The machining industry in the country is in good shape, a survey of the Department of Science and Technology’s Metals Industry Research and Development Center reveals.

The industry’s smooth running is apparently fueled by the steady demand of the manufacturing and other industries, reflecting a vigorous economy that attracts investors.

“We are happy with this development as it mirrors the modest contribution of the DOST to the machining industry,” DOST Secretary Mario Montejo said, referring to the support of DOST’s Metals Industry Research and Development Center to the industry.

MIIRDC is the sole government institution directly supporting the metals and engineering industry, including the machining sector, through services that enhance their competitive advantage. Along with the machining and manufacturing sector, DOST-MIRDC also caters to the automotive/transport, industrial machinery, agriculture, metalworking, and construction industries.

Meanwhile, machining companies also serve the food processing, shipbuilding, mining, appliance, pressworking/stamping, tool and die making, power generation, electronics, and chemical processing sectors.

“We have a whole spectrum of services that aim to keep the metals and engineering industry competitive worldwide,” Montejo said. DOST-MIRDC provides professional management and technical expertise services to keep the industry in full gear, he added.

MIRDC, ISO 9001:2008 certified institution, also provides training to engineers and technicians, and services to companies through information exchange, trade accreditation services, quality control and testing of metal products, research and development, and business economics advisory.

Because of the industry’s good performance, most of the respondents are optimistic that business will flourish in the coming years. Some wanted to invest in new production process, specifically in the development of spare parts of sea and land transport equipment, and windmill to pump water and produce electricity. Some are gearing up towards automation and improvement of the design of agricultural equipment and other farm implements.

Said DOST-MIRDC national survey, covering the year 2007-2008, involves 955 respondents or 71% of the 1,350 identified machine shops. The survey details the over-all performance of the machining industry sector and gives a glimpse of the general profile of the machining sector in the country.

The survey shows that majority of the machining companies offer repair services, and the rest are into industrial parts fabrication, machine rebuilding, and engine reconditioning services. Most of the companies are located in the National Capital Region and the rest are widely distributed in various regions of the country.

Some 98 percent of the surveyed shops are Filipino-owned, with only two percent partly-owned by other nationals. Almost half of the shops surveyed have a capital that ranges between more than a hundred thousand pesos to a million pesos. A few percentage of the surveyed shops were established since 1990 onwards and a few of them have been existing for over 50 years.

Most of the production personnel involved in the machining industry are mostly males who work as engineers, designers, draftsmen, assembly die maintenance, inspection/quality control technicians, machine operators, laborers, R&D staff, and others. Other personnel in the industry are welders, fabricators, tool keepers, foremen, machine rebuilders, and molders.

Interestingly, the study revealed that micro shops are usually family enterprises in which the owner and some family members are hands-on in the business operation.

The 2009 Machine Shop Industry Study is now available at the DOST-MIRDC library at the DOST Compound, Bicutan, Taguig City. (S&T Media Service)

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