Chris Koepfer

Chris Koepfer has been involved in metalworking for 30 years. His first 14 were in the machine tool group at Cincinnati Milacron where he honed his technical writing skills in turning, machining and grinding before joining Modern Machine Shop in 1992 as an associate editor. In 2001, he helped found MMS’ sister publication Production Machining, which speaks to the precision machined parts segment of the industry. Chris is graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, as are three of his four children, and an XU basketball fan—which can be as daunting as working in metalworking, he says.

Posted by: Chris Koepfer 29. April 2016

One Year to Go


No matter how one slices the calendar—days, weeks or months—it all adds up to the fact that The Precision Machining Technology Show (PMTS) is only a single year away. The 2017 edition runs from April 25 to 27, 2017, and will occupy the Columbus Convention Center in the heart of the city’s entertainment district.

Since its inception in 2001, the PMTS has grown and continues to grow. Its target audience is the precision machined parts industry, and after a record setting show in 2015, it is already on target to be even better.

A year goes by fast. Therefore, it's not too soon to begin making plans to attend PMTS 2017. Go to to learn more about the products, services, process innovations and players in our industry segment. Time is ticking.

Posted by: Chris Koepfer 22. April 2016

Gene Haas Foundation Steps Up for Vets


During this ceremony, a $250,000 check was donated to the Workshops for Warriors by the Gene Haas Foundation.

Workshops for Warriors recently received a $250,000 grant from the Gene Haas Foundation to help continue its work. These funds will offset training costs and provide Workshops for Warriors' machining students with stipends while they work to complete their certification programs.

The Gene Haas Foundation was created in 1999 by Gene Haas, founder of machine tool builder Haas Automation.

In addition to its work with Workshops for Warriors, the foundation provides scholarships for students entering technical training programs. It also supports youth programs designed to motivate young people to consider careers in manufacturing and machining.

Workshops for Warriors is a nonprofit school designed to help veterans transition into civilian life through advanced manufacturing training, certification and job placement. 




Posted by: Chris Koepfer 15. April 2016

Cobots are Coming

Cobots are moving out from behind the cage. 

Since it was first conceived in in the 1950s, the industrial robot has morphed from a machine that required a cage and other devices to separate it from humans. In recent years, that too has changed.

Since the 1960s, the automotive industry has been using robots successfully. As often happens, having proved themselves, robots have proliferated into shops of all sizes. Moreover, because of simplified programming, these machines are moving into non-traditional applications where high mix and relatively low volume production is the rule.  

Today, we are seeing the emergence of collaborative robots that use sophisticated sensors that allow humans and robots to work together without the need for guarding. Instead of operating independently of the machine operator, these new machines are safe, and as such an even better helper for its human coworker. Click here to read an article we published on the topic.


Posted by: Chris Koepfer 1. April 2016

GenSwiss Partners with Swiss Tooling Maker

Louis Bélet SA makes Swiss cutting tools like these for several industries.

Tooling supplier for Swiss-type machining, GenSwiss is now the exclusive North American representative for Louis Bélet SA (Switzerland). With a heritage as a supplier to the Swiss watch industry, Louis Bélet focuses its precision carbide and PCD-tipped cutting tools on niche industries for aerospace, medical, automotive and a variety of micro-manufacturing applications.

The company’s carbide tools include micro-drills and coolant-through drills manufactured to application-specific geometries and select coatings. For drilling applications, the Expert 370 series includes newly engineered cutting and coating parameters for better productivity levels and fewer burrs that result in higher-quality holes.

Louis Bélet’s product offering also includes carbide end mills in micro, square, ballnose and engraving configurations. The company’s catalog has more than 6,500 standard offerings. 

Posted by: Chris Koepfer 25. March 2016

New IMTS Balloon Hits the Road

New for 2016, this IMTS Balloon will be at the show and tour the country.

The iconic mascot since 2004 for IMTS is new for the 2016 edition of the show. This new balloon is the third model built for AMT - The Association for Manufacturing Technology. All three have been built by Lindstrand Balloons in Galena, Illinois.

In addition to its traditional anchorage between the Grand Concourse Entrance and the West Building of McCormick Place during the big show, the balloon also tours the country representing AMT and manufacturing at various events. The balloons are operated by Aerial Advantage of Columbia, Missouri.

According to Peter Eelman, V.P., exhibition and communications at AMT, “For the past 12 years, an estimated 2.5 million people have seen the IMTS balloons at both public and private events, and even more people have the balloons covered (reported) by various media outlets across the country in an effort to extend the IMTS brand beyond the six days of the show.”

IMTS 2016 Balloon Event Schedule

April 28-30, Louisville, Kentucky, Derby Festival

June 10-12, Waterloo, Iowa, Waterloo Days

June 24-26, Howell, Michigan, Michigan Challenge

July 29-31, Readington, New Jersey, Quick Chek Festival

Aug. 10-12, Findlay, Ohio, Flag City Balloon Festival

Sept. 12-17, Chicago, Illinois, IMTS

Oct. 1-9, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Balloon Fiesta

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