Posted by: Chris Koepfer 24. October 2014

Reshoring Optimism

By effectively consolidating its 105,000 sq. ft. shop, TCI Precision Metals created 20,000 sq.ft. of additional manufacturing capacity.


Gardena, California-based TCI Precision Metals is ready for reshoring. The company recently announced a major shopfloor reconfiguration to free up manufacturing space for the influx on new business coming back to the U.S. from overseas.TCI was founded in 1956 and is a third-generation family business. It specializes in machine-ready precision blanks from aluminum, stainless and other materials for metalworking shops. It also provides contract manufacturing services, and it is in this area of the business that the reshoring is having an impact.

According to the company, contract manufacturers and job shops must provide the extended value necessary for OEMs to realize sustained benefits of onshore manufacturing versus offshore. That’s been the driver for TCI to reconfigure its shop floor, which has freed up 20,000 square feet for value added operations, including sub and final assembly.

Evaluating work flow, reducing bottle necks and rationalizing cellular and other in-process opportunities helped the company generate the additional manufacturing floor space with its 105,000-square-foot building. By “moving the furniture around,” the investment is significantly lower than building on or building new.

It may be worth noting for other shops that there may be such opportunities within one's existing plant. Click here to learn more about TCI.


Posted by: Chris Felix 22. October 2014

SMTCL Announces Upcoming U.S. Factory


To complement its current manufacturing facilities in Europe (Germany) and Asia (China), SMTCL has announced plans to begin manufacturing machine tools in the U.S. “The United States was chosen because that is where our customers are, and we know that we can find workers and vendors that have the dedication to quality that we need,” says SMTCL’s chief operating officer, Jerry McCarty.

Although the site of the factory has not yet been determined, Mr. McCarty says that SMTCL-Americas will begin with vertical machining centers and then expand to other products as the market dictates. The manufacturer plans to purchase or build a 100,000-square-foot facility and employ between 100 and 120 employees. “We will need manufacturing engineers, machine assembly technicians, and service technicians, as well as purchasing, accounting, and general management professionals,” says Mr. McCarty.

Mr. McCarty adds that he hopes to be manufacturing in the U.S. by the end of 2015. “These machines will be shipped to our customers in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and we look forward to helping our customers compete in the world economy.”

SMTCL produces 80,000 machine tools each year, with more than 300 products, including CNC boring mills, vertical turning centers, vertical machining centers, horizontal turning centers, horizontal machining centers, gantry-type machining centers, pipe threading machines and tapping centers. It also makes conventional lathes, boring mills, and radial drills. The headquarters for SMTCL-Americas is located in the City of Industry, California, and stocks machines, replacement parts, and accessories.

Posted by: Miles Free 21. October 2014

PMPA Opposes OSHA’s Expanded Workplace Rule


The Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA) filed official comments opposing an administration proposal to place additional burdens on employers while loosening injury reporting requirements on employees.

Clarity, not confusion, should be the work product coming out of here.

On August 14, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a Supplemental Notice to a pending rule to make injury and illness reports public, which becomes final in March 2015. The notice reframes Employee injury reporting as a “right” rather than a “duty.”

Reporting of injuries and illnesses is not a right. It is an obligation of the employee to report, and a responsibility of the employer to record, investigate, and take appropriate remedial actions to retrain as necessary and to remove any hazards so identified.

“We are very concerned that the as-yet unpublished regulatory text will actually become an obstacle to our ability to manage safety and hazard identification in manufacturing facilities,” says Rob Kiener, PMPA interim executive director. “By changing the understanding of an employee’s “obligation to report injuries and illnesses” to a “right to report,” OSHA allows workers the discretion to not report while maintaining the burden on employers,” Mr. Kiener says.

For these reasons, and the reasons given in our submitted letter, earlier comments, and testimony, the PMPA urged OSHA to withdraw both the proposed regulation and Supplemental Notice.

In the absence of actual regulatory text for us to review, OSHA creates only uncertainty regarding employers’ duties and obligations.

Furthermore, by ignoring OSHA’s own rule that employee compliance is a “duty,” OSHA potentially creates a means for employees to fail to report injuries and illnesses, with the proliferation of unrecognized hazards in workplaces across the country as a probable result.

Originally posted on blog. 

Posted by: Lori Beckman 20. October 2014

Tool Monitoring for Complex Machining

A specially designed strain gage enables small tools to be monitored effectively.

Multitasking machines are complex, yet have potential for efficiency and productivity. Completing parts in one pass across a multitasking machine streamlines production by eliminating multiple setups, avoiding errors when parts are refixtured and performing several operations simultaneously. They are also ideal for lights-out machining. 

Systems designed to monitor a tool’s condition, adjust automatically for wear and capture information about the tool’s performance can be especially valuable on multitasking machines. One of the biggest challenges to tool monitoring on a multitasking machine is coping with simultaneous cutting operations. Caron Engineering (Wells, Maine) designed a system to meet this challenge called TMAC-MP, which stands for Tool Monitoring Adaptive Control for Multi-Process machines.

To learn more about this tool monitoring system and its advantages, read Tool Monitoring for Multitasking Machines.

Posted by: Chris Koepfer 17. October 2014

We Have a Winner!

Mike Burchill, president of Marshall Manufacturing, won a new Romi CNC lathe. 


Well, the golden ticket goes to Mike Burchill, president of Marshall Manufacturing, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. With this ticket, Mr. Burchill will take delivery of the grand prize in Romi Machine Tool’s IMTS giveaway.

As part the company’s "it’s time I had a Romi in my shop” sweepstakes, a new Romi C420 CNC lathe will be delivered to Marshall, which makes medical devices and components for OEMs.

With a tax offset, the machine tool is valued at $63,000 and will go into production at Marshall as an augment to the shop’s turning capability. That certainly makes a trip to Chicago worthwhile.

Click here to learn more about Romi. 

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