The 10 Most Popular Posts of 2018

A look back at the top posts from 2018 reveals that while shops still want to find products and processes that will help solve particular manufacturing challenges, shops are also paying particular attention to improving the front-office segment of their business.


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One aspect of our annual Top Shops benchmarking program that participants appreciate is that its survey highlights not only the machining and shopfloor practices successful shops are leveraging, but also the business, human resources and workforce development strategies they have put in place. In fact, the variety of topics covered in the following top 10 blog posts for 2018 support the notion that shop owners and managers are open to considering a range of ideas that can potentially help them grow their business. This includes machining technology, but as the list bears out, certainly isn’t limited to it.

Here is the list of the top 10 blog posts you found most interesting this year:

  1. Machining Titanium Aluminide at AeroEdge - Japanese manufacturer AeroEdge has had success in machining turbine blades from challenging TiAl through a combination of customized VMCs and cutting tools designed in house.
  2. Developing Shopfloor Talent: Why “Vocational” Is Not a Dirty Word in Europe - Employing apprentices is a smart move because they can be trained to develop exactly the skills and knowledge your company wants them to have. But how do you find these apprentices and why does this concept work better in some countries than in others? A closer look at the German system and the Grob Group’s approach to training, which has replicated its Germany apprenticeship approach in the United States, reveals some insights.
  3. Is Your Shop Ready for 3D Printing? - Andrew Tordanato of Diversified Manufacturing Technologies shares the questions to answer before adding 3D printing capability to your manufacturing operation.
  4. The Value of a Job Quoting Checklist for CNC Machine Shops - A more comprehensive quoting process might enable you to win the right amount of the right type of work for your shop while eliminating any surprises that might otherwise pop up when production of a new job ensues.
  5. Buying a Lathe: The Basics - Lathes represent some of the oldest machining technology, but it’s still helpful to remember the basics when considering the purchase of a new turning machine.
  6. The Fixture Niche - Oddly shaped parts that require custom fixtures are a particular specialty for this CNC machine shop. Here are a few principles it follows for effective fixture design.
  7. Like Uber for Machine Tool Service? - The Up! app aims to let shops facing urgent service requests find capable and proven independent service providers quickly.
  8. Standing Aid Reduces Chronic Leg and Back Pain - Faced with chronic pain, a machinist developed a system for relieving work-related strains on the body.
  9. Inspection Automation - A 3D white-light scanning sensor mounted to an industrial robot enables accurate, unattended part inspection.
  10. 10 Reasons Why Machine Shops Vary So Much in Quoted Pricing - Many factors explain the potential 10X variation in different shops’ bids for the same machining work.