PM Blog

As shops consider new equipment and expand their capabilities, they also need to consider how their employees factor into these changes. Employee structure can affect how shops adapt to changes or implement new technology. The article “Moving Forward with Self-Directed Work Teams” gives an example of a successful company structure.

Like many shops, Vanamatic has changed along with the industry. But these changes included more than equipment. The shop recognized that moving from a traditional linear production system to a more flexible cell-based production system would help the shop succeed as business evolved.

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This year marks the ninth edition of Modern Machine Shop’s annual benchmarking program. If you aren’t already familiar, the Top Shops survey enables shops of all types and sizes to see how they compare against leading U.S. machining businesses in terms of machining technology, shopfloor practices, business strategies and human resources/workforce development.  

A “Top Shop” is the group that represents the top 20 percent of shops based on points assigned to select survey questions in each of the four survey categories. Once survey responses are received, a benchmarking group is established.

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Gardner Business Media Inc. has named Chris Felix editor-in-chief of the Production Machining brand, including the magazine, website and all electronic media. He will lead the brand’s editorial team for content development and presence throughout the industry.

Production Machining Publisher Joe Campise says, “Chris has many years of experience writing, blogging and communicating the happenings of the metalworking industry. He has a strong grasp on the market as a whole and good standing with the precision turned parts community. He’s in a great position to continue the brand’s momentum.”

Mr. Felix began his career with Gardner Business Media more than 20 years ago, first as assistant editor and later as production manager with Modern Machine Shop, Gardner’s flagship media brand covering the metalworking industry. He joined the Production Machining staff in 2005, most recently serving as senior editor, where he has led the brand to new heights in content development, feature writing and staff talent development efforts, in addition to fostering strong industry relationships across the globe.

“I’m looking forward to helping the brand continue to provide quality content that can be used to enhance the output of shops across the country,” Mr. Felix says. “I’m surrounded by great people, not only on the editorial staff, but throughout the organization. Our success is a team effort, and this group knows how to get things done.”

Production Machining is a business-to-business media brand that produces a monthly print magazine, digital media, industry research and live events for the high volume precision turned parts market. Production Machining’s editorial team and expert contributors produce information on new product technology, operational best practices, market intelligence and industry news.

Gardner Business Media is the media outlet for the heart of manufacturing in North America—providing unique, one-of-a-kind, relevant information of keen interest to the people who power plants, shops, and factories. All of our brands strive to use media—be it print publications, websites, electronic devices, newsletters, webinars, research or in person events—to show best practices and practical, how-to information to explain technology and help our customers be competitive in today’s challenging environment.

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Whether you are in the market for inspection and measurement equipment for your company or simply want to learn more about the technology, the Production Machining Inspection & Measurement Zone on our website is a great place to start. The zone is a collection of articles, commentary, products, news, case studies, video and blog posts all related to inspection and measurement equipment and processes. The zone also provides a list of suppliers (and their contact information) related to this technology to make your research easier. Go to to visit the Inspection & Measurement Zone.

Read More will award three $1,000 scholarships to veterans who want to pursue careers as machinists. To qualify, a veteran should submit a copy of his or her record of service (DD214), along with a 1,000-word essay on why he or she would like to become a machinist. One scholarship per month will be awarded in February, March and April of 2019. Submission deadlines are February 5, March 5 and April 5.

"A shortage of skilled labor is the biggest challenge that manufacturers face. Veterans have the transferable skills, work ethic, and integrity that are a perfect fit for the industry," says Curt Doherty, founder and CEO of

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