The Best Way to Learn about Metalworking is Immersion

As a new assistant editor for Production Machining, it was very educational for Bart Bishop to visit Positrol Workholding and get a behind-the-scenes tour of its operation.

Collet

Positrol Workholding does turning and milling then sends away for heat treating, with collets, jaws, hydraulic expandings, diaphragms and bevel gear chucks being returned for grinding to finish out the process.

 

As the newest addition to Production Machining magazine, it’s easy to feel in over your head. I’ve been an assistant editor for a month now, and much of that time has been spent wrapping my brain around all the concepts and terminology. With a background primarily in writing and editing and not in the metalworking, terms like precision turning and Swiss-type lathe were Greek to me. And as everyone knows, the best way to learn a new language is to be immersed in it.

PM’s answer to that is go directly to the source, in this case local shop Positrol Workholding. The company uses a proprietary six-step process to analyze workholding challenges and recommend a comprehensive solution to suit a manufacturing operation, with chucks as their specialty. Accompanied by Kent Luciano, Gardner’s regional vice president and associate publisher, and sales associate Maalik Bomar, and I was very pleased to get a tour behind the scenes from Positrol’s Vice President of Sales Eric S. Weber.

Seeing the equipment up close really brings together how everything fits. It’s loud, smells of chemicals, and “chips,” shavings created by the machining, litter the floor. Mr. Weber affectionately refers to those as “money.”

He guided us through his shop’s process from start to finish, with turning and milling done initially. At the same location since 1968, the process hasn’t changed much since then. They send away for the heat treating, with collets, jaws, hydraulic expandings, diaphragms and bevel gear chucks being returned for grinding to finish out the process.

Mr. Weber brought up the idea of shadowing at Positrol for a day or two. I look forward to the chance to dive deeper into the inner workings of the industry.

For more on Positrol, you can see their website here.