Value-Adding Products are at Home at PMTS

This April will be my third visit to Columbus, Ohio, as an exhibitor at the Precision Machining Technology Show (PMTS). My first trip in 2005 was the launch of our company, Razorform Tools, and my first manufacturing trade show of any sort.

This April will be my third visit to Columbus, Ohio, as an exhibitor at the Precision Machining Technology Show (PMTS). My first trip in 2005 was the launch of our company, Razorform Tools, and my first manufacturing trade show of any sort. I’m a bit of a veteran now and amid the blur of cow pies at the state fairgrounds of  Eastec, the enormity of the IMTS, the la-la land of Westec, and the myriad of other shows I’ve been to just because they had manufacturing in the title, PMTS is a unique gem directed solely at precision machining. This is proven to me by the fact that after PMTS, the normal post-show onslaught of marketing and baloney calls I normally get, just doesn’t happen; but our volume of machinist and engineer calls, excited that they’ve discovered an off-the-shelf solution to broaching on their machining center or CNC lathe, always goes up.

For a relatively new company with an innovative but niche product that many manufacturers have not been exposed to, PMTS is the perfect fit for Razorform. We had no inside industry connections or distributor networks when we started our company.   Yet, now, we have hundreds of clients with a very sizable portion that discovered us at PMTS.

My dad always describes starting a business as pushing a giant rock uphill. For us, going to PMTS was like getting an extra friend to help you push. Our inserted broaching tool enables users to keep yet another operation on their VMC or CNC lathe rather than move parts around the shop to a specialty slotting machine or worse yet, vend out the whole operation to a specialty broaching house.

We’ve heard comments like, “Worth coming to the whole show just to find this,” and “This will allow me to quote on jobs I couldn’t do before.” I get so fired up when I hear that our product is adding value to companies. If we can have this much of an impact on one aspect of machining such as broaching, just think of all the new things waiting to be discovered if you haven’t been to a trade show in a while, let alone PMTS.

One behavior I’ve seen noticeably more of at PMTS as opposed to other shows is how many more people walk around with part prints. They are trying to solve specific problems and streamline processes. I’ve thought about why this practice is more prevalent at PMTS, and I feel it’s because it’s possible to focus there. The cutting edge of the machining industry is at your fingertips and not being diluted by miles of exhibits, free alcohol, live music, runway models and management suits looking for a fun week on the company dime. And not to worry, if you’re still looking for alcohol and models, the best of Columbus dining and entertainment is walking distance from the front door.

Point being is that the companies who are serious about getting lean are at PMTS. It’s like a rifle bullet approach to precision machining as opposed to the shotgun approach of other shows where I’m accosted by people selling credit cards, packaging material and other oddities that have as much to do with precision machining as politicians have to do with passing legislation to help keep manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

Precision machining is an art. It is a creative process that, quite often in our great country, is passed down through families. I remember as a child watching my dad hunched over his drafting table designing things and then making them on his hobby mill. As a kid, I ground carbide inserts for side money in our garage. I never thought as an adult those things he taught me would help me start my own business. In Columbus, Ohio, at PMTS, in the heartland of manufacturing, I see and recognize others who have machining in their blood. The finest brush, the highest quality canvas, the most innovative 3D camera, and the Oscar-winning actor are the tools of other mediums. We are at PMTS because it has the best to offer an artist in our guild.