation.