Now this is cool. 123D Catch is an app from Autodesk that turns photos into 3-D models. The premise is simple: submit a photo or photos of just about any object to the service and it will generate 3-D models for use in CAD. And once you've generated the 3-D model, you can share it with others in your network. The Autodesk service for converting and generating the models is cloud-based, which requires little from your computer or device as far as space goes. This app is currently available for PCs and iPads. A fantastic resource for reverse-engineering and collaboration between customers, suppliers, and internal workgroups.
This digitized magazine app presents latest issue and legacy articles serving the contract manufacturing and supply-side of the aerospace supply chain, covering technology and business topics. The app is available for both iPhone and iPad.
Spain represents their formidable machine tool industry with this site, hosted in multiple languages by SMTBA (or AFM, as they are known in Spain). This site features an excellent listing of machine tool builders, an inquiry system to locate distributors, a thorough representation of the associations services to members, and a fabulous overview of a sometimes overlooked machine tool powerhouse. Also worthy of special note is their Proschools program, "a consortium for exporting machine tools for the education sector, set up under the auspices of (this association) and specialising in equipment for technical training centres and institutions all over the world." A noble and inspirational cause. Visit, and get aquainted with an outstanding organization and market.
This site contains results of the AF's work in manufacturing and metalworking, but you'll have to dig a bit to get at it. If you're feeling investigative, you'll find some useful information here.
ATC is located in Alexandria, MN, and offers several degree and certificate options for machining and metalworking education. Their curriculum includes many standards within the field, including milling & turning, jigs & fixtures, CAD/CAM, CNC programming, shop math (trig & geometry), and machine tool theory. ATC also offers several scholarships in conjunction with local companies and manufacturers to offset education costs.
SteelForge.com is another excellent example of a traditional metals company using the Web to expand their services. Its business is a potpourri of materials & services – they don’t just supply metals, they’re a full-blown forging services provider, as well. And this site has it all: comprehensive menus of their products, an intuitive navigation scheme, an assortment of calculators and utilities, and various communications methods to contact and query. They even have an interactive log-in available to check order status real-time. This is one welcome addition to the online Metals Sales & Services community.
This long-running haven for machining gurus and novices keeps trudging along. Our description of “AMC” from 2001 still holds true: “(it) is at once informative, confusing, entertaining, coherent, obnoxious and just plain fun … (it) sounds like a shop floor.” But make no mistake—amidst the din of occasional political and personal bickering beat the hearts of helpful, knowledgeable (if not always compassionate) professionals who will cut through any hype and provide honest answers and advice to all reasonable queries. AMC is one of the Internet’s most active newsgroups. The expert participants and immediacy of this group alone 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.
Amalco is a custom contract manufacturer in New Jersey. It specializes in the fabrication & machining of many metals and alloys, including exotics, and it serves many industries including aerospace, defense, automotive, medical/dental, and many others. The Amalco Website has some excellent traits for use as examples for other shops, but best of all are its presentation of capabilities seen in the main graphics window of the site. Selecting any part gets a close up of the part along with mouse-over windows that lead to more detail about the process or specialty that went into making it. Selecting one of the these leads to a collection of other parts with similar applications or features. This is a creative, effective way to portray a shop's skills and capabilities.
Amazon has launched the next major iteration of its Industrial & Scientific section, called Amazon Supply. It offers much of the same manufacturing and MRO (maintenance, repair, operations) products for small & medium sized shops as I&S did, but with improved services & options. You will find a broad selection of cutting tools, materials (yes, including metals), material handling equipment, and shop supplies here. But Amazon Supply has built on its purchase of Small Parts in '05, and now offers corporate lines of credit with 45+ days extended payment terms, invoice-level detail, online account management, and dedicated customer service. All this, blended into Amazon's legacy B2C model. (A feature here of interest to small & medium machining and metalworking businesses - an Amazon Prime account gets you free, two-day shipping just as it would for commericial or consumable products).
The AMTDA – aside from being a premier organization serving the machining & machine tool industries – provides a wealth of information via their Web site. AMTDA's machine search powered by techspex offers a remarkable utility for research-minded machining professionals, with searchable and browsable lists across eight machine categories, distributor and geographic attributes, and more. RFQs may also be submitted through the AMTDA/techspex engine. As techspex continues to expand its data and related services, so too does the AMTDA site grow for manufacturers as a valuable research tool. There are also valuable industry & economic data useful to most machining businesses, including the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Order reports, machine tool distributor & OEM/builder databases, industry updates, and extensive economic reports (for its members).
American Machinist, brought to you by Penton Publishing, is now an online-only site dedicated to....well...the American Machinist, of course. This Web site features an article archive of fine articles, a calendar, and links area.
AMBA represents the moldmaking and mold building shops of North America through networking, lobbying, and support. Their Web site offers books, reports, training materials, a calendar of events, and business forecasting data. Also offered are extensive member databases and a "Buyer's Guide" — they offer contact with the vast moldmaking community that AMBA serves.
After their new-year updates, you won't recognize the place. MUCH more information, a great layout and, if you're a member (yes, you can join), a wealth of data rarely seen (standards-wise) on the Web. For the non-member, it's still a wonderful source of information. Databases and a technical library are notable for their content. Be advised: you will need the ol' (Adobe Acrobat) plug-in for many features of the site.
ANSI has added a significant purchasing utility on their site called Site License, which allows visitors to "buy" time with a document. What that means is, for a price, you get a window—say, 7 days—within which to download the spec(s) you've bought. Of course, you can still purchase hard copies, if you want to wait for them to come via snail-mail.
We're happy to report that the American Precision Museum is up and running. Forget the Web site; that's secondary. The actual museum is what really rocks here. The site includes directions, membership information, and other descriptive verbage that'll make you want to visit (or, at least, join). But hold on a minute ... select the "Hall of Fame" link, and there's a "Who's Who" list of machine tool giants, with brief bios and other cool facts about the several members.
This is kinda a Cooperstown for machinists. Very cool.
Online home to the Premier US Custom & Machine Tool Manufacturing Association. Parent organization of IMTS. Isn't that enough? Well, no. Aside from its strong advocacy work in Washington, DC, on behalf of the machine tool industries & manufacturers, AMT is growing into a technology provider and advocate with the creation, development and promotion of MTConnect – a communication standard that allows machines to share and interpret data between them. While the site is primarily constructed to serve members, there is access to quality info here for the manufacturing public, particularly in regards to books, reports and standards.
Ariba Supplier Network (formerly SupplierMarket.com)
SupplierMarket.com is (was?) an online marketplace for built-to-order industrial products. If you want to get your shop or plant into new work, get yourself involved in RFQ processes, or want to break into new markets, this may be one of the places you want to be. Here's how it works: You bid on RFQs posted by prospective buyers; the buyer selects a supplier (you, maybe?); if all is accepted, the chosen supplier (you, again?) pays a "finders fee."
SupplierMarket has been purchased by (and officially absorbed into) Ariba's online exchange/network (www.ariba.com) and renamed "Ariba Supplier Network."
This is the society for materials engineers. ASM International was formerly named the American Society for Metals, and was founded primarily by metallurgists. This site contains a wealth of association information, chapter identification, members lists, and a bookstore (traditional and electronic products are available). There is also a Testing Buyer's Guide on-line, and it's very complete.
This site delivers product, supplier and technical data for assembly disciplines, including Adhesive Bonding & Dispensing, Automated Assembly, Brazing Soldering & Welding, Fastening, Robots & Vision, Wire Processing, and Workstations & Ergonomics. An excellent site, this.
The AME is an Illinois-based organization dedicated to sharing of best practices among US manufacturers. Its primary focus is on Lean - Lean Accounting, Lean Manufacturing, Lean Supply Chain Management, Lean Product Development, and the entire Lean Manufacturing Enterprise. Members have access to a mature forum that connects with fellow members to consult, inquire, and share experience. Current membership is a little above 5000. The AME site contains some strong manufacturing management information, even for non-members, like past presentations & past issues of its Target magazine.
ASTM International is one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world, a non-profit organization that looks to develop voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems, and services within manufacturing. Their site is simple to use and cleanly organized. You'll find some of the typical association online fare here, along with access to members (laboratories, consultants, etc.) and standards themselves (in CD, print or online forms).
Bidmain has changed hands or strategies (it's always hard to tell which), and as B2GMarkets looks to remain one of the top RFQ models launched to put manufacturers in touch with buyers of services or discrete parts—in this case, those buyers are governmental.
B2GMarkets offers access to bid opportunities from local, state, federal and international governmental bodies. Once geography is selected, RFQs are searchable by keywords. B2GM also offers a tremendous database of vendors. And you may choose to get your notifications via e-mail.
If you're looking for access to government work to supplement your work, you have to include this step in your processes.
The BTC Machinist program is a full associate's degree curriculum that is a pre-apprentice program for the Tacoma (WA) Machinists Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee. Its' course work is substantial, coverting machining staples such as milling, turning, quality & measurement, geometry, advanced machining, and a strong emphasis on shop safety.
Excellent site. It is a repository of useful technical information and news, provides communications to this useful organization, is fully searchable, and has a huge amount of BMP's for metalworking and manufacturing. The site is still a bit dependant upon the (Adobe Acrobat) plug-in for many documents, but this site has grown into a more user-friendly format over the years. Many of BMP's documents and surveys are supported by both html and PDF. BMP is still well worth the visit.
Bid on Equipment is an online marketplace for industrial equipment used in the food processing, chemical processing, pharmaceutical, packaging and related industries.
How often do you buy a shop? How often do you sell a shop? My hunch is it's not very often, huh?
Don't let that stop you from visiting and exploring BIzquest (this site, formerly the US Business Exchange, has changed hands and monikers). This combination online/offline business supports all stages of buying and selling small-to-medium-sized business; they list available businesses, track them, consult, provide valuation, financial, and legal services.
The BIN is a suite of services (some commercial) and information regarding several technical, machining-related topics, including Programmable Logic Controler (PLC) and PLC Networdiagnostics, preventative maintenance, and others. Their "Articles" section contains several useful items, from more PLC data to getting started with your own Web site. The Resource section of BIN is substantial and thorough. This is one of those sites that's worth just diving into and playing "What's This Do?" until your mouse breaks.
