Derek Korn Executive Editor

Executive Editor Derek Korn joined Modern Machine Shop in 2004, but he has been writing about applied manufacturing technology since 1997. During those seven years prior to coming on board with Modern, he worked for a manufacturing-centric public relations firm creating technical articles and application stories about equipment including CNC machining centers, laser cutters, fabricating equipment, plastics injection and blow molding machines, industrial sensors, filtration equipment and so on. His ghost-written articles were picked up by numerous trade publications. A number of those were treated as cover stories for those magazines.

His Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Applied Science provides a solid foundation for understanding and explaining how innovative machining businesses leverage advanced machining technologies, equipment and processes to their advantage. (You should know he still has the V-block he machined in a U.C. lab that now serves as a business card holder on his desk.) And he’d say the best part of his job with Modern is actually visiting with machine shop principals at their facilities to see their operations firsthand. He’ll tell you it’s not possible to truly appreciate what’s going on in a modern machine shop without seeing it (and asking a million questions about it) in person.

Derek has traveled all across the U.S. to gather article background info, take photos and video, and then write about how our country’s leading machine shops use new technology and innovative strategies to become more efficient and effective as they grow their businesses. He has also visited numerous countries in Europe, Asia and South America to learn about advanced machining technology introduced at international trade shows and created by various equipment manufacturers. (Ever traveled to Taiwan? Try this experience on for size).

This writing and traveling MMSer is also the technical director of the magazine's annual Top Shops benchmarking program since its inception in 2010, which enables U.S. machine shops to see how their technology- and business-related key performance indicators stack up against the country's leading machining businesses. He also is a key contributor in developing the presentation tracks for the annual Top Shops Conferences, which launched in 2017.

When Derek is not visiting machine shops or writing about them or researching them, he is often in his garage working on his 1955 Chevy Belair that he has owned since he was 18. And had hair. Or in his kitchen working with his hands to create food that his family might or might not appreciate. Or posting various work-related or more personal tweets on his twitter account relative to any or all of this. Follow him and enjoy the ride.


ERP Leads CNC Machine Shop to Adopt a Paperless Initiative

By: Derek Korn

Enterprise resource planning software is not only enabling Chapter 2 to better manage its range of capabilities, but also to help it go paperless.


Outside-In: Why This CNC Machine Shop is Adding Finishing Processes

By: Derek Korn

Since being announced as a Top Shop in 2014, Complexus Medical has steadily grown while bringing some previously outsourced processes in-house for lower manufacturing costs and faster lead times.
#partscleaning #topshops


Answering Five Honing FAQs

By: Derek Korn

Honing is typically performed to bring bores to a precise size or achieve a specific surface finish. Here, a leading honing equipment manufacturer answers a few commonly asked questions about this process.

Five-Axis Machining Centers

Sometimes the Trickiest Part of CNC Machining Is Holding the Part

By: Derek Korn

Finding a way to fixture contoured marine propellers proved to be this shop’s biggest challenge in developing an effective automated machining cell.

Cutting Tools

Burnishing Face Mill Eliminates Manual Lapping, Polishing

By: Derek Korn

Why task employees to polish large, flat metal surfaces? Try a machine tool with a diamond burnishing face mill instead.  

For This CNC Machine Shop, Growth is Both Wonderful and Hard

By: Derek Korn

JD Machine’s sales have nearly doubled since 2013 when it was a Top Shops winner. Developing a workforce to support that growth is a challenge the shop is meeting head-on.
#topshops #workforcedevelopment

Horizontal Machining Centers

Taking an Automated Aerospace Approach

By: Derek Korn

A flexible manufacturing system helps an Indiana job shop run a high mix of aerospace work for long stretches of time and function more like a contract shop.


Swiss Grinding Technology in Motion

By: Derek Korn

During a recent open house at Studer’s headquarters in Switzerland, the company highlighted advances in cylindrical grinding technology including automation solutions to enable long stretches of unattended operation.

Turning Machines

Is Robotic Automation the Key to Drawing (and Keeping) New Employees?

By: Derek Korn

Robotic automation is transforming a job that was perhaps a machine operator’s least-favorite work assignment into one that is not a heavy lift.  

Leadership Training Helps Spur Top Shop’s Growth

By: Derek Korn

Rosenberger N.A. has grown tremendously over the last eight years. Part of the reason is its commitment to ongoing employee leadership training.


IMTS Sparks Idea for Adaptive Technology in a CNC Machine Shop

By: Derek Korn

An encounter with a virtual reality demonstration at the 2018 International Manufacturing Technology Show led to the discovery of adaptive technology that gives a shop’s legally blind QC inspector 20/20 vision.

Top Shops Benchmarking Survey Deadline Extended

By: Derek Korn

CNC machine shops now have until February 17 to complete the online survey and score a free report of its findings.