Using the Internet and Web to find information, research a topic or support your business can be rewarding, as more and more shop professionals are finding.
But as any good machining specialist will tell you, the right tools—and the right information—play crucial roles.
So here are some possibly useful, inspirational and motivational sites with info for you to use.
Foreign Legion—Many machine tool associations that serve European and Asian markets have often-overlooked Web sites that are useful for researching specific machines or technology. Some sites to explore are www.smts.org (Switzerland), www.afm.es (Spain), www.tami.org.tw (Taiwan), and www.komma.org (South Korea). These sites (and others) offer English translations of databases and other useful info related to the markets and machines they serve.
Absolutely—Sometimes you need a specific answer or an absolute, such as a formula or a solution to an equation. These sites offer calculators, utilities and more that can help out when you need them: Marv Klotz's Utilities (www.geocities.com/capecanaveral/hall/4425/), WebElements (www.webelements.com), MathTools (www.mathtools.net) and eFunda (www.efunda.com).
Seek, and Ye Shall . . . —Search Engines, those sites that index the content of the Web, are getting smarter and faster. For instance, some engines are beginning to "rate" sites by popularity (number of visits, number of times a site is linked to and so on). This new "matrix" will allow technology-minded professionals to get to relevant data more quickly. Today's best, Google (www.google.com), is at the forefront of rating and returning sites effectively. Google also offers searches of all or specific newsgroups (also known as UseNet) for access to a wealth of useful manufacturing data (groups.google.com).
For more about search engines, how they work and how they are evolving, and to see links to the vast majority of the Web's best, visit Search Engine Watch (www.searchenginewatch.com).