Challenges Reveal Value and Vulnerability of Small Machine Shops

Small business ownership is conducive to the kind of oversight and commitment that serves machining well, but small business also relies on the support and commitment of enterprises around them.

In the Supply Chain, Flexibility Equals Strength

Machining job shops offer lessons in supply chain resiliency. Also, goodbye and best wishes to a longtime teammate making a change.

Shop Management Software

5 Reasons Why Machine Shop Ownership Is Changing

Mergers, acquisitions and other ownership changes are an effect of Boomer-age shop owners retiring, but only in part. Also important: The way we think about machining has changed.    

Introducing Our New Podcast, “Made in the USA”: The Show for This Moment in U.S. Manufacturing

Join us as we talk about jobs, the supply chain, generational transition and other important themes that will shape the way forward for U.S. manufacturing. Hosted by Modern Machine Shop editors Brent Donaldson and me.        

Aberration or Accelerant: How Do You View the Past Year?

Will things snap back or will the changes last? In different areas, we might see a dramatic resumption, or we might have seen the new way coming into its own. Recent articles emphasize the different possibilities.

Turning Tools

2021 Will Be Dramatic, Too — How Is Your Tooling?

The time is now to take stock of your tools. Recently posted articles explore the potential impact of tooling technology.

Does Your Machine Shop Have a Story to Tell? Here Is What We’re Looking for in 2021

The world has changed, but machining facilities are still making parts and we will keep telling their stories. Join us: Let us know how your shop is succeeding.

Shop Management Software

3 Reasons Machine Shops are Paying Attention to ERP

Awareness of people and the value of their efforts accounts for part of the reason why we are seeing enterprise resource planning being taken more seriously.

20 Years of “The Z Axis”

Peter Zelinski notes the 20-year anniversary of his monthly column for Modern Machine Shop, offering reflections on writing this column for machining leaders and professionals over the span of two decades.

Machining Suppliers of the Future Will Be Both Bigger and Smaller

When we look for Top Shops in the years to come, what will we find? Through acquisition they’ll scale up and with technology they’ll scale down.
#topshops #zaxis

Hope Is an Asset: Here Are Machine Shops Following Clear Visions for the Future

A simple strategy offering a clear aim to hope for is particularly valuable during a disruptive time. Recently posted articles offer examples of shops following clear ideas for the way ahead.


Die Makers Adapt to Challenges All Machine Shops Face

Die shops offer examples of adapting to the skills shortage and excelling at difficult machining. Plus, why reshoring should begin with die tooling.


Has COVID-19 Made a Case for Automation? Taught Us About People Instead

Recently posted articles offer various pictures of machining automation. Also, goodbyes to two long-time writers for MMS: Wayne Chaneski and Derek Korn.
#workforcedevelopment #zaxis #covid-19

Data-Driven Manufacturing

After Machine Monitoring, Is Machine Learning the Next Step? Getting Ready for AI in Manufacturing

Is artificial intelligence coming to machine shops? Automatically gathering data is already widespread. Automatically analyzing data is likely the next step. One book offers a useful perspective on what this will and will not mean.

What Comes Next: The Beginning of a Reshoring Policy for U.S. Manufacturing

The current crisis is a reckoning. Right now, the challenge is saving livings. But once we are free to look ahead, let’s learn the lessons and prepare ourselves better for the next crisis that comes.
#zaxis #covid-19

Additive Manufacturing

OEMs and Job Shops See Metal Additive Manufacturing Differently

When should a machine shop consider production metal 3D printing? Part of the answer might be when that machine shop also does design. Cobra Aero is a small shop thriving with AM, because it’s also an OEM.


Acquire to Hire: This New York Manufacturer Sees Buying Shops as the Best Way to Add Staff

Designatronics’ CEO says, “We can access a few million dollars more business” with each skilled machining employee who can perform complex setups and other sophisticated work from day one.
#workforcedevelopment #zaxis


Because of the Tariff on Mold Tooling, This Indiana Mold Shop’s Business is Now Booming

U.S. molders are now buying their tooling from U.S. mold builders. Precise Tooling Solutions illustrates this, and its owner makes the case for why the tariff matters.

Does Your Machine Shop Need a Human Resources Professional?

Straton Industries employs a full-time HR person as part of its staff of 78. The owner now realizes the shop could have benefited from this help even when the staff was much smaller. Companies overlook the value and importance of this role.
#workforcedevelopment #zaxis

What Machining Facility Should MMS Write About Next? Maybe Yours

The articles we develop often start with a manufacturing leader letting us know about the special way their shop is advancing or succeeding.