PM Blog

New Contributor Guide Now Online

Production Machining content has always been made up of a combination of staff written articles as well as contributed articles from outside sources. For a company who is interested in contributing and wondering how to do so, we’ve recently updated our editorial submission guidelines that includes descriptions, specifications and examples for each type of article/content that we publish in our magazine and online. New to the guide is how to contribute to the PM blog, contributor info for the parts cleaning section, and how videos can be submitted for online consideration.

Check out the guidelines here.

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Moving your Shop Out of its Comfort Zone

Many shops are facing changing demands from their customers. In the article, “Automated Grinding Cell Adds Capacity,” we look at a second-generation, family-owned precision machined parts manufacturer that is making the internal and technological changes necessary to accommodate changes its customers are asking for.

Typically, centerless grinding is not found on the capability list of most screw machine shops. However, we are seeing many non-traditional operations added to the equipment list of shops across the board.

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By: Bart Bishop 14. December 2017

Weak Placements are Detrimental to a Business

Weak Placements are Detrimental to a Business

Weak leaders and weak placements can be a detriment to a business. Personal weakness, however, could be an illusion that is actually a failure on the part of a leader to adequately align the personality traits of their team members with the proper position in an organization. This could be true of a machine operator unfamiliar with the work order system that communicates how a part is to be manufactured or processed, for instance.

In his “About Your Business” column Matthew Kirchner discusses placing employees in positions that are consistent with their personality traits. A core personality trait, something largely set in a human being between the ages of 7 and 11, can’t be changed by a leader. Consequently, an inexperienced leader may become frustrated when attempting to change these traits. What they need to do instead is learn where to place the employee with their skills and attitude in mind.

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View PM’s December 2017 Digital Edition

Production Machining’s December Digital Edition is now available. This issue features emphasis topics of Cutting Tools and Additive Manufacturing. Our cover story is an in-depth technical piece describing the advantages of thread whirling, with a couple of new approaches. For our other feature, we visit a medical shop that has built a first-class production environment to lead the way in 3D printing.

We also provide special coverage of 2018’s Industry Outlook, in which Gardner Business Intelligence provides a forecast of what to expect from the precision machined parts industry in the coming year.

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Registering 54.3 for November, the Gardner Business Index (GBI): Precision Machining moved lower after two months of strong expansionary gains. For the year-to-date period, the index has averaged 55.5 and increased by approximately 1 percent in 2017. Gardner Intelligence’s review of the underlying data indicates that supplier delivery production and new orders lifted the business index higher, while employment, backlog and exports pulled the index lower. For November, only exports contracted slightly after having expanded in September and October. All components of the index moved lower in November except for supplier deliveries, which recorded slightly faster growth as compared with the prior month.

November saw slower growth in new orders and production as compared with October’s figures. Although the latest figures are below their year-to-date averages, they are well above the average readings from 2015 and 2016 and compare favorably with the strong readings of 2014 when the Precision Machining Index experienced solid cyclical growth. In the three-month period from the beginning of September to the end of November, backlog has drastically transitioned from record high growth to being almost flat. For the calendar year, backlog has experienced volatile expansion with only one month of contraction during that time.

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