Beyond Technology

Succeeding at machining takes technology. The shops in the following pages continually improve their production resources. However, these shops also know that future manufacturing success demands some other ongoing commitment. Here are three views on what that “something else” entails.


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Technology is a given. Every issue of this magazine describes important machining products. If your shop or plant is moving forward, that kind of information is vital to you. Your machinery, tooling and software are getting better all the time.

However, technology is not all there is.

What else is important?

That is, in addition to keeping the machining equipment current, what other investments or commitments does a shop make to secure its place in the future, and to achieve manufacturing success that can continue on and on?

The following three articles offer answers. They describe manufacturing companies taking the long view. Each article profiles a U.S. manufacturer that sees no problem facing the competition—in this country or elsewhere—so long as the shop can remain on track with a vision for serving its specific customers in the ways those customers will need to be served.

In fact, beyond technology, the additional ingredients for success at these three companies can each be summarized in just one word. The three priorities are:

  • Insourcing. Salina Vortex sawclearly why it needed to take back control of its machining.
  • Throughput. Roberts Tool shows why the organization of equipment is at least as important as the equipment itself.
  • Training. American Micro is determined to no longer let technology go underused for lack of skilled employees. The company is creating an internal university.

One final article considers the future both more broadly and more immediately than this. Gardner Publications financial analyst Steve Kline Jr. describes some of what he has learned about the ways economic data signal where metalworking businesses are heading. Read Looking To The Economic Future Of Your Business. Perhaps these thoughts can help you develop an even better picture of what the future of your own forward-moving manufacturing business has in store.