Hurco Manufacturing Announces Major CNC Acquisitions

Hurco Manufacturing Hurco Manufacturing announced two big acquisitions today. They are taking over Milltronics, from Minnesota, and Takumi, from Taiwan. Purchasing these two companies should make for a big leap forward for Hurco. That, combined with Hurco manufacturing’s very easy to use control should expand Hurco’s horizons. Personally, I have never used a Hurco CNC, but my uncle has. He is also a machinist (and a much better one, at that), and used them quite a bit when he was a toolmaker. He always spoke highly of the controls.

You can read more about Hurco manufacturing acquiring  these two companies here.

General Machine Shop

Web Marketing Your Machine Shop

Krixis consultingA lot of machinist types don’t really pay attention to their website, I find. Even fairly established shops will have a site, and pretty much forget it exists after it is up. In the modern marketplace, that is a big mistake. There are a lot of potential new customers out on the web, who just might want to drop a bunch of cash on your bench, but you won’t find them if they can’t find you because of your poor web marketing. It goes without saying that main way people shop these days is online. The same goes for industrial clients, as it turns out.

Here is some info from people who are focused on web marketing for industry: Machine Shop Customers First Stop, Your Website When I had my own shop, I found quite a few customers online. Or rather, they found me. Now, it doesn’t have to be super-complicated. A lot can be done with a WordPress blog (like this one). One key is to keep updating (whihc blogs make it easy to do). Keep letting people know all of the cool stuff you are out there doing. Er, in there, in the shop.

Machine Shop

GE 3D Printing Part Approved by FAA For Flight | Additive Metal Manufacturing

This pretty much represents the state of the art for 3D printing right here: GE has gotten approval from the FAA to use a 3D printed part for retrofit on Boeing aircraft engines. The part does have some finish machining done to it, but the main structure of it is made by 3D printing. This represents a great leap forward in the use of 3D priniting technology, from limited use right to some of the most demanding application and testing procedures.

The real promise of the technology, which is demonstrated here, is the ability to make parts that would be difficult or expensive to make via other methods. In this case, the part isn’t unobtainable by more traditional manufacturing methods, but it might be costly to make traditionally. 3D printing allows the designers and engineers to work to the engineering needs of a part, with less consideration for the manufacturability of the part by traditional machining. This allows the design of some parts that might have been unmakable previously.

Read more on GE’s website.

Machine Shop

3D Printed Car | Oak Ridge National Labs Shelby Cobra 3D Printing

Ok, while the car that Local Motors built using 3d printing at the IMTS show was pretty impressive, this car is officially bad ass. I can say official, because President Obama and VP Biden checked it out, so it’s official. Really. The folks at Oak Ridge National Labs (“We don’t just make things glow in the dark!”) are doing a lot of investigative work about uses for new manufacturing technologies, like 3D printing. As a test case, they decided to build a replica Shelby 427 Cobra for the Detroit Auto Show, which is still the largest show in the world, I believe. Video from their site.

Another interesting use of 3D printing technology they highlight briefly here is to make large molds and forms. In this case, they use one to make a carbon fiber hood layup form, I believe, but the application could be used in a lot of different industries. Vacuum forming, for example. The mold they make would have taken weeks and cost thousands of dollars, but instead, they made it in a few hours. Very impressive.

Books and such

Factory Man

Factory Man by Beth Macy
Factory Man by Beth Macy

I haven’t had time to read this book yet, but I am hoping to soon. For now, I’ll mostly let NPR do the talking. Still, this is the kind of story I like: battling to keep manufacturing alive in America.

“We haven’t been on a huge growth spurt since the furniture factories started closing down [in the ’90s],” Macy tells Fresh Air‘s Dave Davies. “It’s better for the economy when we make things.” – Beth Macy

I couldn’t agree more. The book is the story of John Bassett III and his family’s Bassett Furniture Co., In Bassett, Va. The story is typical for a lot of manufacturing in America: production sent overseas in search of cheap labor. Bassett is different in that they company resolved to keep production here in America, which hasn’t been easy.

The full story from NPR Books