PMTS 2017 Celebrates Makers of Useful Objects

Join us at PMTS to celebrate the joy and satisfaction being part of the manufacturing engine that built this great nation.


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Call me a sentimental old Boomer, but for my money, it is hard to beat the emotional and tactile gratification that comes from holding and admiring something you made with your own hands. The feeling is the same whether made from sticks of wood, a mound of clay, a brush and paints, metal rods or whatever your raw material of choice. To take a bunch of raw, shapeless stuff and transform it into something of value, something with a unique and useful purpose; now that’s fulfilling. Many anthropologists believe such “purposeful intent” is precisely the leap made from Homo habilis 1.5 million years ago, to Homo sapiens 400,000 years ago—advancing from casual, almost accidental tool usage, to purposeful, creative formation of useful objects.

This ninth edition of PMTS is only one of many opportunities created by PMPA to celebrate what Miles Free, our director of industry research and technology, calls the “existential joy to our craft in precision manufacturing”. In other words, we proudly celebrate this distinguished community of manufacturing businesses devoted to the precision machining of useful objects—objects that enable virtually everything in the world to function effectively, from children’s toys to automobiles to fighter jets to medical implants to satellites, and everything in between.

As a highly specialized provider of focused services to our member companies since 1933, PMPA is the only national industry association exclusively devoted to advising and assisting precision machining companies and their technical vendors and industry partners. The only reason we come to work every day here at PMPA is to help our precision machining member companies adapt and thrive in an increasingly challenging marketplace. It is this singular attentiveness to precision machining issues that distinguishes us from every other local, regional or industry association. We understand the problems facing the precision machining industry better than any other organization, and we spend 100 percent of our time researching, analyzing and providing effective solutions.

To those of you who are not PMPA members, we welcome you to PMTS 2017, and we hope you enjoy a productive opportunity to learn, network and widen both your technological and business perspectives. In my role as executive director, I am consistently amazed by the ingenuity of our members. As I travel the country touring member shops, it astounds me that there are so many innovative ways to conduct this business profitably. Some shops focus on narrow ranges of sizes and materials, high complexity and short runs; others find their niche by serving a variety of sizes, long runs and less complex geometries. Some use only a few brands of equipment; others thrive on a wide selection of brands and technologies. However, there is one thing they all agree upon unanimously: the incalculable value of networking and information sharing available to them as members of the PMPA. Maybe that explains the large number of companies who have been PMPA members for 40, 50 and 60 years or more.

This year’s PMTS is a conspicuous showcase for PMPA to proudly exhibit the contributions of the precision machining industry to the long and distinguished tradition of U.S. manufacturing—“the folks who make useful objects.” Standing on its own, U.S. manufacturing would comprise the ninth largest economy in the world, accoriding to the article, “Top 20 facts about Manufacturing,” at the National Association of Manufacturers’ website, nam.org. It also states that for every $1 spent in manufacturing, $1.81 is added to the U.S. economy—the highest multiplier of any U.S. economic sector. In 2015, U.S. manufacturing contributed $2.17 trillion to the U.S. economy, 12.1 percent of GDP. That certainly is a lot of “useful objects” and an awful lot to be proud of.

Please join us in Columbus to celebrate the joy and satisfaction of being part of the manufacturing engine that built this great country and all the tools of combat that have protected it. Celebrate the industry that has paid for millions of family homes, financed many millions of educations and generated the capital for thousands of visionary entrepreneurs to boldly embrace the risk of venturing out and manufacturing things for the rest of the world to use. Come and share our pride in thousands of precision machining companies and their thousands of talented workers who proudly earn their living making the “useful objects” that literally make the world work. Vive l’evolution!