BTA might seem a bit contrived; after all, the government and the Department of Defense aren't necessarily famous wellsprings of e-commerce information or cyber-savvy prowess. But if you're looking to do business with the government, if you covet defense-related work, or should you ever become curious about where such work might lead or require of you, you're going to want to visit this site. You'll find information about the three "p's": policies (hey, this IS the government), programs and projects.
BusinessLaw.gov was developed by the Small Business Administration to give small business owners access to legal and regulatory information. But they've also included tutorials, wizards, and other online utilities to deliver advice on finances, starting or expanding a business, and accessing state or local info.
BusinessLaw.gov has been absorbed into the larger portal Business.gov.
Our Canadian brethren to the north have a built a very useful metalworking resource here. They present a comprehensive archive of metalworking-related articles, a thorough calendar and an awfully useful perspective on the Canadian metalworking industry.
The CTMA aims to promote and support the Canadian manufacturing industries through events, surveys & networking support. Their site presents primarily membership information, but does provide some news and other perishable information useful to our Canadian brothers & sisters in the business of making chips.
CareerBuilder's Manufacturing Jobs section has thousands of manufacturing & machining jobs, as well as utilities and tools to help with most job searches - including videos, employment advice, a salary calculator, and more.
CCE provides translators in SaaS or SaaP (Software as a Product) models. Register on this site, pay up (with a credit card, thank you very much), download their connectivity software, and you're playing quarterback in the Translator Bowl. There are several combinations of translators across numerous 3D CAD systems, including CATIA, Pro/Engineer, MasterCAM, Unigraphics, Solid Edge, and others. These folks have really pressed the "agility" button hard with this site; by offering more translators and more mature rental menu (i.e., hourly, daily, weekly, etc.), this site just might give shops a glimpse of what will become commonplace sooner—rather than later. This is a great example of how SaaS can effectively address a shop's needs at very granular levels. CCE has evolved to include many specialized, specific design & manufacturing software solutions for businesses throughout supply chains.
CECIMO is the representative organization for most of the European machine tool builders. The CECIMO site includes an impressive collection of info about its member industries. Also included are several technical initiatives currently underway, including those for STEP-NC and a group of "Thematic Network" projects designed to improve data exchange between member countries/organizations.
Cerritos College is a community college located in Norwalk, CA. Its Machine Tool Technology program offers 5 levels or study: CNC programmer; CNC operator; machinist; tool and die maker; and an associate's degree in Machine Tool Technology. Its shop is well-stocked with modern machining equipment & software. The school, founded in 1955, offers several shop- and manufacturing-related courses and programs, including CNC milling, CNC turning, setup & operation, fixturing, specific CAD/CAM programs (MasterCAM & GibbsCAM), and inspection. Cerritos College also sponsors and hosts the Virtual Machine Shop - a site dedicated to machine tool knowledge & training.
Changing Gears is part Blog, part journalism, and all things industrial from the hearland of the Midwest US. A cooperation between various media (TV & radio), CG covers every conceivable aspect of industry - jobs, the economy, industry verticals, production, trade issues, and socio-economic & political developments as they impact the people, governments and economy of the 'rust belt.' A well-written, thoughtful platform that deserves your attention, whether you're from (or in) the Midwest or not. If you're in manufacturing, you'll get something from CG.
While not EXACTLY an education link, this sure comes close enough in our book. Chicago Women In Trades (CWIT) is an advocacy group that works in myriad ways to promote and advance women in manufacturing trades. If you're in the Chicagoland area, this group may offer you employment options for your business. If you're not from around there, ask yourself, "Does our area have something like this and, if not, why not?"
This site is a tremendous repository of CNC information and is maintained by Mike Lynch, monthly contributor to MODERNMACHINE SHOP and general, all-around CNC guru. This site has an OUTSTANDING links page to CNC-related tools on the Web. But wait ... there's MORE! Mr. Lynch and company have also reorganized their Web site recently. Don't let the simple (re: effective) layout fool you; there's plenty of CNC stuff here. There are CNC Tips and Hints, an area for reviewing and ordering software, a CNC Jobs area (for both people and companies looking for that perfect match), and an exhaustive CNC Schools section (listing specific courses and lab equipment, no less). If you're into CNC, this will rock your world. Update: CNC Concepts has launched an Internet-based CNC training program that expands the horizons of CNC Concepts into overdrive. Current topics available include "Advanced Techniques With Basic CNC Features," "Parametric Programming For CNC," and more.
CNC Times is an online metalworking community and information repository maintained in India. The site contains a wealth of technical info in the form of a library of technical articles. the site has recently undergone a facelift.
This West Coast magazine's Web site offers the scoop surrounding CNC, CAD, CAM and DNC by way of editorial, news, classifieds, and more.
The CNC Zone aspires to be a lot of things—part forum, part technical archive, part photo gallery, part industry portal. In all, the Zone aims to be an online community for machinists and metalworkers by serving all those needs. When this site launched a while back, it touted itself as “the ultimate CNC discussion forum.” That was (and is) its bread and butter; some of the forums are robust, some are a little less so, which mimics machining forums and newsgroups you’ll find serving our world around the ‘net. The substantial list of forums are categorized by topics such as Machining Processes, Metalworking Machines, and CAD/CAM software, and each contain quite detailed subcategories. You’ll find lively debate here, and you’ll also find some helpful, technically-oriented participants. CNC Zone also has launched archives for technical articles, links, photos, and a calendar—all serving the machining arts.
This site has been launched as an information repository for all things related to metalworking fluid (MWF) maintenance. It provides a platform for technical maintenance information, links to related sites and even a "Basics" section that defines the biology, chemisty and other factors that define MWF and its applications. This site already offers a unique and informative resource. Simple and well-done.
Just what is it about corrosion you want to know? Odds are, this Texas-based site will have your answer. Heck, it might even ask some questions for you. From directories of suppliers to technical information, from online utilities and tools to more relevant links than you can shake your mouse at, this site is Corrosion Central. (Check the “Free Content” link for the corrosion mother lode.)
Cutting Tool Engineering's Web site contains contact information, an article archive, and industry news.
With 7 campuses throughout Delaware and Chester counties, DCCC serves the greater Philadelphia area and its western environs. The DCCC offers a full 2-year associate's degree in Machine Tool Technology, as well as 2 levels of machining operator certificates. Courses of study include CNC milling & turning operations, programming, shop math, and solid modeling.
Created and maintained by the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC), this page is a "rotunda," with links to several interesting, government-sponsored IACs. Included are links to IACs created for: Metals Information; Metals Matrix Composites; Manufacturing Technology; and Nondestructive Testing Information. All are good repositories of Metalworking data -- most are excellent. There is a Defense flavor to most of the information, but it is very thorough and is maintained extremely well. All IACs are searchable.
Design-2-Part magazine is dedicated to the success of the US discrete product manufacturing community (ahem ... that includes YOU, by the way). As part of the Job Shop Network, this site supports that overall strategy with technical articles & information. This is one of the industry's most dependable sources of info for commerce, and well worth you getting familiar with.
This site, presented and hosted by computer and technology powerhouse CNET, offers products and software to improve your Web site through better organization, navigation and other attributes. Some downloads are freeware, some are shareware (you use it and pay for it if you like it -- on an honor system), some are just for sale. Regardless of your Web status, you'll want to check out this site for more Web site development options.
OK, let's get this out of the way early: Downtime Central, a part of the Business Industrial Network, is a business site. Now, we don't normally include a business site in this repository unless there are real good reasons. And this site is full of them. If you're looking for help determining the actual costs of downtime due to several factors, eliminating Equipment Downtime, measuring all manner of manufacturing behaviors (overhead, scrap, tooling, personnel, etc.), or even why improving your own equipment maintenance program is important, this site offers an amazing level of quality info. Just select "True Downtime Cost" in the top navigation bar, get a cup of coffee and relax. You'll be here for a while.
The Computer Integrated Machining program at DTCC is a comprehensive program (41 credits required for degree) that focuses on a broad collection of disciplines and topics, beginning with basic CAD, intro to CNC, blueprint reading & machining applications, and progresses through advanced turning & milling, and conceptual physics. Also included in this curriculum is 10 hours of co-op work.
E3 brings several government agencies and departments together to support and promote sustainability in manufacturing. It includes several resources and links to that end, including best practices for parts cleaning and finishing.
That's right, we said eBay. And you can stow all that bunk about baseball cards, pocket watches and golf clubs. Because while no one was looking, eBay has become quite the source for professional grade metalworking and machine tool equipment. Still doubtful? Consider that more and more of the big used machinery dealers – as well as smaller shops and plants – are turning to eBay as a sales channel. Or that you can find some new equipment in their auctions. Or even that eBay offers your business a channel to sell equipment that's been gathering dust in the corner for a few years. Fact is, eBay's Metalworking Equipment section is awfully formidable. Trust us on this one: eBay may offer you some options you never would have expected from them. And now, very quickly, new equipment and accessories are finding their way onto eBay, as are higher-technology machines, cells and ancillary equipment. On a recent day, the metalworking section represented over 500,000 posted metalworking & manufacturing items. No kidding. Add to all this the fact that vibrant sections exist for manuals and documentation, replacement parts, and raw materials, and you have a growing, extraordinarily active resource for buying or selling machining and metalworking equipment and machinery.
eFunda really is sort of a strange name, we'll grant you. But consider that eFunda stands for "Engineering Fundamentals," and you start to get the picture—this site supports most engineering-related functions, including design and manufacturing. First of all (and sticking with our theme, here), their Calculator section is a glorious collection of mathematically useful utilities. You'll also find a treasure chest of technical data, of a quality you'll recognize from traditional publications (only without that pesky page-turning).
Now, you need to know up-front that eFunda charges a subscription for access to all their content. You can access most of their site for a time, but then are asked to pay. The cost is $60 per year ($36 for students), and $96 per year for the works without banners or pop-ups.
Some of the data, like their Machining Processes section, may be a bit elementary for experienced manufacturing professionals. But eFunda represents all technical classes - advanced and less so — quite well. If you're of an advanced technical station, and wanna cough up the cash, this site may become one of your favorites right away.
OK, so eMachineShop.com can be judged as just another online model that looks to further commoditize discrete and custom parts manufacturing. But don’t let that prejudice prevent you from using this site as inspiration for your business' Web strategy. eMachineShop.com doesn't so much create a virtual machine shop (would they create virtual parts, or accept virtual payment?) as it lubricates the communications between the shop and prospective customers in realistic ways. By combining Web functionality with software and "actual" manufacturing methods, their goal is to streamline the design/model, collaboration and bidding/award processes for discrete parts manufacturing. To do this, eMachineShop.com is attempting to redefine the online shop communications interface as a sort of Software as a Service model (an online, software-driven, automated customer service platform). This model – and elements of it – can work for many shops & manufacturing businesses, particularly those that make lower tolerance, standard parts & products. eMachineShop.com has rolled out an interesting model of interface between custom supplier and prospect. There’s inspiration in this for your own business.
The Department of Labor has created this site to help you (boy, does THAT sound familiar) understand your rights and responsibilities under the employment laws and regulations. ELAWS accomplishes this with "Advisors" in three categories: Retirement and Health Benefits; Safety and Health; and Wage, Hour and Other Workplace Standards. The site is straight-forward and easy to understand; however, the path to each "advisor" is a bit long. Allow for some time to see what in this site is relevant to your business.
This app includes numerous unit conversion tools for manufacturers, engineers & students.
This site holds a treasure trove of engineering and manufacturing information & resources. Sections include: videos (both technical and educational); a formidable library that contains industry and occupational news/articles; an impressive jobs section; and a collection of directories for products, universities, manufacturers & associations. Engineering.com also provides an online CATIA Education Center (co-hosted with Dassault Systems), where students and professionals can access curriculae regarding the popular CAD program. You'll also find Engineering.com's Collaboration Suite - a system for managing the entire product life-cycle, from design through sourcing and delivery.
Engineers Edge (EE) follows the theme of a few research- and resource-rich sites to serve engineers looking for product, process or information solutions. Sadly, there are only a few sites that match this level of content and functionality. Happily, there are a few and this is one of them. Simply laid-out and functionally efficient, this site contains loads of Design utilities and tables, Specifications and Charts, and many unique tools and calculators. Forums, Jobs directories and an extensive links section round out a comprehensive site for manufacturers of all walks.
Eng-Tips touts itself as "technical work forums for engineering professionals." That pretty much sums it up, actually. Except to say that the depth of topics is excellent and Eng-Tips is well policed for relevance. This is a site rich with opportunity for manufacturing professionals and managers looking to expand their online options and resources.
Good news/Bad news. Up-to-date, well-thought-out, simply-designed site presenting all things environmental -- legislative, regulatory, contractual. Most of the regulations are downloadable only as PDF (Adobe Acrobat) files. You decide which is which.
The Metal Products & Machinery (MP&M) Effluent Guidlines will, rest assured, affect your shop to some degree. The EPA's Office of Water and Web site present these guidelines in detail for review, and you'd probably do well to review them.
And, maybe, get involved.
Using Scientific Methods to help Business Leaders FIND, FILTER & FAST TRACK innovations that are meaningfully unique vs. competition.
The Tool & Moldmaking Magazine web site offers an abundance of moldmaking-related suppliers information, as well as a products repository, calendar, links and more.
Fabricating.com is the latest sourcing platform to serve the discrete & custom parts manufacturing markets. Many services for buyers & suppliers are free, including searching the Fabricating.com suppliers database, creating company profiles, RFQ creation & management, and many communications & collaborations tools. Higher placement and improved services are available to suppliers at additional costs. According to the company, its customer service and mature technology are its core strengths.
FMA is a leading educational association serving the metalworking industry. They are an excellent resource for information on existing and emerging metal forming and fabricating technologies. Their Web site includes a calendar of upcoming technical conferences, the latest association news, and the FMA Bookstore. You can also subscribe to FMA's official publication The FABRICATOR®, as well as register to attend FABTECH® International. The latest news from The Tube & Pipe Association, International (TPA), FMA's affiliate association, is available, as well. Their Industry Navigator is a database of companies and organizations serving the metalworking industry. But industry news and information are where FMA shine – you’ll find thousands of articles about business and technology developments, and their blog and social media channels are as informative as you’ll find in the US manufacturing virtual landscape.
You want statistics? Odds are you don't. But within the labyrinth of U.S. Government statistics that this site offers access to may lie business info that can help your shop or your business. This site tries hard to simplify access to massive amounts of data, and--sometimes--it works.
FingerCAD is portable device app that allows manufacturers, designers, & shopfloor personnel to 'draw' or manipulate CAD drawings, save them in various formats (like .dxf), share them, and collaborate with others. Files may be exported to various CAD programs, imported from Web links & Emails, and there are several 2D and 3D capabilities built into this app. FingerCAD costs $5.99.
This may be the easiest site description we've ever written.
This site sells flat ground stock. Period. No bells. No whistles. You can order and purchase within a VeriSign environment (that means it's secure) and be on your way.
To try to describe Focus:HOPE in one paragraph would be an insult to a wonderfully intricate and original organization. Part of what Focus:HOPE does is provide a top-shelf manufacturing and metalworking education to some that may have not had the opportunity otherwise. And they produce some outstanding machinists and manufacturing professionals. As an educator, machinist, manufacturing manager--or just a person--you owe it to yourself to check this out. If you are not inspired by this, you have to get out more often.
The FCMT is a California-based community college devoted specifically to machining and machine tool technologies. The courses are offered primarily in off-hours (evenings) and 6 'mini-certificates' are offered for specific CAD/CAM programs such as MasterCam & SurfCam. The FCMT CNC Operator certificate can be earned in 2 semesters. Despite a relatively short duration, the CNC Operator course covers a surprisingly broad collection of topics, and equipment for hands-on instruction is very impressive. Multi-axis machining techniques, specific CAD/CAM package courses, and advanced CNC programming round out the instructions, and many courses may be taken individually to address specific needs.
The Global Alliance of Rapid Prototyping Associations (GARPA), and its annual meeting, the Global Summit, were formed to encourage the sharing of information on rapid prototyping and related subjects across international borders. As a part of this sharing, GARPA members from around the world participate in activities that include technical presentations at industry conferences, the publication of application case studies, business meetings, social events, and the formal and informal exchange of information.
Do you have ANY interest in gear making? That is, does the manufacturing of gears, or any related or indirect gear making information, interest you in the slightest?
Well, it doesn't matter. If you're this deep into MMS Online, you're a manufacturing professional and will find more information in Gear Technology than you can imagine. This site is well organized, updated, content-rich, and covers everything gear-oriented. They offer access to every conceivable supplier and technical topic, and more links than Mr. T's neckwear.
Gear makers heaven, this.
GlobalSpec is a conduit between engineers or technical buyers and suppliers of parts and services. This site offers up sources through part databases, suppliers’ listings, and searches based on product name and specification. You'll find categories running the range from Test/Measurement and Flow Transfer to Motion Control and Manufacturing Equipment. The GlobalSpec model works on the "Supplier Pays, Buyer Free" premise. If you are looking for a source, you have to register to get to the info you need (but it is "free"). If you're supplying a part or service, you're probably going to have to pay to be seen at the level you deserve. GlobalSpec has created a search engine, called the Engineering Web. Forget the hype - GlobalSpec has, in fact, created a Google-like search engine that is self-indexing and effective, but only returns manufacturing-related sites. In other words, it ignores the stuff outside metalworking or manufacturing. All this, coupled with an astonishing collection of technical articles, blogs, industry sectors and more, add up to an extraordinary online resource.
GoIndustry DoveBid is an auction business, dealing primarily in capital equipment and liquidated assets. They are a "bricks and clicks" organization -- that is, they are a traditional business (they've been around for over 60 years, thank you very much) with a most rocking online element to support their core. What that means to you is experience coupled with expanded online support, complimented by an active selection of machining-relevant goods & equipment via auctions. All this—along with their established relationships with large firms looking to sell capital equipment—positions them as real players. The site is event-driven (like an actual auction) and extremely well-conceived. Metalworking is well-represented, and ancillary services (valuations, purchasing support) are available, as well.
Government Liquidation says they are the exclusive partner of the U.S. Department of Defense for the sale of surplus property. Their site helps surplus buyers find and purchase available assets from the "Gub'mint" through an online auction model. And these cats aren't just "vaporware" -- they claim to manage over 1 million square feet of actual warehouse space and maintain outposts on over 150 military bases throughout the world. There are several equipment categories within Government Liquidation, with Industrial Machinery & Equipment, Electrical and Electronic Equipment, Furniture and Office Equipment, and Building Materials hitting closest to the metalworking professional's heart.
The GTC's Machine Tool Technology department offers several opportunities for certifications and degrees, from basic operator to advanced associate's degrees.
GTI is a Georgia-based, precision machining business that serves aerospace, medical, defense, and optics industries & products. Its Web site is simple and easy to navigate, and offers any shop some excellent examples for its own site. But look deeper - each part page describes in great detail what expertise and applications went into making that part, and not just the machines that made them. Tolerances, cycle times, materials, project milestones, and special instructions are among the information found for each project - providing information that their prospects are looking for, and that differentiate GTI from their competition.
HCC is located in Waterloo, IA. Its CNC Machining & Tooling Technology program is an extensive (5 semesters) course of study that includes classes covering machining and CNC programming theory, shop math, computer-aided machining, electrical discharge machining, computer-aided design, 3D modeling, and others. HCC also offers its EMC2 (Exploring Manufacturing Careers Consortium) to high school students throughout the state, providing them with school-to-work programs to support local manufacturers.
We here at Modern Machine Shop pride ourselves in the quality of our content. We try very hard to ensure that the info we present is directly useful to metalworking folks, and that these links are directly relevant. It's what we do.
But, dadgummit ... this is just flat-out COOL!
How Stuff Works is exactly what it says--a site that answers many questions you might have had about how some of the most simple (and complex) stuff really works--metalworking-related or not. We could go on and on about the topics--from machines to living creatures--but that's half the fun. Go check this out, and satisfy a little of that curiosity that makes you a good machining professional to begin with.
And there's another good reason to look into How Stuff Works' site -- you'd be hard-pressed to find a better example of technical data categorized and presented online. The HSW site contains several examples that shops and manufacturers can use as inspiration for their own sites, to communicate effectively with their own customers and prospects.
This site offers a tremendous amount of Web-related data that can help you build, maintain and effectively promote your shop's site to the Web-at-large. Everything, including tools and advice, are available here--all in an easy to navigate format. This is a must-have for shops and businesses in early-to-mid-level development. And not too shabby for you big boys, either.
If you're looking for the nuts and bolts of building, maintaining and updating Web sites, you'll want to include HTMLCenter in your list of must-visit sites. HTMLCenter includes massive lists of site-building product reviews, comprehensive how-to tutorials, helpful forums, reference guides and tables, searchable listings of Web hosting companies — whew! — services to analyze your own site, and everything from A-Z to get your site up and running, or just updated.
This association, founded in 1994, is a blend of business and secondary schools throughout New York and Vermont, dedicated to the replenishment of the metalworking and machine tool work force, as well as other technical industries.
Machining and metalworking education from ISU provides 3 levels of opportunity - basic operator, advanced technical certificate, and associate's degree in machine tool technology. The estimated length of study is 2 1/2 - 4 1/2 semesters. Its' curriculum includes the staples of metalworking knowledge - milling, turning, programming, shop math/trig/geometry, and CAD/CAM. But unique in ISU's machining education are communications and business courses as requirements to graduate.
This site has grown into an impressive suite of resources that are primarily forums serving precise and general categories, including those directly related to machining and manufacturing. The Manufacturing Community and MyForum sections alone are worth a bookmark and return visits. And these guys let you create your own forum(s) for whatever topic(s) you happen to be interested in.
The ISM (formerly the National Association of Purchasing Management) is the organization that represents a group you may want (or have) to deal with: purchasers. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they represent channels into the supply and manufacturing chains of corporations that you likely want to work with. Getting inside their heads—learning about what they’re thinking and what they look for—can help you with your business strategies, your marketing and sales efforts, and even your own Web site. The ISM site contains a great deal of information about these creatures, much of it in the form of surveys or studies commissioned or conducted by ISM and Forrester Research. This is a great site for due diligence, one that you should visit and explore at least once. And their Reports On Business – including the iconic Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) and other manufacturing-related monthly reports are seen as the go-to indices for measuring the economic health & productivity of US manufacturing.
The IMS is an industry-led, international research and development (R&D) program established to develop manufacturing and processing technologies. The network consists of IMS sites around the world. And that's why you should check out this site ... or, rather, these sites.
Run by the Instrument Society of America, ISA On-Line presents a tremendous amount of instrumentation data. The ISA learning center provides a rewarding instrumentation-related experience through links, manufacturers’ databases, and searches for information.
This site looks simple enough, but it's "all titanium, all the time" in this deceptive site. Aside from the standard online association fare (i.e., seminars, calendars, membership info, etc.) you'll find loads of useful information, as well as paths to other titanium sources--if you'll bother to dig a bit. For instance, select "Ti Information" and you'll get loads of applications, technical data, manufacturing techniques, and more. Select the "Titanium Links" section, and then the "Student's Center," and you'll find a fine turorial on Titanium. The "Technical Support" Section includes a Technical Forum, and a Titanium Buyers Guide. All in all, this is as formidable a resource for titanium as you're likely to find anywhere online.
This is a good resource for global trade philosophies and information, as they apply to some Metalworking-related industries.
This free app for the iPhone and iPad comes from the good folks at Iscar, and will calculate the best product for cutting a job after entering a few machining parameters.
This site contains several articles and links to Lean materials. Their "New To SixSigma?" link alone is worth a visit to this site if you’re contemplating Lean or want to learn more about it.
While many paths through this site lead to standards that must be purchased from the International Organization for Standardization, there are still many references here that you might find helpful. Among the more interesting bits of info are those that define the development of standards for hundreds of discrete machine tool applications and ancillary processes.
JFD's Machine Tool Technology Program offers 3 levels of completion - Associate, Career Entry, & Career Skills. Courses offered at their Huntsville, AL, campus include geometric diminsioning & tolerancing, CNC turning, CNC milling, machining calculations & math, and blueprint reading.
The JSN is an excellent resource for job shops. Not only are there resources available for the management and upkeep of the shop (like Job Shop Technology magazine online), but this is one of the best online directories of shops on the internet. If your shop has a Web site, you might do well to consider listing your URL and shop's capabilities here. The site requires registration to access or use at most levels. NOTE: The JSN has a new look and organization. Cookies (and a privacy pledge) are now employed. Their services have expanded to serve the matching of buyers and suppliers of manufactured product.
Besides being listed, shops might also find suppliers of products or services here for subcontract or finishing services.
JobHits is a jobs search engine of sorts that indexes job postings from around the Web on one platform.
GE's employment site provides access to manufacturing- and machining-related job openings at facilities and plants around the world. Each postition presented here also includes the ability to apply online. Do you have a LinkedIn account? GE's site allows you to use your LI account in tandem with it.
JIM presents a wealth of manufacturing-related jobs for primarily management positions, but there are many positions throughout organizations posted here. The business model for this site requires the prospective employer to pay to post jobs; the job seeker pays nothing.
The KVCC serves southwestern Michigan with a Machine Tool Technology program that includes several machining courses ranging from the beginner to advanced levels. Among courses offered are CNC machining, computer numerical control, and advanced manufacturing.
This app, available for iPhone & iPad and Android, translates competitive grade & geometry information into equivalent Kennametal grades & geometries.
Cyber-home to Korea's premier machine tool association, this site contains membership info, pertinent market statistics, news and more. An outstanding source for machine tool data in Asia.
LWIT offers a 3-stage option for machining and metalworking education - Advanced Machine Tech, Intermediate Machine Tech, & Principles of Precision Machining. Their courses run the gamet, with strong emphasis on CNC & CAD/CAM. This multiple stage option, coupled with flexibility to accomodate working students, incumbent workers and customized scheduling are ideal for real-world applications. LWIT has campuses in both Kirkland and Redmond, WA.
OK, you'll see the title of this—lathes—and think we're overstating or oversimplifying the relevance of this UK-based site. You should hold that judgement until you see it. You'll find LOADS of historical and technical details about nearly every kind of lathe ever made. Also, you can purchase the entire archive on CD for a reasonable fee. To top it off, these folks also offer manuals for many, many older lathes. If turning is your thing, at any technical level, you'll want to see this.
Another University of California and Department of Energy project, this site offers a searchable wealth of technical and metals-related data.
The Lean Manufacturing app for Android devices offers calculators & monitoring utilities to measure Lean initiatives in the manufacturing enterprise, including overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), takt time, demand flow, and other pillars of Lean journeys on the shop floor.
OK, so you’re not likely to be an artist. Realistically, there are plenty of software programs out there that help us to create engineering or mechanical drawings, so why worry about doing it by hand or manually? Well, this site can be used to help teach “newbies” how to READ drawings, too. And that’s pretty valuable, when you stop to think about it. This site contains several pages that contextualize technical drawings in many ways (convenient, since your business likely receives drawings in—ahem—various stages of sophistication). Not a bad resource, if used creatively.
Lee College is a Baytown, TX, based school that offers basic & advanced machining courses, as well as a program leading to a millwright certificate.
LSTC is a Missouri-based college that offers an associate's degree in Machine Tool Technology. Its' curriculum is substantial (approximately 65 hours to complete) and thorough, including courses for precision machining, CNC milling, CNC programming for turning and Wire EDM, basic and advanced CAD/CAM, grinding technology, and industrial sciences. The LSTC Machine Tool program is accredited by both The Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering, and The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS).
To call these guys "publishers" or this site "an online book shop" doesn't even begin to do them justice. Lindsay Publications and its various online incarnations offer a wonderful selection of metalworking, technical, engineering and … uh … quirky books that should scratch the itch of just about any machining professional with a thirst for knowledge and a sense of humor. We defy you to visit this site and not come away genuinely liking these folks.
The Scientific and Technical Information page of the renowned national laboratory, a project maintained by The University of California for The Department of Energy.
This formidable directory site from Taiwan offers sourcing and research information within several industrial categories, including Machine Tools and other related topics. Access to the data on this site is based on products (Grinding Machines, Metal Cutting Machines, etc.) and the companies that provide them (name, etc.).
The MCTC's Machine Tool Technology diploma requires 64 credits, reading & math prerequisites, and provides instruction in numerous machining and manufacturing disciplines including milling, turning, shop math, reading blueprints, geometric tolerancing and welding.
MMO delivers a really cool service to the machine shop manager—access to manuals for both old and new machinery and machine tools. Got an old Bridgeport or Goss? These guys probably have a manual for it. And you can purchase it (or them) online, too. You may only need this service once or twice. But when you do, it rocks.
Looking to buy or sell used machine tools? Well, sure... this site has always had the goods as far as that goes. And they were one of the first to offer associated services around the sale and auction of metalworking-related capital equipment (rigging, shipping, financing, and more) – they’ve been on the used capital equipment case since 1998. But there's a lot more to MachineTools.com these days. They've expanded to include comprehensive databases for industry companies, ancillary & major equipment categories, and the list goes on. This is a fresh and simple-to-use user interface that rounds out a great online metalworking site. This is one huge online Daddy-O. Rock on, Stu.
This app, for both iPhone and iPad, was created for the up and coming apprentice or journeyman, and includes several calculators & conversion utilities for milling, turning, tap/drill, feeds & speeds, and reference tables. This app is available for both iPhone & iPad, and is offers both imperial and metric formats.
This mature app for the iPhone & iPad is a machinist's calculator of the first order. The cost is $1.99 (US). Its offerings include M-codes & G-codes, an SFM milling calculator (both imperial & metric), drilling charts, turning & threads calculators, speeds & feeds, and more. This app also has been updated for multi-tasking; you can pick up where you left off in the app after using the device for other purposes (i.e., answering the phone, web searching, etc.).
This app features calculators for feeds & speeds, conversions, drill & tap drill charts, and a sketch pad for jotting down ideas. There are also a G-Code Reference Chart and a calculator for trig.
This app offers several machining calculators and conversion utilities, including feeds & speeds for milling & turning (including chip thinning), G-code, technical & business/sales calculations & several reference tables for drills & taps. Available for iPhone and iPad.
This magazine and Web site present pertinent maintenace-related info for machining professionals, particularly in the areas of Advanced Maintenance Technologies and Predictive Maintenance, and Computerized Maintenance Management. Along with a calendar of maintenance-related events and a very good supplier database, MT-Online presents a MASSIVE article archive for your review.
