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, and more recently, writing a column for PM’s e-newsletter, Inbox Insights. 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 24. November 2014

Learn More about Deburring as a Critical Post-Machining Operation


Deburring is one of the most critical post-machining operation for ensuring the functionality of the machined part, as well as the safe handling of the part. Although traditionally a manual process, various technologies exist for reliably automating deburring. Find a wealth of information on this process at PM's’s Deburring Zone. Here you’ll find links to PM articles, case histories, and products related to this topic. Visitors can also view a video on deburring and find deburring suppliers. After browsing through the Deburring Zone, feel free to visit any of PM’s other zones by clicking here.

Posted by: Lori Beckman 17. November 2014

What if Veterans Day Was Celebrated Year-Round?


This past Veterans Day was a memorable one for me. It started with a simple question from my inquisitive 7-year-old son, “What are we going to do to celebrate Veterans Day, Mom?” I was taken aback, because honestly, I had never asked myself that question before, let alone expected my young son to ask that. He told me that his teacher had talked about what Veterans Day means. I suggested he call his grandpa and ask him what we could do to celebrate. My dad was in the Army in the Vietnam War era and was one of the lucky few soldiers not chosen to go to war.

The day off school and work that I was planning to use to take my kids to the latest Disney movie turned out to be much more meaningful. The phone call to Grandpa made his day. We met for lunch where my mom and my husband also joined us. Dad talked about some memories he had of this military experience and the fact that he doesn’t know why he was given orders to go to Germany, when 200-plus soldiers in his group were ordered to go to Vietnam. Dad is the most patriotic man I know and is very proud to be a vet.

After lunch, our family attended a local outdoor veterans memorial for a Veterans Day ceremony, which was touching and a little emotional at times. A petite 91-year-old World War II vet named “Homer,” wearing his old uniform, opened the ceremony, surprising the audience of 200 with his booming voice singing the National Anthem. A couple active duty soldiers then talked about their experiences in the service and their appreciation for our great country. They had been deployed to other countries in their careers and learned to love the simple things most Americans take for granted, such as green lawns and trees in our yards.

Fourth-grade students from a nearby elementary school were part of the ceremony as well, as they sang two songs especially for the vets. As they sang, I wondered if they truly understood the sacrifices the soldiers and vets present have made and are making for our freedom. Probably not, I gathered, because I don’t think most of us understand these sacrifices unless we experience them ourselves. Yet, we can appreciate them, at least, by hugging a veteran, thanking a soldier we see in uniform, attending a ceremony on Veterans Day or Memorial Day or simply reflecting to ourselves when the opportunity arises.

Taps was played as the city mayor and a soldier placed a wreath on the memorial, marking the end of the ceremony. “Hug a vet before the end of the day,” the mayor concluded.

At those words, I reached up to Dad and gave him a squeeze and thanked him. Later, he thanked the family for spending time with him and said it was his best Veterans Day yet. He especially was touched by his grandson’s gesture of picking up the phone and calling him on this day.

This special group of people deserve to be honored more than one day each year. Perhaps that can change. Don’t forget about this dedicated group of skilled men and women during your hiring process. Workshops for Warriors places veterans and wounded warriors in manufacturing careers by providing training, credentials, work experience and job placement. Find out more here



Posted by: Lori Beckman 3. November 2014

VIDEO: CNC Machining Gets Reality TV Show

This video is a preview of the new reality TV show.

Most people who don’t work in the manufacturing industry don’t know what goes on in a machine shop. But they really should, considering most store-bought goods have been either entirely manufactured in a machine shop or have at least one or more parts that’s been created in a machine shop.

To introduce the general public to machining, a reality show began airing on October 24 on MAVTV called “Titan-American Built.” The show centers around Titan Gilroy and his staff, who are tasked with creating parts for major American companies.

With Haas Automation and Autodesk backing the show, viewers see the pressures, the pitfalls and the triumphs all CNC machine shops face. The series shows the shop building parts for different clients each week. One week, they'll be tasked with building a complex rocket part for spaceships, while another week they'll build night vision goggles for the U.S. military, Mr. Gilroy says. 

The show airs Fridays at 7 p.m. PT/ET. For a preview of Titan-American Built, click here

Posted by: Lori Beckman 27. October 2014

Survey: Manufacturing is Moving Back to the States


According to the Boston Consulting Group, large manufacturers are continuing to move production back to the U.S. from China.

“Given the fact that China's wage costs are expected to grow, do you expect your company will move manufacturing to the United States?" the August survey asked executives at an unspecified number of companies that currently manufacture in China, a Yahoo News article states.

In the survey, the number of respondents who said their companies were currently reshoring to the U.S. from China increased 20 percent from a year ago.

More than 70 percent cited better access to skilled labor as a reason to move production to the US, which is more than four times as many who cited it for moving production away from the U.S.

To read more about the survey findings, read “Manufacturing Moving from China to US: Survey.” 

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.

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