PM Blog

From May 13-16, DMG MORI held its Chicago Innovation Days 2019 event in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, demonstrating the company’s latest trends and innovations in machine tool manufacturing. The event highlighted integrated digitization for planning, preparation, production, monitoring and service; automation solutions for competitive manufacturing; and additive manufacturing with four process chains in the powder bed and with the powder nozzle. The company also introduced two machines to the U.S. market.

The trend towards industrial digitization is fundamentally altering the framework of metal cutting production technology. DMG MORI has offered digitization solutions on its machines since 2013 with the CELOS app-based control and user interface. At the same time, the company has been expanding the range of solutions it offers to create an open ecosystem for the digital factory. DMG MORI is increasing its portfolio of CELOS services with intelligent software solutions and connective hardware. Additionally, the company has established the CELOS Club, which offers customers solutions on their path to Industry 4.0 and IIoT.

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Almost 300 students from 22 northern Illinois high schools competed May 9 in the Technology & Manufacturing Association’s (TMA) 28th annual Precision Machining Competition, a contest designed to encourage students to pursue high paying careers in advanced manufacturing.

Held at Mazak Corp.’s Midwest Technology Center in Schaumburg, Illinois, the competition recognized 50 students for their excellent work in machining projects such as CAD design, sine bar, grinding vice, CNC turning, CNC milling, CNC CAM, and CNC programming. Out of the 50 winners, seven students received perfect scores and five were women.

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As the new director of technical programs and member engagement at PMPA, I was new to the industry and wasn’t sure what to expect. I found out quickly that PMPA members are not members of a club; they are members of a family. I am in awe of the close-knit, knowledge-sharing, better together group that is the PMPA membership. It’s as if everyone intuitively knows that a stronger industry can only benefit individual companies. And the knowledge is shared with joy!

Miles Free, PMPA’s interim director, hired me, and I was “airdropped” into the execution phase of the 2019 National Technical Conference held at the end of March (I know, it seems impossible). What happened, you ask? Miles took time every day to teach me about the industry and the culture. John Detterbeck, president at Lester Detterbeck Enterprises Ltd., flew in from Florida to help me understand the conference. Tony Gemignani, vice president at R.F. Mau Co. and chair of the Technical Programs Committee, welcomed me. They both did everything in their power to help. Not one objection. Not one unkind word. Just enthusiasm and a willingness to participate. Everyone came together to do what needed to be done, just like a family.

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In the late 1950s, John Clifton Gibbons was a machine repairman for the Ford Motor Co. until he got the news he had been laid off. Although he only had a fifth-grade education, Mr. Gibbons was well respected in the area for his knowledge in automotive repair and maintenance work. Mr. Gibbons had been laid off for more than two years when he received a telegram from Ford asking if he would return to his previous position.  A few weeks prior, he had an opportunity to purchase three Traubs, one chip spinner and a Toledo scale at the encouragement of a friend who wanted him to run some parts for him. To do this, it cost $4,000 of his $4,018 life savings and meant he would have to leave Ford for good. After receiving some encouragement from his wife, Blanche, he turned down the offer from Ford and pursued an opportunity to make directional levers for Chevy, Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Buick. So, in 1959, Mr. Gibbons and his 17-year-old son, Jerry, started JC Gibbons Manufacturing’s 60-year legacy by making these levers in the back of someone else’s shop. The next year, the two moved the company into a modest, 450-square-foot building in Detroit, Michigan, where they hired their first employee, purchased more machines and manufactured 50,000 carburetor jets a month.

Several decades and millions of manufactured parts later, JC Gibbons moved to its current headquarters, a 22,000-square-foot facility in Livonia, Michigan, with more than 30 screw machines and 10 CNC lathes and CNC vertical mills, all of which are capable of working with countless machining materials and volumes. Today, JC Gibbons Manufacturing is run by Jerry Gibbons’ sons, Jeff and Dan Gibbons, and has become a leading manufacturer of precision CNC machining services and screw machine products for a number of different industries, including automotive, HVAC, specialty and custom fasteners, defense, electronics and musical instruments.

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