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. September 2016

Somma Highlights its ‘Forte’ at First-Time Exhibit


Somma Tool Co. is making its debut at the show this year in booth W-2027 as a manufacturer of a full range of cutting tools, toolholders and workholders for the machining industry. Jerry Somma, V.P. of sales for the company, says this position is unique for Somma.

“Other exhibitors and competitors usually manufacture products in only one of these three product categories,” he says.

Although a new exhibitor at IMTS this year, Somma Tool Company has been in business since 1939, serving the screw machine industry. It began as a specialty form tool grinding house, with primarily local Connecticut shops as customers. It has since evolved into a nationwide and overseas manufacturer of many types of tooling.

Its booth is a one-stop shop that includes broaching tools and broach holders, cut-off blades, insert-style cutoff and forming tools, circular and dovetail form tools and blanks, and resharpenable and throw away-style inserts for tool systems. It also displays the company’s turning tools, various toolholders and workholders, benchtop tapping, and retapping machines. Somma offers a range of tooling for automatic screw machines, CNC machines, and especially for Swiss screw machines.

“We are the only broach tool manufacturer who makes and stocks standard size hex and square broach tools made from ‘Forte’ material instead of basic M2 high speed steel,” Jerry Somma says. “Forte material is the toughest broaching material available, resulting in the best wear resistance for longer tool life.”

Somma’s booth displays rotary broaching videos, which include FAQs on internal and external rotary broaching, centering on a broach, how to align a broach, driven broach holders, and vertical broaching in a CNC mill.

Jerry Somma says his staff is excited and ready to explain the benefits that new and existing end users will experience with Somma products. “We encourage attendees to check us out,” he says. “We especially hope that attendees who make non-round internal or external shapes in a part will come and see the benefits of using Somma Forte broaches and holders.”


Posted by: Lori Beckman 15. September 2016

Thinbit IMTS Booth Offers Hands-On Experience

The company’s Groove ‘N Turn line of dovetail grooving inserts are one of many cutting tool lines featured in the booth. 

To see a full line of inserts and tools for grooving, threading, boring, face grooving, parting and form tools, visit Thinbit/Kaiser Tool Company’s booth W-2172 at IMTS. Visitors to the booth can use touchscreen displays and watch videos to learn more about this company’s tooling products. They can also discuss projects with application engineers in the booth.

The company’s Groove ‘N Turn line of dovetail grooving inserts are one of many cutting tool lines featured in the booth. The insert design is optimized for strength by using an insert pair to generate the groove form. Insert sizes are 0.030”, 0.050”, 0.060”, 0.070”, 0.080”, 0.090”, 0.100”, 0.125” and 0.150” with major diameters starting at 0.300”. These inserts are also available in sub-micron grain carbide grades for ferrous and non-ferrous materials, either uncoated or with TiN, TiCN, TiAlN or diamond film coatings. These dovetail inserts can be used on conventional, Swiss and CNC machines.

Thinbit/Kaiser Tool Company engineers in the booth are eager to answer questions and discuss options available to help with production and solve problems that attendees might be having with lathe applications. They want to help shops cut expenses and improve production.

Stop by the booth for giveaways throughout the week. If you are a Thinbit customer already, you can enter a contest to see if you have the oldest Thinbit scale.

Posted by: Lori Beckman 14. September 2016

MC Machinery Systems Inc.:The Company Behind Mitsubishi EDM

Many people do not realize that MC Machinery Systems Inc. is the company behind the Mitsubishi EDM brand.

Most people are familiar with the Mitsubishi EDM brand. But many do not realize that MC Machinery Systems Inc. is the company behind the brand. In fact, MC Machinery Systems is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a U.S. subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation this year.

The company is responsible for selling and servicing the popular EDM machines with the Mitsubishi EDM brand, but it also sells and services many other types of advanced machining solutions, such as vertical machining centers, automation, advanced five axis milling, turning ,additive machining, CO2 and FIBER Laser, and hydraulic and electric press brakes.

“We want people to know that we sell advanced technology. We are a solutions provider, our product range is vast, and we can really work with customers on finding the tool that best fits their manufacturing needs,” says Patrick Simon, marketing manager, MC Machinery Systems.

The proof is in the booth. While visiting MC Machinery’s 10,000 square-foot booth (Booth N-6815), visitors can experience 15 of the company’s machines on display. Six of these machines feature automation. In addition to its EDM machine line up, one example of the company’s machines featured at the show is the five-axis OPS Ingersoll Eagle V5 with multi-change light automation. This VMC has the capacity to handle a 550-pound workpiece on a 15.75-inch table surface. 

The company’s new Remote 360 monitoring system is also featured in the booth. “MC Machinery can now access customers’ machines with their permission, through Remote 360, a machine monitoring system that began coming standard on all wire EDM machines April 1,” Simon explains. “We are demonstrating this on several 70-inch flat screen TV displays, with presentations throughout the week. This capability allows us to reach a higher level of customer satisfaction and reduce downtime.”

MC Machinery’s top, high level employees are in the booth all week to answer questions, meet new customers and give machine presentations. It’s a great opportunity to meet with experts in each area of the company.

“There are several consumable products available for customers who have purchased our equipment, along with after sales contracts, like preventive maintenance programs and extended warranties,” Simon says. “We also plan to do some giveaways associated with our 25th anniversary.”

While looking for the Mitsubishi EDM logo, keep your eyes open for the MC Machinery 25th anniversary logo, and prepare yourself to be pleasantly surprised by all this company offers when exploring the booth. 

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

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