Metalworking-Related Government Links

Sometimes useful, sometimes frustrating, Web sites maintained by the U.S. Government to serve manufacturing can offer valuable data to support your research or business needs.

Sometimes useful, sometimes frustrating, Web sites maintained by the U.S. Government to serve manufacturing can offer valuable data to support your research or business needs. FirstGov (www.firstgov.gov): This site is a compilation of all things governmental on the Web. Every site hosted or sponsored by the government is listed here. That includes state and local governments. Still don’t grasp the size of it? It is massive. For instance, if you plug the word “metalworking” into FirstGov’s search engine, you get back more than 1,000 links. This is an excellent resource for the business end of a machine shop or plant, and it is a wellspring of technical data.

Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory (MEL) (www.mel.nist.gov/melhome.html): The MEL is a subset of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and it is sort of a conduit to technology for manufacturers. Its stated purpose is to “provide the best in the world calibration services, accurate machining process characterizations and technical access to the rich opportunities of information technology.” The MEL is organized into six “sectors” that include five divisions (precision engineering, manufacturing metrology, intelligent systems, manufacturing systems integration and fabrication technology) and the Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory. Not only is this Web site a portal into the MEL that you may use to engage the MEL in research, but it is also as rich a repository for manufacturing info as any you’ll find from the U.S. Government. The access to its published reports alone (under “Publications” on the home page) is worth the visit.

Metalworking Fluids (www.osha-slc.gov/SLTC/metalworkingfluids/): This site, brought to you by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), offers a wealth of data about the effects of exposure to metalworking fluids, lubricants, coolants and so on. This site can be a valuable resource to all shop managers.