Some of these sites are helpful, some are just curiosities—but all are interesting to metalworking professionals.
Download Community (www.download-com.com)—I'm not sure how or even why this site provides free downloads of software and files for several manufacturing categories . . . but it does, and it does a fine job of providing access to solutions for plant control, file translation, facilities management, maintenance, downtime measurement and prevention, and more. And did we mention that it's free? This is worth a visit, no matter what type of manufacturing professional you are.
Dr. Machines (www.drmachines.com)—The Doctor is BAAAACK! Perhaps you remember this site dedicated to online diagnostics and control of machine tools (and other appliances and tools)? It was affiliated with Hitachi Seiki for some time, then it "went silent." Well, back it is, and the ol' Doc hasn't been stagnant. Select "Troubleshooting," and you'll find a database of error codes and diagnostic info for (mainly Fanuc) controls. Selecting "Ask The Expert" returns a database of errors/problems, troubleshooting techniques and solutions for a trove of machine, control, servo and spindle combinations. This site offers a level and quality of content not found on many other sites serving machining these days, and it deserves another visit.
Eng-Tips (www.eng-tips.com)—Eng-Tips touts itself as "technical work forums for engineering professionals." That pretty much sums it up, except to say that the depth of topics is excellent, the site performs well (there aren't many lags, as you'll find on other online forums), and it is well policed for relevance. This is a site rich with opportunity for machining professionals and managers looking to expand their online options and resources.
If you're looking to expand your online options—and who among us isn't?—then pay a visit to the MMS Online Web Links Repository (www.mmsonline.com/links) for the Web's most complete collection of machining-related sites.
Job Shop Site Of The Month
SLP Machine is a Minnesota-based, full-service machining business. Its Web site (www.slpmachine.com) presents a professional appearance, is easy to use and its content is written succinctly—excellent qualities for a manufacturing site. Jump straight into the "Case Studies" section. There you'll find some of the best examples anywhere of what a shop did to overcome or solve a problem of—and bring value to—a customer. More and more sites serving manufacturing should include case studies. If you're Web site doesn't have these—and lots of ‘em—then you'd better get going, and you'd better do it now. SLP's got a leg up on you.
To have your site considered for Job Shop Site Of The Month, send your URL to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to get the online metalworking scoop via e-mail from metalworking’s preferred information source? Subscribe to MMS’ OTW (On The Web) Infoletter at www.mmsonline.com/newsletter/.