PM Blog

MMS Announces 2019 Top Shops Winners

Production Machining’s sister publication, Modern Machine Shop’s annual Top Shops benchmarking survey results include a detailed data analysis report, identification of emerging operational and business metrics, and the unveiling of this year’s four program winners.

The annual survey enables owners and managers of U.S. computer numerical control (CNC) machine shops to compare their operations’ performance and practices against industry leaders. The survey is divided into four primary sections: machining technology, shopfloor practices, business strategies and human resources. An Honors Program winner is chosen for each of these categories. This year’s winners are SDP/SI (Human Resources), Straton Industries (Machining Technology), MetalQuest (Shopfloor Practices) and AceCo Precision (Business Strategies).

Read More
Emerging Leader Alex Puff Focuses on Education

Alex Puff has always enjoyed making and improving things and solving problems, even prior to his entry into his manufacturing career. That’s why it’s not hard to understand why he enjoys his job as a manufacturing engineer at PMPA active member company Micron Manufacturing Co. and excels at it. “What better place than manufacturing to be surrounded by taking chunks/bars of material and creating a usable product paired with endless opportunity for improvement?” Alex says.

Alex was hired at Micron in 2007 when he was 18 years old, making CAD part drawings, a skill he learned in high school at the local career technical center. By that time, he’d already had his own window cleaning business for two years. His entrepreneurial spirit carried over into manufacturing when, during the 2008/2009 manufacturing downturn, Alex created an LLC and found outside opportunities to use his growing CAD skills to draw for other local companies. In the meantime, Alex wanted to learn how to run the Swiss machines.

Read More

Take a walk through "Any Shop USA" and observe the actions being taken to serve the customer. Rarely will you see someone with an open manufacturing work instruction book reading about how his or her particular task is to be completed. The vast majority of shop employees know what it takes to ensure that a high-quality product arrives at the customer’s dock on time. They have been instructed in specific tasks, and they follow those instructions.

So what is the purpose of documented work instructions? Besides having them available for audit review, why do such documents exist? Work instructions are created to guide workers in four key quality areas: training, reference, problem solving and continuous improvement.

Read More

Perfectly ordered disorder designed with a helter-skelter magnificence.
— Emily Carr

I’m back with another month of exciting column writing—a lot of little things to discuss this time around. Writing can be fun. It can also be quite a challenge. Sometimes the words come to me, and sometimes they don’t. I’d guess designers face the same issues. Sometimes the ideas are numerous, but there’s only so much to say about them or do with them. Let’s say that was the case this month. Maybe June’s Midwest monsoons have washed the loquaciousness away.

Read More
Standardized Controls Aid Shop's Apprenticeship Program

As machine shops grow, they face a decision: should they add more capacity to their current capabilities or expand by adding new capabilities? San Antonio-based Cox Manufacturing chose the former, focusing on high volumes of small parts made from barstock. But the company takes this decision to standardize beyond the types of parts it makes—it extends to its equipment and its apprenticeship program. The company believes this strategy has been vital to its growth, which includes the addition of 100 employees over the past 10 years.

William Cox Sr. founded Cox Manufacturing in 1956 with one Swiss automatic screw machine. Today, the founder’s son, Bill Cox, leads the company. Its 170 employees work three shifts, running about 100 machines to produce more than 1 million parts each week. The parts are for a range of industries, including agriculture, medical, fiber optics, firearms, automotive, trucking and aerospace. Despite the different end uses, all parts are 2¾ inches or smaller and made from barstock. “Our niche is production automatic bar products,” Mr. Cox says.

Read More

RSS RSS  |  Atom Atom