The MIM site was launched and is sponsored by the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) and is an online version of their bi-annual print directory of the same name. The MIM site is designed to put purchasers and specifiers of metalformed parts in touch with the designers, engineers and manufacturers in nine precise technical areas, including stampers, fabricators, metal spinners, custom roll formers, and others. Visitors may also search across the selection of suppliers by end products or by markets served. Registration is required for access to suppliers via any of these search methods. MIM is now affiliated with NTMA and their Purchasing Fairs, conducted to connect US-based buyers and suppliers as alternative sources to offshoring.
MNI has lists. BIG lists. They offer these lists to all manner of manufacturing professionals, managers, and owners. They list manufacturers, and they list shops. If you're either, you're gonna wanna be there—trust me. Whether you're a shop looking to get listed where it matters, or a manfacturing marketing pro looking to do the same for a builder, distributor or supplier, this applies to you. The site is efficient, well-designed and effective. Their business is well established (1912), to boot.
"ME" is the machine tool-related publication for today's metalworking professional from the good folks at SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers). ME's site offers a fine article archive of technical articles that ought to support any search for process or technology improvement. But ME is only part of the issue (pun intended).
SME's general site (www.sme.org) provides a treasure of technical information and sources that transcends the typical magazine-driven site. From education to books to databases and beyond, take some time to familiarize yourself with this organization and site.
The MEL is a subset of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and is sort of a conduit to technology for manufacturers. Their stated purpose is to "provide the best in the world calibration services, accurate machining processes characterizations, and technical access to the rich opportunities of information technology." The MEL is organized into 6 "sectors" that include 5 divisions (Precision Engineering, Manufacturing Metrology, Intelligent Systems, Manufacturing Systems Integration, and Fabrication Technology) and the Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory. Not only is this Web site a portal into the MEL that you may use to engage them in research, it is also as rich a repository for manufacturing info as any you'll find from the U.S. Government. The access to their published reports alone (under "Publications" on the home page) is worth the visit. Nice work.
According to their site, MEP is a nationwide network of not-for-profit Centers in over 400 locations nationwide, whose sole purpose is to provide small and medium-sized manufacturers with the help they need to succeed. This site is less of a hotbed of massive metalworking info, and more of a portal through which to initiate contact with MEP. If you're a small- to mid-sized manufacturer and would like some assistance with your processes, this might not be a bad idea.
Sponsored and run by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), this site is the bomb when it comes to manufacturing education. It offers links to schools offering manufacturing-related programs, services for manufacturing students (scholarships, tours of facilities, expert speakers for classrooms), and much more. The site also offers sections that offer Parents, Teachers, Students, Volunteers, and Guidance Counselors resources and reasons that support a manufacturing education commitment.
The MSSC has developed a national skill standards system for manufacturing, that's designed to give manufacturers a yardstick to measure, improve and profit from a workforce trained in cutting-edge manufacturing skills. The council is a "who's who" list of business leaders, labor unions, trade associations, professional societies, education- and community-based organizations, civil rights groups, and government. This is one noble model, folks.
The MSSC Web site does more to educate the visitor about the organization and their goals than it does to provide specific data that defines the standards themselves. But this is a fine introduction to this group, and an excellent way to start a conversation with them. Thumbs-up, we say.
OK, before you start freaking out about this, pay the IRS a visit and look into what they've presented to help (did I just type that?) manufacturing businesses with tax info. Included in this site are Tax Tips, Audit Technique Guides, a section with Tax Laws and Regulations for Manufacturing, and more. Not too shabby a site, particularly when you consider the source.
From the British Isles comes Manufacturingtalk, an combination online magazine, directory, and information resource hosted by the esteemed Mike Page, one of Britain's best and brightest. This site provides a wealth of technical- and product-related articles and studies relevant to many machining disciplines, and their Product Channels (scroll about halfway down their home page and you'll see them) categorize their substantial content into sectors such as Cutting Tools, Die/Mold, Measurement, and others. Even though this site primarily serves the UK, this site offers complimentary coverage to processes appropriate for all machining professionals. After all, trig is trig, right?
MAPI is a member association headquartered in Washington, DC, and dedicated to the support of US manufacturing via 26 'councils' to support various stages of members' manufacturing enterprises, meetings and member support. But it's MAPI's research & data that distinguishes this group. Their reports covering the state of manufacturing via economic, trade, business and perfomance data are often outstanding, and provide an impressive macro review of manufacturing in the US.
Every so often, a really fun site comes to our attention that may not hit the metalworking nail on the head, but just BELONGS here, you know? Good, because this is one of 'em.
Martindale's (no relation to Wink, I'm afraid) is a funky stew of links to the unusual, the technical, the informative and the entertaining—all at once. It is almost impossible to describe the scope of info this site provides. From the perplexing to the laughable to the educational to the must-have, you've just gotta see this one.
And for the machining professional, there are loads of math, too. You'll have to dig to find it, but few sites make digging as much fun as Martindale's does.
This site, built by a retired aerospace physicist named Marv and subtitled "Software for People Who Build Things," will do many positive things for you (not necessarily in this order):
It will expose you to more manufacturing-related calculators, software and utilities than you can shake a mouse at. It will inspire in you an appreciation for content over graphic-drenched hype. It will educate you. It will be added to your favorites immediately upon discovery.
But, mostly, it will make you wanna hug Marv. Because this is one heckuva fine collection of useful information, and a labor of love for all of us. Thanks, Marv.
This page is a collection of links across the Web to mathematics, formulas, tutorials and directories that can be useful to the machining professional or student. Included in this MASSIVE assortment of sites are calculators, formulaic tables and charts, and just about every sort of math-related topic imaginable. Of course, as with any collection like this, you’ll have to sort through those less machining-related to find the really useful stuff—but there are numerous links to those you can use, and this is a fine page to bookmark.
It's awfully refreshing when someone delivers on a promise, don't you think? MatWeb stands for Materials Web, and they bill themselves as "The Online Materials Resource." And guess what? They really, really deliver the goods.
MatWeb is, put simply, a materials information database with data on nearly 25 THOUSAND materials including metals, plastics, ceramics, and composites. Some areas and information access require registration. We could go on about their calculators or searches by multiple criteria, but it just wouldn't do this amazing resource justice. Go there, and give it a whirl to appreciate it.
Now, normally, we'd be kinda skeptical about something with a name like MCAD Cafe. But you'd do well to spend some quality time on this site. For example, selecting the Resources link in the top navigation bar gets you in front of a wealth of manufacturing-related technical papers on a variety of topics. But selecting sublinks off of THAT page gets you into product info about collaborative software, translators, CAM packages ... I'm tellin' ya, the fun never ends.
This site is as fun to play "Discover The Link" in as it is informative.
Over 300 formulas and calculators are available in this engineering app for the iPhone & iPad, for many topics including springs, load, weight, heat dissapation and others.
Do you buy metal? Then keep a bookmark on this site. "MSO" was one of the first online metals services. You just gotta love these guys. Its business model is simple – if you have surplus metals in your shop, you can sell it to others; if you’re looking for metals, you can buy surplus from others. They give you the poop on over 2500 North American metals producers (hundreds have links to their Web sites). There's a nifty interface for viewing the properties of more than 5000 ferrous and non-ferrous metals, as well as the best crop of other online utilities we've seen in a while. MSO is free, and registration is required to receive quotes and other information from suppliers. MSO also offers free software downloads to assist in finding their users with surplus to match your needs. One of the Web's premier metals showcases. Period.
This app, available for either iPhone or Android, that allows users to calculate the stimated weight and cost of metal baars based on alloy, size, length or density. This free app was created and is maintained by Carpenter. It's downloadable from either the iTunes or Google app stores.
This free, Android-based app records the sound from milling operations via a phone's built-in microphone, and claims to analyze the recodings for chatter and recommend alternative spindle speeds to reduce vibration.
Metals USA is an existing, "bricks & mortar" metals processing and distribution concern out of Houston, Texas. They've launched an online component to their traditional business that looks to streamline the processes that support the procurement of metals and other supply chain management activities. Their site offers a simple layout and quick access to metals sources.
MWW is a digital version of the business & technology magazine published by Sandvik. This app for the iPad presents all content found in the print version of MWW, along with special features for the iPad for viewing.
Into Welding? This free app for the iPhone and iPad from Miller Electric (yeah, THOSE guys) offers how-to tips, tricks, technical information, techniques, troubleshooting, and more for the professional welder & fabricator.
This mature app for the iPhone & iPad (currently at version 4.0) contains a full suite of milling & machining calculators, as well as area, distance & volume converters.
MATC offers several machining and machine tool courses and program for various experience levels and length requirements. Courses and studies include basic and advanced level training in shop math, lathes, milling, turning, machining center setup & operations, grinding, metrology, and quality control.
MobleERP is a customizable, enterprise resource planning app for the iPhone, iPad, Android, & Windows platforms that connects directly to the Windows Dynamics ERP product. Features include sporadic syncing to allow for offline access & management, a simple mobile-designed interface, and native apps. If your business uses Microsoft Dynamics as its ERP platform, you'll want to check this out.
MAN calls itself "The Metalworking Idea Magazine." Judging by this site, they're full of ideas. Up-to-date Industry News, an online Buyer's Guide (for locating products and services), and a repository of technical content and commentary round-out a complete and simple-to-use site.
Materials handling news and feature articles, back issues, event listings, webcasts, product listings, video clips, and directory of businesses.
This is a straight-forward, no-nonsense site dedicated to serving job seekers and employers. For job seekers, this service is free (you must register) and includes help with resume writing & other services (all are free to job seekers). Employers are offered different levels of services for varying fees.
Why, as a matter of fact, they ARE rocket scientists, thank you very much.
This Web site contains loads of technical info in the form of "briefs," accessible through their Tech Brief Library. You'll find them in applicable categories such as, CAD Software, Motion Control, Materials, Manufacturing, Testing & Measurement, General Software, and more. This site also includes a forum and somethings called "Technical Support Packages," which require registration to get at.
NAM represents the interests of American industry and manufacturing in Washington. This website includes: news coverage of events (legislative and others) that will/can/may influence our industries; publications and reports from NAM; and a "Members Only" area. New is a direct link to some new services from NAM: NAM Institute (skills); an E-commerce tools section; and Manufacturing Careers. Their social media efforts include one of the industry’s top blogs (ShopFloor), numerous active social media channels, and an extensive collection of ‘Cool Stuff Being Made’ on YouTube. This is an impressive, forward-thinking Web site & a terrific resource.
