Online Metalworking Forums
Forums on the Web provide the opportunity to ask or answer questions. But forums—especially the established ones—can be valuable as searchable archives where you can get information without posting at all. Be sure to explore these models when you're looking for machining-related information:
CNCzone (www.cnczone.com)—This formidable Web site is more of a collection of forums for machining research than a single entity, as it is broken into several categories. These include metalworking machines, processes and solutions, CAD/CAM software, used machinery, and more. Some forums on “the zone” may not relate directly to metalworking; some are directed to hobbyists or woodworking folks. But the activity in metalworking's sweet spots defines its value. The resident search is useful, and moderators are assigned to categories. Also valuable are sectors dedicated to specific models of machines and software. This site is well worth a bookmark for future reference.
alt.machines.cnc (groups.google.com)—The expert participants and the immediacy of this group make it a valuable resource. Its worth as a searchable repository of information and as a channel to initiate communications with its substantial community of “lurkers” propel it to “must-have” status as a machining professional's research tool.
For more metalworking and machining forums and links, visit MMS Online's Web Links Repository (www.mmsonline.com/links).
Job Shop Site Of The Month
At first blush, the Web site of Advanced Machining Corporation (www.admacor.com) doesn't seem like much to write home—or a column—about. But one element of the site stands out. Enter the capabilities area of the site and select a process (wire or sinker EDM, milling, turning, and so on). Select any of the parts on these process pages, and you'll find a swell little utility that allows the visitor to view parts and products produced by the related process. Further, AMC presents descriptive information about the part you're viewing.
Take this one step further and imagine this utility with even more descriptive information about each specific part or project. Imagine adding info such as cycle times for the parts, improvements made during the design or engineering process, or alternative processes applied for better results that describe how AMC (or you) made a part better, faster or cheaper. Buyers are constantly on the lookout for stable, dependable, creative, active process partners, and the Web plays a crucial role in their search. This section of AMC's site comes close to delivering exactly the information that buyers of machining services are looking for online.
To have your site considered for Job Shop Site Of The Month, send your URL to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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