Emily Probst is the associate editor for Modern Machine Shop. She joined the staff in the summer of 2006 as the editorial intern editing product releases for the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS). Hired full-time in 2007 after graduating with a B.S.J. from Ohio University, she edited product releases and columns until 2012, when she moved to her current role of writing and editing case studies for both print and online media channels. In this role, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world as well as visit some interesting shops and trade shows in the United States. She also administers Modern’s blog as well as its Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts.
Fives (Paris, France) has entered into an agreement to acquire MAG Americas, a global supplier of high-performance machining solutions and composite processing. As a subsidiary of the MAG Group, MAG Americas provides large and complex parts machining solutions and composite processing for aerospace, oil and gas, mining, agriculture and off-road-vehicle industries.
This acquisition encompasses several business units: Giddings & Lewis, Cincinnati and Forest-Liné, specializing in composite processing and large metal cutting machines, as well as a unit dedicated to aftermarket services.
Frédéric Sanchez, chairman of the executive board of Fives, says, “This acquisition marks another step forward in the development of our group, which will add to its portfolio the innovative know-how of more than 1,000 employees located in five different countries. As a global supplier of superior and innovative technologies and products, MAG Americas perfectly matches Fives’ strategy to focus on high-value-adding industries, such as aerospace. Through this combination, we are also reinforcing our exposure to a well-positioned North American industry and opening to new opportunities for development in emerging countries.”
Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
Or so says Editor-in-Chief Chris Koepfer about the new PM Blog recently launched by MMS sister publication Production Machining. Instead of using social media to tweet about breakfast plans, this blog will get to the stuff you actually care about: the business of making precision machined parts. The blog will include reports on the PM staff's travels, updates on articles and shops they’ve visited and timely industry news.
Gardner Business Media (publisher of MMS) also has some other great blogs you should check out:
Please excuse the grainy photo I tried to quickly snap in the airport with my iPhone. If you look closely, you can just make out the Big Ass Fans logo.
On a recent trip to Costa Rica, I was surprised to see a Big Ass Fan above the baggage claim area at the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia. What caught my attention about this particular fan is the fact that I’ve noticed the company’s ads placed across the pages of Modern Machine Shop throughout the years. While I’ve seen these fans at tradeshows, I’ve never been able to see one used in an actual application until now. It was also cool to see something that, in my mind, belongs in a manufacturing environment used in an entirely different setting. Although I wasn’t surrounded by CNC machines and factory equipment, the fan did a good job of keeping me cool in the non-air-conditioned airport in a hot, humid country. This sighting might seem incidental, yet for me it was another example of how manufacturing and the products that support the industry improve our everyday lives.
Travis Blasier says that if you’re not educating for the future, you’re not helping yourself. In the photo above, which was the October winnining entry, he’s working at a Mori Seiki SL 400, one of the CNCs he helps keep running at the shop.
Remember the cool tool chest we featured in this blog post? As part of the “Tools You Can Use” contest at the Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMC) at IMTS, Gardner Business Media awarded a 53" Kobalt stainless steel tool chest to Travis Blasier, 1st shift turning center setup at N. E. W. Industries.
Travis went to IMTS to learn more about turning centers. He says he’s a firm believer in education. “If you want to learn, it’s all there (at IMTS). All you have to do is listen.” He says he found the show fascinating and looks forward to the next one. “This is the place to go if you want to see all the new equipment. Everybody has so much to teach.”
Travis’ job is to keep all the CNC lathes at N.E.W. Industries up and running. The company has more than 25 CNC turning centers (mostly Mori Seiki) that run 24 hours a day. In the photo above, Travis is standing in front of a Mori Seiki SL 400 turning center. The company takes on high-mix, high-volume jobs ranging from bolts to car pedals to equipment for Oshkosh trucks. According to Travis, business is “booming.”
In 2006, Travis graduated from high school without a set plan. He saw an ad in his local paper that New Industries was looking for operators. Even though he had no formal education in the field, he figured he was mechanically inclined, so he’d give it a try.
He gives credit to his employers, a family-owned business established in 1983, because they are willing to hire people with no formal training. “The company takes a person they think they can work with and then we teach them. We have all the tools here to teach,” Travis says. He guesses that about half of the nearly 200 people at the facility working in three shifts have no formal training.
The company is now hiring, but it’s hard to get the right people in the door, Travis says. “It can be quite scary for a person coming in and seeing these big pieces of metal spinning so fast,” Travis says. But it’s a cool place to work and a cool industry to work in—it’s definitely not the dark and gloomy factory environment that manufacturing was in the past, he says. Travis has spent a combined two years at the company (he left for a couple of months to go to the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Orlando, Florida) because its training philosophy matches his own. “My personal philosophy is if you’re not educating for the future, you’re not helping yourself.”
Travis was so happy to receive the toolbox that he started "rocking the air guitar."
With the Italian economy contracting, it’s important to note that while the country is not consuming a large number of machine tools, it certainly is exporting them. In fact, Italy ranked third as a major machine tool exporter in 2011, with exports totaling roughly $4,207,030. In 2012, that number is expected to grow to about $4,848,036,000.
This information was presented to international journalists by UCIMU, the Italian machine tools, robots and automation manufacturer’s association at the 28th edition of Bi-Mu, Italy’s biennial machine tool show. The show took place October 2 through 6 at the Fieramilano exhibition center in Milan. It attracted 58,875 visitors from 77 different countries and 1,160 exhibitors displaying 3,000 machines in the 90,000 square meters of floor space. You can see a small sampling of the machines on display in this slideshow.
Luigi Galdabini, president of UCIMU-Sistemi Per Produrre says that, “In spite of the difficult situation, and the recession affecting most countries of the Euro Zone, the show was successful in maintaining its size, even exceeding targets with a cautious optimism that gives hope for the near future.”
The show also focused on the impact of machine tools on daily life through the special exhibition event “Things for life. Technologies of doing.” This exhibit featured daily meetings with industry experts and provided an interactive path for students to see how products are made using machine tools. According to UCIMU, students generally want to stay in the office and not work in the plant because pants are thought to be dirty and noisy. One way to change this misperception is to show students the complicated, advanced products that are being manufactured in today’s shops and to make them aware of manufacturing as a viable, well-paying career opportunity.
The next show will take place September 30 – October 4, 2014 at the Fieramilano exhibition center.