We have many blessings in our lives, the love of family, friends chief among them.
Most of us enjoy an unparalleled material well-being, and a lifestyle of modern convenience that is the envy of the world.
Today, I would like to thank the engineers, and machinists who have designed and built these modern technologies that keep us safe, comfortable, and make our modern lifestyle possible.
As I got out of bed this morning, I reflected how every almost every aspect of my day was in some way made possible by precision machinists and engineers.
If you have carpet, thank the machinists who made the specialized parts that allowed the carpet to be manufactured.
If you had hot running water today- thank the machinist who made the fittings, the faucet, shower head and the safety valve components on the hot water heater.
If your refrigerator kept your food safe at low temperatures, thank the machinist that made parts for it as well.
If you had cereal for breakfast today, thank the machinists who made the precision nozzles that allowed the cereal company to glue the box together to keep the contents uncontaminated, and fresh.
If your heating system is gas, electric, or central hot water, thank the machinist for the connectors, valves, control components, burners, nozzles, and backflow preventers that make these systems work.
If your car ran today, thank the machinists who made a host of components, as well as the engine itself, and even the hardware on the fueling hoses at the gas station.
If you flew by airplane for the holiday, thank the machinists who made a host of parts, fasteners, connectors and other parts that help the plane to fly. But most importantly, thank the machinists who made that little button on the arm of the chair that allow you to gain a bit more room by reclining the seat. Unless you are the person behind the person who rudely just forces the seat all the way back , crushing your laptop or jostling your drink.
Precision machined components enable almost all modern technologies to function safely and efficiently. I know the companies and the machinists and engineers that make the components for the technologies mentioned above. It makes me happy to understand where all this behind the scenes “magic” is sourced. Thanks to the machinists who make them, the engineers that design them, and the investors who tool up their shops to be able to produce them.
I am thankful for the blessings of my family and friends.
I am also grateful to live in a time where technology makes my life more about the joy of their company than about battling forces to merely survive. Technology works, thanks to machinists. Happy Thanksgiving!
“Setups are going a little smoother (mostly); there is much less wasted time searching for needed tools; and everyone is showing a little more pride and professionalism in their tidy new professional work area.”
PMPA Vice President Tom Bernstein of Torin Products, a CNC Swiss shop in Columbus Nebraska just shared his experience with Shadow Boards in the December issue of Production Machining Magazine.
Its an easy read, and it tells as good a story about how to manage as it does about how to create Shadow Boards. “The benefits are not just financial and measured in saved time. My team is now confident that in this area they exemplify Best Practice.”
File this one under continuous improvement! Read the full story here In what areas does your team and shop exemplify Best Practice?
Of this month’s 89 respondents, 65 reported increased sales, with 53 of those 65 reporting double digit gains.
Of the 24 respondents reporting sales declines, over half (13) reported double digit declines.
In aggregate, those reporting increased shipments carried the day, and our index, to a new high of 125 for October.
Dr. Ken Mayland posited in our August Report that his “Inventory Dynamic Indicator had turned to be positive for manufacturing.”
This is the second consecutive month of data supporting his view. Half of all shops reporting are scheduling overtime, and the outlook for employment remains positive at 96% of respondents expecting employment to remain the same or improve over next three months. Prospects remain positive for precision machining according to our report. October PMPA Business Trends Report Free Clip art from CLKER
When we look at things that we actually buy, we get a different look at inflation…
Measured inflation (the blue line) is quite low despite rampant money creation. But is inflation being realistically measured?
Perhaps the price of a McDonald’s Big Mac (the red line) would be a good price indicator. A Big Mac incorporates wages, several commodities, rent, utilities, and transportation costs. It costs have risen much faster than the official inflation rate.
Likewise, the PNC Christmas Price Index, (the green line) which costs out the items in the “12 Days of Christmas,” encompasses several different types of labor and commodity costs. Again, those costs have increased considerably faster than the CPI (and interestingly, almost in line with the Big Mac Index). If inflation is under-measured, then the “true” costs of living are being low-balled and our well -being is overstated. Speaking of Precision: Which any one on a fixed income can tell you is happening. This is what we see when we go to purchase an item at the store for the same price, but get less product.