NIMS is a non-profit organization formed in 1995 to support the development of a skilled workforce for the metalworking industry. NIMS support is accomplished through four activities: Developing, writing, validating, and maintaining Skill Standards; Credentialing the skills of individuals against the skill standards; Certifying training programs that meet or exceed NIMS quality requirements, and; Assisting states, schools, and companies to form Partnerships.
The National Organization on Disability works with business leaders, associations and schools to improve work opportunities for Americans with disabilities. Its Web site is helpful for both employers looking for disabled employees, and disabled folks looking for work.
Listen, we've been down that road, too: you hear about this awesome employment site, about how they have 600 ga-zillion jobs posted, then you go there and find 16 jobs or employees listed under manufacturing. Really lifts the spirits, huh?
NationJob.com, while a relatively small site, does a fine job themselves for machining and manufacturing employment. Their manufacturing categories are detailed enough that they don't rely on keywords as much, since they focus on titles such as "machinists" as well as industries like aerospace or automotive.
Whether you're looking for employment or employees, this site should be on your list of regular stops.
The National Institute of Science and Technology is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration. Metalworking professionals of all types can find useful data here. NIST has updated their site—it's much easier to navigate through and find info in. A valuable resource.
Die Casting Central, this is -- and an outstanding source of information for the die casting industry. Effective suppliers databases (building lists on-the-fly), calendars, chapter news, an OEM section, and government/environmental items round out this simple but very effective site. No trinkets of technology here, but they understand the most important rule of the Web -- content.
Dedicated to the machining and tooling industry, the Manufacturing Suppliers Guide is a digital buyer’s guide that enables you to find the industry-specific products and services you need—without the unrelated clutter of a general Internet search engine. Find new products and save time and money by utilizing the Manufacturing Suppliers Guide. Each company is reviewed for quality assurance.
O*Net Online was created for the US Department of Labor as a repository of specific information for occupations in the US workforce. O*Net's Manufacturing page contains several machining & metalworking links that define educational requirements, average wages, job outlook, and employment trends analysis. This is an excellent site for students or the employed looking to advance their careers in machining or manufacturing in general.
Quite possibly the best of the National Laboratories Web Pages, in terms of functionality, search capability, and information. Utilizes the Harvest search engine (high speed, accurate), and the layout of this site is simple and easy to use.
This online resource from the Bureau of Labor Statistics offers data and projections relating to machining & metalworking careers and employment. Statistics such as projected employment numbers, current job openings, average pay rates, and links to other machining and manufacturing jobs information can be found here.
The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Web site should be the first stop for employers considering hiring disabled folks. It offers a wealth of information about government programs, tax incentives, health care, and laws and legal rights.
From the great Northwest comes this (once) small but very effective, secure metals ordering service. Want the clutter of metals market news, stock updates and personalized online channels? Look elsewhere. Are you looking for a source for specific metals (especially exotics) in various quantities, a place to buy it, and then get back to your business without a lot of bells and whistles? Then this is your type of place. OnlineMetals is one of the single most effective, service-oriented e-commerce resources we've seen online. And that figures, since OM is also one of the early adopters of online channels for metals sales & service. OM is now owned by ThyssenKrup Materials and is a part of their immense global materials network.
The Web site of the non-profit organization offers several information sources for machining professionals, including a wealth of data regarding metalcutting fluid management, preservation and utilization. It also aggregates information topically into "Hubs" -- including those for Metal Fabrication & Machining and Metal Finishing. Though the PPRC is environmentally focused, you will find this site well-rounded, with business tools, compliance standards, and access to more manufacturing-related content.
Well, they got the "PART" part right. Part Community is a bit of a mixed bag. Part free, part for-pay, and part "try before you buy," this site offers catalogues and examples of standard parts CAD files from a variety of sources, including many major parts supply businesses. The site is maintained jointly by entities in Germany and Cincinnati, Ohio; some areas of the site are in English, while others (like the forum, unfortunately) are exclusively in German. Pity, because the forums are extensive and run the course of CAD and CAM packages, and would be a welcome addition to the English-speaking, manufacturing and machining Web. That said, if you're looking parts, this site is worthy of your attention.
PTC (located in Aurora, CO) offers multi-level certificates for machining applications, ranging from intermidiate precision machining up to advanced levels.
PT is a sister publication of Modern Machine Shop. PT's Web site offers machining professionals a wealth of tool & die making and moldmaking information valuable to any shop dedicated to this work.
PCC's Machine Manufacturing program offers an associate's degree, as well as 3 certificates in CNC milling, CNC turning, and machine manufacturing. Several specific certificates focusing on processes or products are available, as well. Courses include vertical milling, shop math, boring, turning, programming, threading, sawing, measurement, and more.
This forum is one rockin' spot for machinists and manufacturers. Widely considered the cat daddy-o for machining, manufacturing and metalworking forums anywhere, PM presents a formidable collection of machining professionals from every level of complexity and sophistication. Searching through its incredible collection of legacy posts from over the years is worth a visit, all on its own.
PMPA is the organization representing the precision machining industries. They do it right on this site, with on-line databases of PMPA member Job Shops and Suppliers in their Industry Buying Guide. Lists are built on-the-fly, based on your criteria. Interested in more about screw machining technology? You'll find the motherload on this site; this is, after all, the premier association for that industry. And PMPA’s ListServs (members only) are some of the most active and useful forums for machining and metalworking professionals you’ll find. And the PMPA blog Speaking of Precision is a treasure trove of information any contract or custom manufacturer will find valuable.
Process Register is a database--a big, well-designed and thought-out online collection of product and service providers that serve (what these guys call) the "process industries." To machining professionals looking for help, that means that many ancillary service providers can be found here: CAD/CAM design and engineering firms, metals suppliers, inspection and testing services, and more. To shops looking for marketing help, you might consider registering your business with this directory (under "Machining/Metal Working") for exposure to prospects. While this site could use a few more participants in some sectors relevant to our world, they are getting their "e-legs" quickly and deserve a look-see.
Products Finishing (PF) is the sister publication of MMS that presents technical and industry-rich coverage of all things involving the finishing of parts. From plating to mechanical finishing to environmental, PF provides access to info that can make your parts better. This site is chock-full of content; what you need will determine what you're looking for. PF Online also contains one of the most comprehensive article archives for coatings and finishing applications anywhere.
Now this is a fantastic idea. PLTW is an organization committed to preparing both students and schools for educations in manufacturing and engineering. There simply isn't enough space here to describe the goals and aspirations of PLTW. If you're at all interested in the replenishment of our industries with quality people, please visit this site and learn more about them and how you can help. This organization is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to the extreme.
Located in St. Louis, MO, Ranken offers 3 degrees within their Manufacturing Division - Fabrication & Welding, Industrial Technology, and Precision Machining Technology. Not only does associate's degree in precision machining focus on CAD/CAM, programming and all matter of operations/setup, but Ranken's machining programs are accredited by National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS).
The independent resource for users of rapid protoyping, rapid manufacturing and 3D Printing.
Reliability.com is a simply designed Web site dedicated to reliability and maintenance issues with manufacturing environments. Included here are collections of interest to any machining manager or leader, especially in the areas of demand and scheduled maintenance, fluid management (lubricants, metalworking fluids, etc.), and overall shop administration and management. Reliability.com presents data within a Reading Room (large collection of articles), Tutorials (online e-conferences on a variety of topics), and e-mail based Forums (a sort of ListServ, private discussion forum). A comprehensive directory, calendar and buyer’s guide round out this complete, easy-to-navigate site.
ResourceMFG is a specialty staffing service for manufacturing. Located across the US (primarily in the Southern and Central states), these folks work with manufacturers to locate and hire qualified, skilled employees for both temporarty assignment and direct employment. ResourceMFG also work with individuals to place them in companies looking for their unique talents - at entry levels, advanced levels and as direct hires. A random search for jobs on this site offered options ranging from forklift operators to CNC machine tool operators to lab technicians to tool & die professionals. Depending on your location, this service might offer solutions whether you're an employer or seeking employment.
RFQWork seeks to enable buyers of machining and metalworking services to find acceptable suppliers. The site currently exists as a suite of forums for buyers and suppliers to interact in individual categories (i.e., milling, turning, mold, EDM, etc.). General categories for company listings and employment are also available.
Now this is really something. Set up in West Virginia through Marshall University, the RCBI provides manufacturers access to advanced CNC equipment, affordable training initiatives, assistance with analysis and integration of computer systems, and electronic commerce/virtual enterprise opportunities. Companies also have access to two-way, interactive, telecommunication capabilities that can be used for computer-based training, distance learning, teleconferencing and manufacturing networking. This is a metalworking love-fest, with services that can help smaller shops get access to some really cool capabilities and training. As far as their Web site, this is so-so. As for the idea, it is the bomb.
Surplus Record is a leading business directory of surplus, new and used industrial equipment, machinery, and machine tools. These guys have recently launched a retooled, impressive online auction service for capital equipment, including a Machinery & Machine tools section. This site really delivers the goods in terms of up-to-date transaction technologies. And there's a good deal of metalworking goodies to be found here. Keep your eyes (and bookmarks) on this one, folks.
Presents a technical repository that is searchable and thorough. This is one big site. Several sections of Sandia's site serve metalworking professionals extraordinarily well. This site is worth an hour of digging to any machining pro or manager.
This site presents three "vertical" or "focused" sites that look to fill the employment needs in those specific industries. And, of course, professionals from each of these industries can post their profiles (resumes?) for review by potential employers. All profiles are categorized effectively for each industry through geographic and technical abilities (multispindle, swiss-style, machine-specific experience, for example). Each site also offers security to protect posted data. A neat, thorough, focused bunch of sites.
Are you looking for ways to improve your Web site's exposure, but would like advice from others while building a strategy? Then you HAVE to include Search Engine Forums in your research. This site is acutually a suite of several forums covering every conceivable search engine topic, including the technical (i.e., meta tags, dynamic pages, other technical issues, etc.), the engine-specific (i.e., Google, AOL, MSN, AltaVista, etc.), and more. This site is a must-have resource, despite the level of your Web development chops.
But wait! There's more! This most rocking of sites doesn't just deliver the search engine goods. There's a wealth of tools that can help you and yours develop, build and maintain all the elements of a vital manufacturing Web site. Every aspect for the form, fit and function of your Web presence can be improved through this site--just look along the top menu tabs, select one, and be amazed.
