A League of Our Own

 E-Newsletter March 2009

Our industry is relatively small in scale but getting larger in scope. Increasingly, shops that manufacture precision machined parts are venturing out of their traditional comfort zone into new areas of production techniques and technologies. Ultimately, learning new operational skills will enable growth and longer term viability for the businesses.

However, as such transitions move forward it begs the question, “Who ya gonna call?” to help learn new skills. I submit it never hurts to talk with others who are in your boat. Trade associations are a great means of doing that.

One such association, spot-on for our industry, is the Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA). Its mission is “to lead progressive members toward global competitiveness and sustainable success while representing the Precision Machining Industry.” Since 1933 it has morphed, along with the industry, from an association of primarily screw machined parts producers to one that speaks for the precision machined parts manufacturers that screw machine shops have become.

Through the years, PMPA has developed numerous tools that enable and encourage members to interact. One example is peer-to-peer exchanges using a members-only Listserve for Q&A about technical, business, regulatory, safety and personnel issues, to name a few of the challenges that make today’s shop a much more complex enterprise.

The association offers members access to business and market intelligence focused specifically on manufacturing precision machined parts. You won’t find Britney, Brad or Angelina in these reports—only targeted information to help make business decisions.

Members have access to a raw material specification translator. As more and more work comes from or goes overseas, understanding material and tolerance nomenclature, which can be quite different from the norm, can influence a bidding on a job or passing. Nobody can afford to pass on a job just because the material spec is foreign.

PMPA sponsors the upcoming Precision Machining Technology Show in Columbus, April 28-30. It is the largest trade show in North America dedicated to manufacturing precision machined products and turned parts. In addition to product, services and process exhibits, concurrent technical sessions present current topics and proven processes from expert speakers.

PMTS is open to the public and is an excellent opportunity for those of you not familiar with the benefits PMPA brings to our industry to learn more. If ever there was a time for an industry to work together toward our mutual benefit, it is now. Nobody else is going to help us but us, and PMPA is a means to that end. Visit them at the show in booth 1048, or check them out at www.pmpa.org.