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Manufacturing in North America--A First Hand Lesson

Contributing Editor Bruce Morey


Since the end of the Great Recession manufacturing in the U S seems to be holding its own. Amid the welcome news, two elements seem to stand out for success - delivering high value products and customers that reside close by. I saw great evidence of this in a casting company making its way in a world replete with worldwide competitive threats and changing technology. Full Article

Shop Solutions: Dynamic Solution for Small Oil-Parts Production

Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


Shamrock Precision Inc. (Farmers Branch, TX) makes a specialty of manufacturing small precision parts—typically 2–9" (51–229-mm) long for downhole oil well applications.The company has gained a solid reputation for manufacturing reliable products that are designed to break and release electromechanical equipment into action once a specific amount of force is exerted on them. Full Article

Shop Solutions: HBA Inserts are Cost Cutters for Hard Metals

Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


As part of its Lean Manufacturing Initiative, Mike Alfonso, president, Grand Traverse Machine (GTM; Traverse City, MI) established a regular Thursday morning meeting to discuss tooling issues and opportunities. The family-owned shop specializes in high-precision manufacturing applications and has grown from a three-man operation in a 2000 ft2 (185 m2) facility in 1966 to a 29,000 ft2 (2694-m2) plant employing 70 people on two shifts seven days a week. Full Article

Shop Solutions: Laser Texture Molds as Large as a Full-Size Car

Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


Custom Etch Inc. (New Castle, PA), a 35-person shop, has specialized in chemical etching since 1982. However, in  2011 the shop made a bold move to significantly expand its capabilities beyond chemical etching and invested in advanced five-axis laser-texturing systems.
Full Article

Never Out of Style in the Shop: Classic Lean Techniques

Contributing Editor Ed Sinkora


About five months ago, a member of the Lean Business System group on LinkedIn posed the question: “Can you describe lean with one word? Or at most three?” The most common answers were things like “waste-free” or “efficiency,” plus phrases that echo “continuous improvement.” But perhaps the most popular submission—and there were over 400—was “focused common sense.” Full Article

Shop Solutions: In Silicon Valley, Automation Isn't Just for the Big Guys

Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


For Hi Tech Precision Machining Inc. (HTPMI; San Jose, CA), a 12-pallet LPS feeding a single horizontal machining center with a 14,000-rpm spindle is positioning the precision machining company located in the heart of Silicon Valley to better serve its current and potential customers in the medical, semiconductor, and telecommunications industries. Full Article

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