No matter the size of your shop, plant or enterprise—if you have a Web site that serves the manufacturing realm, you are getting traffic from Search Engines. But they're misunderstood, and your Web site may not be taking advantage of this powerful sales and marketing channel for your business.
Search Engine Watch contains an incredible amount of information about how to position your site for the most effective exposure to your search-prone, Web-based prospects. Give yourself some time with this site; it contains more info about search engines than you'll probably ever use, but you're sure to find plenty that will make your site serve your business better.
This free app for the iPhone and iPad presents a collection of discussion forums serving multiple manufacturing categories: milling & machining, welding, fabricating, equipment suppliers & OEMs, metallurgy & materials, and more. This is an interesting approach for an app serving manufacturing, by plugging you into a network of professionals via a moble device.
From the far-away shores of New Zealand comes ShopSwarf! (Is it just us, or does the name sound like the name of Japanese monster flick set in a machine shop, or what?) ShopSwarf comes to us from the eye (and server) of one Tom Martin, and his site offers a remarkably useful, simple-to-use suite of machining-centric info. Included on ShopSwarf are tabular data and specifications for a wide range of applications, from collets, milling and gears to myriad manufacturing applications like metals, temperature and wire interpretive data.
If we ever get a pet dog at MMS, we're gonna name it ShopSwarf.
Simply Hired is a clearing house for employment, which aggregates jobs and employment postings from various sources - employer sites, job boards and other platforms around the Web. A recent search returned over 52,000 jobs for 'machine operators,' over 7,000 returns for 'machinist,' and over 100,000 jobs for 'machining.' Simply Hired is light on the services and ancillary offerings of other employment sites & presents just search returns based on the Google engine. Simple, but effective.
From one of manufacturing's most heralded associations comes this employment site, serving all within the manufacturing world. That is, you don't have to join SME to get your kicks here. As is usually the case, this site segregates its services into two categories--Job Seekers and Employers/Recruiters. Both sections offer anonymous options to post or view resumes and browse job offerings. Also offered are services for those that register, such as "Job Agents" and account management for both Job Seekers and posters. The thing about this site is its resident audience, in both numbers and quality. A welcome addition to the online employment ranks.
Offers news, forum, job listings, and certificate program. Parent organization of RAPID, the annual rapid manufacturing conference and exposition.
An outstanding organization with a big, big site; books and other technical materials are available - most are for sale, with reduced rates for SME members. Other features included in this information-rich site: several excellent publications, membership information (and privileges), information for (and from) their substantial exposition schedule, many local & national technical seminars, conferences and expositions, and their purchase of ToolingU – the premier provider of technical, manufacturing and shop floor training – adds up to a manufacturing powerhouse of online resources. If you're in manufacturing, you need to visit this site.
SURL is owned and operated by the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Laboratory at Wichita State University, and their site contains a wealth of information about Web sites and how people use them. A fine example of the content you'll find here is Criteria for optimal web design (designing for usability), which is a collection of studies on navigation, graphics, and usability. Now, this site contains some information that may not apply as directly to manufacturers' Web requirements as other. And you may see this and wonder what it has to do with you. But the fact is your company's Web site is talking to prospects right now, and many of this information may help speak to them more effectively. If this isn't for you specifically, then pass it on to whoever it is for.
Brought to you by the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), a non-profit organization, this database gives you everything you'll need to deal with solvents—health and safety data, physical data, regulatory data, and environmental impact data. This is a thorough and efficient database.
SKCTC offers a comprehensive Machine Tool Technology degree (AA) and various certificate & apprenticeship programs through its Harlan, KY, campus. Topics available through Machine Tool course work include machine tool fundamentals, machining, metrology, CNC & coding, 3-D programming, tool & die machining, and much, much more. The degrees offered in Machine Tool Technology require between 47-59 credits to graduate.
It's a spider for folks buying steel, get it? They say they're a search engine for flat-rolled steel buyers. They claim to locate prime, excess prime, secondary, coated and uncoated carbon and specialty steel coils, sheets and plates for sale in the US and Canada. And, of course, they let you know about it once you've registered--via e-mail or a fax-back service they've named Boris (the Spider.... it's a Who reference... oh, never mind). This is a nice, very vertical site. Simply designed and effective.
This site “… offers dozens of features designed to be a very economical solution for companies to access the worldwide supply chain in steel." A great deal of this service isn't just related to the introduction to suppliers; a subscription includes various documentation and account management options. This represents a formidable online play-yuh in the metals procurement field.
STEP is the STandard for the Exchange of Product model data, a comprehensive ISO standard that describes how to represent and exchange digital product information. STEP aspires to replace IGES as the means by which graphical information is shared among unlike computer systems around the world. But one big difference is that STEP is designed so that virtually all essential information about a product, not just CAD files, can be passed back and forth among users. This site is the "home base" of the STEP initiative, and it contains a wealth of related information, including associated and ancillary language apps and subsets (XML, STEP-NC, etc.) as well as news, technical data and access to tranlation services.
UPDATE: The STEP-NC site continues to expand along with interest in the STEP standard itself, especially in their formidable developers' databases where you can find examples of the standard already developed for use in myriad formats. There are also "virtual tours" that will expand your understanding of what STEP can/will do.
Look, I'm not so sure I know what Superfactory really is, except to say it's a California-based site with loads of links to … well, you just have to take a look at it. From what we gather, Superfactory is an ongoing, growing collection of links to various resources related to many management topics, mainly involving Lean Manufacturing. Those topics include 5S, Cellular Manufacturing, Benchmarking, Six Sigma, Just In Time, and others. The links are submitted by registered members of Superfactory (yes, you can become a contributor just by filling out a form), so the destinations are varied, to say the least—some point to open repositories of data, some point to sites that require registration, and still others point to sites that sell their information. But this new site offers promise, in that it may include access to topics useful to growing your machining enterprise.
UPDATE: Superfactory has grown into a lean manufacturing and lean machining resource powerhouse. You’ll find access to presentations, books, studies, data and every conceivable media to support your company’s pursuit of lean practices. This site has grown into one of manufacturing’s great online repositories.
Superior Machinery is a dealer of used CNC and conventional metalcutting equipment, but the company also offers a bank of educational articles on the different types of machines it sells. Visit this page for quick overviews on equipment such as CNC routers and mills, as well as advice pieces on how to choose the best used milling machines, laser cutting machines and more.
The Supplier Excellence Alliance is a collective of aerospace, defense, and space primes/OEMs, major subcontractors, and suppliers working together to improve capabilities and ensure American competitiveness. Think of this organization as a commune for the supply chain – and if you’re reading this, you’re part of a supply chain. There are numerous resources to help your business on this site, whether you’re outsourcing work or doing it for someone else. SEA’s focus on lean alone is worth a visit. SEA appears committed to improving each link in the chain; or at least your performance in it.
The Swiss Machine Tool Society Web site was designed to help you get acquainted with their member machine builders and to help you select equipment from their product lines. Swiss for days.
TAMI was organized in 1981 to promote and build the Taiwan machinery sector. Their Web presence provides a comprehensive suppliers database searchable by name or product category and an absolutely wonderful repository of Taiwanese machine tool and manufacturing statistics. Another must-see if Taiwan's in your company's sights.
This Web site is based on a very large, very thorough database of Taiwan-based suppliers of manufacturing equipment. Suppliers are categorized not only by the equipment or services they provide, but also by application (such as Automotive). Well thought out, and a worthy addition to a Bookmarks or Favorites file.
TechShop is collection of shops originated in Menlo Park, California, with sattelite shops in Detroit, MI, and Raleigh-Durham, NC. It's business model is to allow inventors, machinists, entrepreneurs, and small businesses access to the equipment and expertise in these shops, to build their prototypes & products. TechShop offers a variety of membership options, ranging from one day to one year. The equipment and processes offered in the TechShop facilities include machining, fabrication, various software, and 3D printing, to name a few. Members are required to take safety & operations classes before access is granted, and each facitity provides professional staff to assist with projects and production. Now, you're not likely to NEED TechShop - you're working in a shop yourself, right? But TechShop may offer some valuable insight for your business in terms of marketing and promotion. And TechShop's focus on providing individuals with ideas the chance to use machining and manufacturing technology affordably without having to offshore production overseas make this a business model that you may want to emulate. Or at least explore as a means of utilizing your own excess capacity. Regardless, TechShop is a unique approach to machining and entrepreneurial support in the US.
A Midwest metalworking resource has adopted a new identity, and it may be worth a bookmark if you're interested in another research-friendly Web site.
TechSolve is the new name of the former Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Sciences (IAMS). They are a non-profit bunch, offering myriad services to help small and large manufacturing outfits improve their processes.
Their updated Web presence offers access to lots of relevant info, products and links, including strong machining, training and employment support. TechSolve is setup to support your business, and may offer a viable option as you look to decipher machining mysteries.
Techspex, the online machine tool specification database that presents over 4500 machines and products from over 450 builders/suppliers is the mainstay for locating machine tools, capital equipment and ancillary tooling & equipment online. It presents the most accurate, comprehensive list of available machining and metal-cutting machinery anywhere. Its staff is comprised of life-long, machine-tool professionals, and TechSpex is now an integral part of the Gardner Publications (MMSOnline) and American Machine Tool Distributors families. If you’re looking for machine tools, this is where you must start.
First, the name ... TenLinks started out listing the top ten links for their technical domains: Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Engineering (CAE), Civil Engineering (CE) and more. But TenLinks has grown to include areas near and dear to our hearts, including CAM, manufacturing, hardware and software, and more.
Not only have these cats grown to present more than ten links in numerous categories; they present useful product and technical data, too. If you use computers to design, model or machine your parts and product, TenLinks has to be in your Favorites. Period.
This industry & trade group association's site contains just about all you'll need to know about aluminum - a buyer's guide, consumption and other statistics, technical information, industry-specific applications, news, and much more. If you buy or cut aluminum, you'll want to check this site out every so often for the up-to-date aluminum scoop.
The ATMAE is an association dedicated to educating the manufacturing and engineering students in the US. It is made up of faculty, students and industry professionals that set standards for academic programs, personal certification & professional development in and around manufacturing, technology & engineering disciplines.
These online magazines may offer the modern machine shop professional with more research resources through their calendar, Machinists' News section, and excellent forum.
