Lori Beckman

Lori has been working “behind the scenes” of Production Machining since 2003, writing and editing the Products, News and Case in Point sections of the magazine, editing other staff members’ articles, writing a column for PM’s e-newsletter, Inbox Insights, writing blog posts and handling PM's Facebook account. She began her journalism career in the trucking industry, writing technical articles for two trade publications. She has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Dayton.

Posted by: Lori Beckman 16. August 2016

Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS Engages the Future of Manufacturing

Held at every IMTS, the Smartforce Student Summit is a place where students and educators in STEM gather to experience career opportunities and new technologies in manufacturing.

The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2016 (IMTS 2016) features the tenth edition of the Smartforce Student Summit, a place where students and educators in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) gather to experience career opportunities and new technologies as well as machining challenges in manufacturing. The Student Summit is held every day during the show, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the North Building, Hall C. Not only are students in middle school, high school and college welcome; this year, elementary school students are invited to attend as well.

With the chance to see and touch the technologies that make up today’s advanced manufacturing industry, students can discover how they might transform their ideas into reality by understanding the tools, technology and opportunities available to them. Challenge activities, industry exhibitors and the new Smartforce Career Launch Pad (a career fair) are all available this year to students who register for the Student Summit.

“Our focus is for each student to have a quality experience at the Summit,” says Greg Jones, V.P. - Smartforce development at AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology. “We are working with our exhibit partners on specific challenges that will better engage the students before they attend the Summit and after they leave IMTS.”

With a theme focused on aerospace, students will engage in all aspects of the manufacturing process. To help students understand the tools and technologies available to them, there will be several hands-on challenges at the event: Art to Part, Weld It!, and Build It!

Networking is also a major benefit of the Summit. Students have the opportunity to communicate with IMTS exhibitors who will set up small booths at the Summit to engage the students.

Students can also meet recruiters from technical schools, community colleges and engineering schools. They will be there to answer questions and help students make decisions about which post-secondary school they might attend after high school graduation.

For students who are already attending a technical school, community college or engineering school and who are nearing workforce readiness, the Student Summit now offers a career fair called Smartforce Career Launch Pad, so they can engage with employers at IMTS looking for interns, apprentices and employees.

During IMTS 2014, the number of Student Summit attendees exceeded 17,000 and these students came from 450 schools. Students primarily came from the Chicago area, however, students who attend community colleges or engineering schools came from 34 states.

“This year, we believe the number will grow,” Mr. Jones says. “The national conversation around STEM has raised awareness about career opportunities in manufacturing, and the Summit should continue to benefit from changing perceptions.”

Emphasizing the importance of STEM careers and sparking young students’ interests in this field has never been more relevant, as machine shops across the country are experiencing hardships in finding skilled workers. Students need to see that there are exciting opportunities available to them in this career that pay well, have room for advancement and don’t require going into debt for years in order to learn the necessary skills. The Smartforce Student Summit is playing an important role in educating students about these great opportunities.



Posted by: Lori Beckman 11. July 2016

Presenters Needed at PMTS’ PCx


The Parts Cleaning Expo (PCx) 2017 is now accepting abstracts from those interested in presenting during the conference, which will be held during the Precision Machining Technology Show (PMTS) next April. The deadline for abstracts is August 22.

Conference session suggestions include:

  • Fundamentals/Benefits of Cleaning
  • Industry-Specific Cleaning Strategies
  • Cleaning Equipment Configurations/Automation
  • New Cleaning Processes and Technologies
  • Corrosion Protection - When and Why?
  • Environmental Issues and Recycling

To maximize the exposure and longevity of each speaker's work, we will also provide pre-show promotion in both PM and Products Finishing magazines. Included with your commitment to the conference is the opportunity to have a written version of your presentation published online along with the chance to be published in the printed editions of each magazine. 

To submit an abstract, fill out the form here

Posted by: Lori Beckman 15. January 2016

Methods Engineer Receives 30 Under 30 Award

Brittany Speroni talks to girls at a young age to get them interested in STEM.

Brittany Speroni, a Methods Machine Tools Inc. mechanical engineer, was named a 2015 recipient of SME’s 30 Under 30 awards in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). A total of 30 young manufacturing professionals from across the country were chosen for their exceptional talent and leadership in STEM. Ms. Speroni was also recently appointed to serve on SME 2016 Member Council.

According to Ms. Speroni, her love of math has played a central role in her life, having drawn her inspiration from her mother who is a math teacher. It was through her mother's encouragement and a high school math teacher who helped her with real world applications of physics, that solidified her chosen career path in engineering. Ms. Speroni attended Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT) in Boston, Massachusettes and enrolled in the mechanical engineering (ME) technology degree program there.

It was in the ME program that she took her first manufacturing class, which became the catalyst that led her to more manufacturing classes, hands-on labs and a co-op job in her home state of New Jersey, where she worked for a small machine shop. In addition, during her time at WIT she became involved with the local SME student chapter and was a committee officer and also chair.

It was through a student group visit to an open house at Methods prior to graduating that led Ms. Speroni to her first and current position at Methods in 2012, working in the automation department designing robot end of arm tools, in addition to quoting and managing projects.

Her love of engineering has inspired her to expose STEM to young women and she has spoken to a local Girl Scout chapter in her home state of New Jersey, and also at an event held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, called, "Geek is Glam," which was for girls in grades 4-8. She not only spoke to the girls at the event, but also involved the girls in a small hands-on demonstration. One girl who she assisted at the event was so motivated she went on to enter a biotechnology program and joined a STEM club.

"It proved to me how important it is to talk to these girls at a young age because it can really make a difference in their future. They are also the ones who are going to impact our world and we need to make sure they realize how important their contribution will be to manufacturing," Ms. Speroni says. 


Posted by: Lori Beckman 4. January 2016

Workshops for Warriors Graduates Largest Class


A total of 46 veterans/wounded warriors graduated from Workshops for Warriors last month at its San Diego, California facility, making that class the largest graduating class to date for the organization. This is a triumph not only for the students and the organization, but for the industry as well, since large and small manufacturing organizations across the country just gained 46 new skilled workers where they are desperately needed.

“We’re the only accredited nonprofit providing veterans with these opportunities. Not only do we offer state-of-the-art equipment, computers and facilities, but most importantly, all training is at no cost to veterans,” says Hernàn Luis y Prado, founder of Workshops for Warriors. “We’re extremely proud of our graduates and look forward to continuing our 100 percent placement rate.”

Each semester runs 16 weeks and offers students credentials from industry organizations such as the National Institute for Metalworking Skills, Mastercam University, and SolidWorks

To learn about enrollment or donating to help support Workshops for Warriors and its mission, visit the website

Posted by: Lori Beckman 28. December 2015

Visit the CAD/CAM Zone for Software Info

The Workflow concept of Edgecam is designed to guide the user through the programming process in a natural progression.

If you are in need of information on CAD, CAM or related software for your shop, visit PM’s zone to read articles on such products, skim product releases to find particular software you are looking for, and watch videos showing software in action. Also, our supplier directory can help you get in contact with software companies. It’s all in one neat package here on our website, so there’s no need to do a Google search that will produce irrelevant information. 

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