Posted by: Derek Korn 14. August 2015

Access the 2015 Top Shops Benchmarking Executive Summary

This year marks the fifth edition of our Top Shops benchmarking survey. This 2015 Top Shops Executive Summary compares responses from the benchmarking group with the other shops that participated in the survey. We calculate the results by totaling the points assigned to select survey questions.

As you review this information, consider which practices the Top Shops are leveraging that might be appropriate to implement in your operation. Also, please consider being part of our next survey, which goes live in January 2016. Since 2011, approximately 1,700 shop owners or managers have participated in the survey. Thanks to all who have done so.

For more information about our Top Shops program, visit our Top Shops Zone.

Posted by: Stephanie Hendrixson 13. August 2015

Waterjet Equipment Cuts Costs

Many of the waterjet machining products covered in this month’s Modern Equipment Review spotlight feature advances that make them more economical solutions. A dual-tank waterjet from Techni, for instance, enables continuous operation because the operator can unload and load one tank while the other is cutting, just like a pallet changer in a machining center. Other cost-saving features are even more fundamental, such as a hydraulic intensifier pump available from Jet Edge that regulates its power draw for use in labs, schools and small shops.

Click the image above to view these products and more in a slideshow, and read the product spotlight section here in the digital edition of the August issue. 

Posted by: Russ Willcutt 12. August 2015

Drawing Millennials to Manufacturing

It is projected that more than 6,000 positions in advanced manufacturing will be open in Northern Kentucky by 2022.

Reaching out to millennials—those born between 1980 and 2000—is critical to the future of manufacturing. One way to do so involves sharing the testimonials of those within that age group who’ve already begun successful careers in advanced manufacturing. That’s the mission of the Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Coalition of Northern Kentucky, which has launched a marketing campaign targeting millennials that could be a model for other states.

The coalition is co-chaired by industry leaders, including regional entities involved in workforce development, which developed the campaign to find job-seekers to fill a multitude of advanced manufacturing jobs in the region. The $110,000 campaign includes $80,000 in funding through a grant obtained by Gateway Community and Technical College.

The target of the initial campaign is 18- to 30-year-old men and women who live in the region. It will utilize digital advertising, radio and TV commercials, advertising on Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) buses and Pandora Internet radio, as well as T-shirts and posters. The campaign is reaching out with voices of people who have already chosen advanced manufacturing proclaiming, “I made it in NKY.”

Rose Communications surveyed young people currently working in advanced manufacturing in Northern Kentucky. “What our team learned through these surveys is that these young men and women see great opportunities for themselves to have rewarding careers,” says Mike Vogt, co-chair of the coalition and vice president of human resources and general affairs for Mazak Corp., which makes advanced turning and milling machines at its Florence headquarters.

It is projected that more than 6,000 positions in advanced manufacturing will be open in Northern Kentucky by 2022. Learn more about the program by watching this short video

Posted by: Derek Korn 11. August 2015

Getting Ramped up on Swiss-Types

unique challenges to Swiss machining

It’s one thing to train a person to operate a conventional CNC turning center. It’s another to get someone comfortable running a more complex Swiss-type lathe with its signature sliding-headstock design. So what specifically needs to be pointed out to a person who either has some experience with conventional turning centers or perhaps no machining knowledge whatsoever? I got some suggestions from folks at Vallorbs, a manufacturing operation in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, that has a wealth of experience with Swiss-types. Here’s what they had to say.

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 10. August 2015

Additive Manufacturing Conference Speaker: Robert Mudge

The parent company to RPM Innovations has been additively manufacturing metal parts this size for years on machines built in-house.

Robert Mudge, president of RPM Innovations, will be one of the speakers at the upcoming Additive Manufacturing Conference. Read here about his company’s additive production of large metal parts. The conference—October 20-21 in Knoxville, Tennessee—focuses on industrial applications of additive manufacturing. Learn more and register to attend at

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