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 14. April 2014

White Papers for Aerospace Machining


Aerospace machining represents a great opportunity for CNC machine shops that are seeking new income streams. Producing parts for civil, commercial and military aircraft is unlike making parts for consumer goods, automotive, construction and many other industries. The materials tend to be more exotic, the tolerances are often stricter, and the traceability requirements are more stringent.

Two white papers from machine tool distributor and automation integrator Gosiger Inc. explain the capabilities required of CNC machine shops that wish to enter the aerospace market. The papers discuss the various types of machining necessary for engine, structural and non-structural components, as well as the materials involved and CNC machine, tooling, control and accessory considerations.

The free white papers can be downloaded at

Posted by: Lori Beckman 31. March 2014

Webinar Offers ‘Practical Applications and Uses’ for MTConnect


You’ve heard about MTConnect, but haven’t done enough investigating to determine whether you want to implement it in your shop. Now’s your opportunity to delve deep into the realm of MTConnect with the easy, convenient webinar format.

Mazak USA’s upcoming webinar titled “MTConnect: Practical Applications and Uses” on Tuesday, June 17 at 2 p.m. ET, is geared toward manufacturers looking for ways to better calculate their overall equipment efficiency, monitor their machine tools from one system and reduce their production losses.

Neil Desrosiers, Mazak applications engineer/developer, will host the free 30-minute webinar that will explore how MTConnect, an open-source, royalty-free manufacturing protocol, easily connects devices and systems from different suppliers to capture and share information in a common format. 

Not only will webinar participants learn the basics of MTConnect and how it exists to set the standard communication method for retrieving data from manufacturing equipment, but also how Mazak actively supports MTConnect as a way to provide complete manufacturing solutions. The company now builds MTConnect-compliant machines as well as offers moderately priced adapters for existing equipment in the field.   

Registration for the webinar is now open at

Posted by: Lori Beckman 24. March 2014

Help Women Consider a Career in Manufacturing


The shortage of skilled workers in manufacturing has not improved, but there is an “untapped resource” that can help: women. Women are increasingly outperforming men in learning advanced skills, but are under-represented in the manufacturing workforce and in the specialized S.T.E.M. fields today, according to an article in the Huffington Post, titled “Manufacturing Skills Shortages and the Untapped Resource.” 

The article reports that women overall only represent 25 percent of the manufacturing workforce, but only 16 percent of executive officers. Both of these figures are well below the average for all U.S. businesses. One reason for this is that girls are still not evenly represented in the S.T.E.M. fields of education. Data from test results conclude that girls are persuaded to go in a different direction from S.T.E.M. fields.

I suggest that, as manufacturing professionals, we get the good word out that manufacturing and the S.T.E.M. fields provide solid, rewarding career paths for women as well as men. As the article states, it would do manufacturing a lot of good to have the diversity women would create in this workforce.

Read “Women, Manufacturing Needs Your Talents” for more insight on how to focus on the challenge of attracting women to our workforce. Another good read is “Increasing STEM Education for Women.” 

Posted by: Lori Beckman 17. March 2014

Student Summit Returns for IMTS 2014


The Smartforce Student Summit has been a place at IMTS where educators, administrators, students and parents can experience an in-depth introduction to manufacturing. The summit features interactive displays from national education organizations, manufacturing technology providers, career and technical schools, community colleges and engineering schools.

This year during IMTS 2014, the Smartforce Student Summit will take place Monday, September 8, through Saturday, September 13, which will be held at McCormick Place in Chicago.

“The importance of STEM education has been a hot topic because of the value it delivers for careers and for the overall economy,” says Greg Jones, Association for Manufacturing Technology V.P., Smartforce Development. With manufacturing experiencing a massive shortage of skilled workers, we really want students to see first-hand the fantastic career opportunities available within the industry.”

Students have long been a part of IMTS, with school groups, scouting troops and others touring the show floor to gain an understanding of the technologies utilized within manufacturing. The Smartforce Student Summit will ramp up the student experience at IMTS by offering speakers, hands-on displays, and a chance for students to interact one-on-one with young manufacturing professionals.

Information about the Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS is available at, including program details, a calendar save-the-date and registration for additional notifications about the event.



Posted by: Lori Beckman 3. March 2014

PMTS 2013 Qualifies for ‘Fastest 50’

PMTS 2013 surpasses benchmark averages for exhibitor growth, net square feet and total attendance.

The PMTS (Precision Machining Technology Show)  2013 qualified for Tradeshow Executive’s “Fastest 50 Class of 2014” in all three categories: Net Square Feet of Exhibit Space, Number of Exhibitors, and Number of Attendees. 

While the benchmark is 2 percent for exhibitor growth, PMTS performance is at 30 percent. The total attendance at PMTS 2011 was 4,564, while 2013 attendance was at 5,723.

The chart below shows how PMTS compared with the benchmark, as well as the “Fastest 50” honorees.  

If you have you to explore PMTS for yourself, make plans to do so at PMTS 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. 

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