PMPA recently brought training for machinists to Southern California to help increase the proficiency and understanding of our member companies’ talented workforce. Sandvik Coromant Cypress, California Productivity Center hosted the event and provided shop floor demonstrations to over 37 people from 11 companies.
All attendees received CEU credit for their participation, in addition to the new tools and understanding that they will take back to their shop.
Informed is prepared. OSHA just added and published a new chapter addressing noise to the OSHA Technical Manual. This new chapter provides technical information and guidance to help Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) evaluate Noise hazards in the workplace.
The content is based on currently available research publications, OSHA standards, and consensus standards.
The chapter is divided into six main sections.
Introduction and background information about noise and noise regulations and an overview of noise controls.
Worksite noise evaluations, including noise measurement equipment, noise evaluation procedures, and noise sampling.
Investigative guidelines (including methods for planning the investigation) and outlines a strategy for conducting noise evaluations.
Noise hazard abatement and control, including engineering and administrative controls, hearing protection, noise conservation programs, cost comparisons between noise hazard abatement options, and case studies.
References used to produce this chapter and resources for obtaining additional information.
Appendices provide a glossary of terms, sample calculations, and expanded discussion of certain topics introduced in the chapter.
Borrowing over $100,000 to get psychology degrees did not create sufficient ROI to cover $900/month loans payment for one student, whose work using her degrees is paying near minimum wage;
Nationwide, 14.7 percent of borrowers defaulted on their federal student loans in their first three years of repayment;
Nationwide, students at for-profit colleges have the most trouble repaying their loans, with almost 22 percent not making payments for at least 270 days in the last three-year snapshot;
According to a new study by the University of Kansas, adults with student debt tend to show lower college graduation rates, delays in marriage and buying cars and homes, and lower net worth than those without debt.
According to a spokesperson from the Institute of Student Access and Success: “The loan is supposed to enable them to get an education to get a job and pay back the loan, when you see high default rates, you know something in that string of logic has broken down.”
Critical thinking is recognizing and challenging assumptions.
The assumption is that having a college degree, any college degree, will guarantee the graduate a well paying job able to pay off the student loan indebtedness. For almost 15 percent of borrowers nationwide, this is NOT the case.
We strongly recommend college education if your plan assures that you will earn a sufficient return on your college investment to allow you to repay the cost of college. In the current economy, frankly, that is often NOT the case.
We urge you to look at college affordability and loan repayment terms up front- and make a decision- do you want to start your life in significant debt? There is an alternative.
While many college graduates are unable to find work that pays enough to allow them to pay back their student loans, getting a job in precision machining will enable you to earn while you learn, and avoid the huge student loan debt trap.
Many employers will provide tuition assistance.
The outlook for employment in our industry has remained above 90% (Very Positive) all year. CEO’s I speak with are always looking to find talented people.
Many of our industry’s top process engineers, managers, buyers and quality control personnel started in operations and built their education as they built their career.
So you now have a choice- borrow loads of money today and hope that you can pay it back tomorrow. Or earn while you learn and build a career as you build an educational pathway to success without huge loans.
We’re really a fan of education of all kinds. We’re just not a fan of big debt. Precision Machining Career Info PMPA Comprehensive Career Education Database Right Skills Now Student Debt Chart
In my experience these are the three prime causes for accidents and injuries in our manufacturing plants.
Failure to wear personal protective equipment.
Unauthorized use of tools, machinery or vehicles.
Failure to lockout/tagout when performing non routine work on equipment.
While it is personal responsibility to wear personal protective equipment, use only tools and equipment for which one has been trained and authorized, and to avoid hazards by not performing work on operating equipment, it is nevertheless management’s responsibility to assure that workers comply. What have you done this week to make certain that your employees know that they are accountable for their personal safety?
Forklift Demotivational Poster from Motifake