The Management Roundtable is the leading knowledge and networking resource for product developers. Practitioner-oriented and unbiased, our focus is on providing actionable information about new strategies and processes that enable speed, innovation, profitability, and overall competitive advantage.
The Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA) is a national trade association based in Washington, D.C. that represents independent manufacturers of medical devices, diagnostic products and healthcare information systems. Its Web site is pretty much what you should expect from an association, with membership allowing for more access to more information. That said, if you manufacture medical devices or parts – especially a large corporation or OEM – this association may be important to your cause.
The MAMTC is a non-profit organization that may be engaged to help your company with myriad issues, like manufacturing processes, lean, product development, information systems, and more. But the MAMTC site is also a fine information source. Well laid out and accessible, this is one nice manufacturing site.
A wonderful organization with an outstanding Web presence. You'll need membership to NTMA (re: a password) to get the full experience, but there's some excellent stuff to be had here regardless of your status. This association that represents the interests of the precision custom manufacturing industries also gives you the online scoop on their formidable efforts in Washington on behalf of their members. NTMA also hosts several Purchasing Fairs that look to introduce US-based purchasing professionals and buyers to US-based contract manufacturers as preferred alternatives to offshore sourcing. This is a strong site, and a strong organization of advocacy for contract and custom manufacturers.
The Northwest Lean Networks — This consortium of businesses and academic resources was founded to assist companies in implementing Lean. This site offers a wellspring of information in various categories that define and explore Lean applications and philosophies. A "Members Only" area requires registration to download several presentations and materials, and is free.
PMA is the full-service trade association representing the metalforming industry of North America -- the industry that creates precision metal products using stamping, fabricating and other related processes. Their site is a well-spring of data for those interested in metalforming; their online articles from MetalForming magazine alone are worth the visit. Also worthy of mention are a fine Government and Regulatory area, a Technical Forum, and information on PMA's Educational Foundation for replenishment of the industry with "skilled, certified, and portable workers." Their Sources and Suppliers databases require registration for access. But this is a HUGE site with plenty of useful metalworking-related resources that can help your business.
SATOP is a cooperative program between the states of Florida, New Mexico, New York, and Texas. The SATOP is a FREE service designed to provide engineering assistance and speed the transfer of space technology to the private sector, but are not limited to companies in those three states—businesses in all states may qualify. By giving free technological assistance to small businesses, SATOP helps them solve their challenges and increase their chances of succeeding. The goal of the SATOP is to help small businesses apply the technical expertise derived from the US Space Program. Made up of an Alliance group of 30 space industries, universities, colleges, and NASA centers (Johnson Space Center - Texas, Kennedy Space Center - Florida, and White Sands Test Facility - New Mexico), the SATOP finds professionals within these companies who volunteer their time and expertise in solving the challenges submitted by inquiring businesses. Translated, your business can receive up to 40 hours of free technical assistance through the SATOP. It is SATOP's stated goal to provide resolutions in less than 90 days. SATOP is said to have helped companies with machine design, process engineering, materials selection and many other technical issues. Over 1200 requests have been processed since the program's inception, and more than 800 resolutions have been provided to businesses.
TCT is Europe’s leading publication serving the rapid product development and rapid manufacturing sector. Parent organization of TCT Live.
USCTI was formed in 1988 when two associations of cutting tool manufacturers joined forces. The Metal Cutting Tool Institute and the Cutting Tool Manufacturers Association combined their efforts, resulting in a single organization representing more than two-thirds of the domestic cutting tool market. USCTI is comprised of seven product divisions: Carbide Tooling, Drill and Reamer, Milling Cutter, PCD & PCBN, Tap and Die, Tool Holders and All Other Tooling.
Designed, created and maintained by a consortium of business and academic entities (primarily Cerritos College in California), this site holds a fine collection of machine tool data that is part library, part training manual and part community (that community part takes some time, so give ‘em a break). But after all is said and done, it’s the Library link that you’ll want to visit. It is broken up into “lessons,” including Milling Machines, Lathes, Other Machines, Cutting Tools, CNC & CAM, Measurement, Engineering, and an excellent machining glossary. And man-o-man, these lessons are ample, with text, graphics, videos (LOTS of videos) and animated graphics.
The old standby for locating manufacturers in the United States came online in a big way a few years back. Today, they've made available an excellent database of suppliers and manufacturers in every conceivable industry. Registration is required for access to some information, but you can find a lot once you do.
And Thomas has steadily added to and expanded their ancillary services to provide one of the (if not the) most efficient, effective online experiences for manufacturers. Surprised? Don't be. What did you expect from the folks that helped invent "supply chain" in the first place?
ThomasNet Product Search is a semantic search technology powered by a robust classification system built for finding parts, component, and products that match your specified attributes.
TMA was founded in 1925. Since then, TMA has grown into a large, not-for-profit organization of precision metalworking, plastic molding, and supplier companies in the Chicago area. This Web site offers an unusual amount of information and services, with forums and an excellent database of member organizations and their services. TMA is also deeply involved in training and education opportunities, and you can access a section for advocacy here. This Web site also allows users to submit project quotes and review current opportunities to and from TMA members. AND TMA is active in social media – and encouraging sign in this day and age for local associations serving the manufacturing sector.
Tooling U uses the university metaphor to administrate, deliver and develop its metalworking- and machining-rich curricula to individuals, groups or corporations. "TU" offers courses in Workholding, Metal Cutting and CNC. Their plan is to roll out many more metalworking-specific "departments" to serve our industry regularly. Their Web site serves a model of great depth and complexity; it is as ambitious as is training in the machining arts itself. But TU has done a wonderful job of coordinating and complementing a rich environment with a worthy online interface. TU also offers departments serving Materials, Shop Essentials, and Metal Forming. And they've grown their existing departments to include deeper, richer coverage. They've added a technical library and more technical content than you can shake a mouse at. TU is now owned and operated by SME, so look for its curriculum to expand with even greater velocity. One other thing – the administration tools offered by TU give businesses of all shapes and sizes in the manufacturing supply chain the ability to nurture staff, manage promotion opportunities and overall manufacturing prowess on the shop floor. Often in ways they could never do on their own, with limited resources. Online metalworking training on steroids.
This site sprang from humble beginnings—a guy, a computer, a phone line, and some passion—to become one of the Web's premier sites for downloads of low-cost (and sometimes FREE) software and utilities. A must for smaller/medium-sized shops or individuals looking for security solutions, or Web site or computer network improvements.
And by the by, there's something else you can get from this site, and it's not a download or utility: this site was built from just a few links to what you see now GRADUALLY OVER TIME. Manufacturing concerns of all sizes should take note of (and emulate) that strategy for their own Internet/Intranet/Extranet applications.
Sure, there's a partisan slant to much of this site. But, heck -- it's the Government. And there are potentially useful links to the individual agencies within Commerce, as well as business-related information within the Federal Labyrinth.
This Web site represents the MTRC, which is a subset of the Mechanical Engineering Department at UF. Here you'll find who they are, what they use (equipment, machines, etc.), and where they use it. BTW, these guys are DEEEEEEEP into high speed machining.
OK, is this too much of a GOOD thing, or too much of a BAD thing? We'll let you decide. Brought to you by your friendly US Government (hey, they ARE here to help us, right?), this site is a compilation of all things governmental on the Web; that is, EVERY site hosted or sponsored by the government is listed here. That includes State and Local governments, folks. Still don't get the SIZE of it? This is one, really cool resource, regardless of what you think about the source. For instance, plug the word "metalworking" into USA.gov's search engine and you get back over 1000 links. This is an excellent resource for the business end of a machine shop or plant, as well as a wellspring of technical data. A sort of Yahoo, brought to you by the original Yahoos.
Your company's Web presence is best described as an ongoing dialogue between you and your clients, you and your prospects, you and yours. And we'd be remiss if we continued to tout the importance of developing your site and not give you some ideas on how to do it. Usable Web has plenty of good ideas. This isn't as much of a "how-to" site, but more of a "why-to" model. Advice and info on Web site user interface, design development, and sound Web communications priciples make this a must-see site. AND they've linked to over 1400 other info sources. If you're looking to take your site to the "next level," include this as a step.
There's a site I'd like to introduce you to that can help with how you present your Web site message. The site is called useit.com, and it's not another "how-to-code-Web-pages-like-a-pro" site. Jakob Nielsen runs the useit.com show, and the guy brings his formidable experience with Web site development and usability to bear here. Notice a serious lack of graphics on useit.com? There's a darned good reason, and Jakob explains why. Do you wonder what navigation techniques work best for your audience? There's sound advice here about that, too. This is a must-have bookmark for anyone with a Web site.
This site describes itself as "an educational resource on Abrasive jet and Water jet cutting and machining methods." Boy, they ain't kiddin'. "They" is a guy named Carl. Carl has assembled an absolutely rockin' site for everything to do with abrasivejet machining methods. The forums are active, the suppliers and job shop databases are thorough and well-maintained, and .....heck, just go check this place out. If you're into water- or abrasivejet machining, this is your bookmark.
The WCCC, located in metropolitan Detroit, offers associate's degrees in both Manufacturing and Machine Tool Technologies as well as certificates and a la carte courses. Its Machine Tool program focuses on machining processes, shop math, programming, and business-related courses.
OK, if you're like us, you have several Web sites bookmarked about a single topic. There are just too many resources out there to rely on just one. Wellsir, if you have no more than one link to an online utility for the Table of Elements, or if one of yours isn't this one, then you need to add this site RIGHT NOW. Also offered on WebElements are links to numerous calculators and utilities useful in a technical machining environment.
WCCC provides courses within its Machining Technology program that include CNC operations, shop math, materials properties, machining, and print reading. A certificate and associate's degree are both offered through the WCCC program.
The Engineering Technology Department at WWU has an outstanding program dedicated to molding well-rounded, effective manufacturers.
This site is run by one Dr. Ralph Wilson. He's an Internet consultant who's into loads of Web-stuff, business-wise. The good doctor has newsletters, his consultancy, books and more. But this site -- particularly the Web Marketing Info Center -- is a fine resource for anyone looking for site options and promotion, with links to loads of data from other sites. Some info is closed to subscribers only ($49.00 per year for the afore-mentioned newsletter), but there's still a great deal to be had by the resourceful and patient at this site.
Wohlers Associates, Inc. is an independent consulting firm that provides technical, marketing, and strategic advice on the new developments and trends in rapid product development and additive fabrication.