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PMPA Craftsman's Cribsheets

Thread Milling - Craftsman Cribsheet #98Miles Free III is cribsheet explains some reasons
why to consider thread milling using
three-axis CNC vertical or horizontal
machining center.  e process uses
helical interpolation, so the machining
center controller must have the ability
to control all three axes simultaneously.
Some Advantages
•  e cutter runs at the optimum
speed for the material.
•  e spindle runs at a constant
speed with no reversal necessary.
•  e thread size can be adjusted in tenths by
o setting the path of the cutter.
• A thread can be produced to full depth ½ pitch from
the bottom of a blind hole in production.
•  e chips produced by the cutter are very small,
easily washed away with coolant.
•  e process is very fast, usually faster than tapping.
•  e same cutter can be used to produce many
di erent thread sizes. Example: 3/4”-16, 7/8”-16,
13/16”-16, 1”-16; with the same tool.
• A small machine can produce a very large thread.
Example: 4”-16.  is thread is too large to tap in
most machining centers.
•  e cutter can be made to control the major, pitch
and minor diameters.
•  e process works on internal or external threads.
•  e thread start can be controlled.
• Cutters can be resharpened.
• A right- or left-hand thread can be done with the
same cutter.
• Some threads can be run dry.
Two Primary Disadvantages are Costs and
Maximum Depth on Internal Threads.
• Cutter cost can be an issue.  e cost of the tool itself
runs into the hundreds of dollars (It costs about
$200 for a thread mill to produce a 3/8”-24 internal
thread. A tapered thread mill to produce a 1/2”-14
NPTF thread costs about $390.)
•  e maximum e ective thread depth that can be
milled can be an issue.  e maximum practical
depth is about 2 diameters, because the cutter
geometry must be smaller than the minor diameter
of the internal thread.
External threads can often be milled using an insert-type
cutter. While the cutter body runs into the hundreds of
dollars and inserts can be in the $40-50 range, in the
long run the titanium nitride-coated carbide inserts cost
less, while operating at faster speeds and longer tool life.
Contributed by Dave Sibinski
and Roberts Automatic Products,
Chanhassen, Minnesota
Wastes That Detract From Quality - Craftsman Cribsheet #96Miles Free IIIQuality is the absense of waste. So what are
some wastes that detract from Quality?
Steel Defects Seams on Rolled Steel Products - Craftsman's Cribsheet #95Miles Free IIIMost defects in steel workpieces encountered in our
precision machine shops are longitudinal in nature.
This means that they go lengthwise with the bar, not
transversely across the bar.
“ Seams are longitudinal crevices that are tight or even
closed at the surface, but are not welded shut. They
are close to radial in orientation and can originate
in steelmaking, primary rolling, or on the bar or rod
mill.”– AISI Technical Committee on Rod and Bar Mills,
Detection, Classification, and Elimination of Rod and
Bar Surface Defects
Seams may be present in the billet as a result of nonmetallic
inclusions, cracking, tears, subsurface cracking
or porosity. During continuous casting loss of mold level
control can result in out-of-control conditions which can
reseal while in the mold but leave a weakened surface.
Seam frequency is higher in resulfurized steels compared
to non-resulfurized grades. Seams are generally less
frequent in fully deoxidized steels.
Seams are straight and can vary in length — often the
length of several bars — due to elongation of the product
(and the initiating imperfection) during rolling.
In our shops, seams can be detected visually by eye,
and magna-glo methods. Another method we can use to
confirm the presence of seams in our barstock is an upset
test which compresses a short piece of the steel to expand
its diameter and it will split longitudinally where a seam is
present. Bending a bar can reveal the presence of surface
defects like seams; they can open up as the material is
Another way to confirm a seam, is to file the bar to
make a flat until the dark indication just disappeared. A
micrometer reading of the depth where the indication
disappears subtracted from the bars’ original diameter
results with a measurement of the seam’s depth. So on
a steel sample, if it has a straight, longitudinal, linear
indication, that when to file it down and if it showed a dark
line against the brighter base metal, it was a seam.
“These long, straight, tight, linear defects are the result
of gasses or bubbles formed when the steel solidified.
Rolling causes these to lengthen as the steel is lengthened.
Seams are dark, closed, but not welded”- Miles Free III’s
1986 Junior Metallurgist definition taken from his lab
Rejection criteria are subject to negotiation with your
supplier — as are detection limits for various inspection
methods — but remember that since seams can occur
anywhere on a rolled product. Stock removal allowance is
applied on a per side basis.
If the stock must absolutely be seam free, order turned
and polished or cold drawn, turned and polished material.
The stock removal assures that the seamy outer material
has been removed.
ASTM A108 Table A1.8 Surface Discontinuity Tolerances
for Cold-Finished Steel Bar provides both Maximum
Allowable Surface Discontinuity Depth (What you find
when you file down until the indication disappears) and
the recommended Stock Removal Depth per Side of Bar.
Not that resulfurized materials are more prone to surface
imperfections, and so tolerances and a stock removal are
increased accordingly.
Recovery, Recrystallization, and Grain Growth — Three Phases of Annealing - Cribsheet#94Miles Free IIIIn our shops we typically process metallic materials
that have been cold worked. This cold working provides
advantages over the initial hot-rolled material: improved
mechanical properties (increased yield to tensile
strength ratio), reduced ductility (crisper chip), improved
dimensional characteristics including reduced out of
roundness and improved straightness. Cold worked
materials are capable of changes in mechanical properties
and microstructure when heated to and held at increased
Commercially, we often decide to apply heat to
modify or reduce the properties resulting from cold
work. This improves the results of our process, but these
improvements must be worth the expense of the thermal
treatment. The following explains some of the terms and
effects applicable to annealing steel.
Cold work is a process of deforming a metal below its
recrystallization temperature. The cold work strengthens
the material by increasing dislocations in the crystal
matrix. The drawing of cleaned, hot-rolled steel through
a carbide die at ambient temperatures is called cold
drawing, and is widely used to increase strength, reduce
ductility, and improve size, shape, and straightness.
Recovery occurs at low temperatures and reduces or
eliminates work hardening effects. Interestingly, the grain
structure is not affected, leaving existing grain boundaries
(size) intact. As a result of recovery at low temperatures,
small changes in hardness occur due to decrease in
density of microstructural characteristics created by the
initial cold work.
Recrystallization occurs when sufficient thermal energy
is available to drive the creation and strain free growth of
new grains in the existing matrix. It is a diffusion process,
driven by the increased thermal energy. The growth of
these new grains eliminates the distortions in the existing
matrix, effectively erasing the increase in mechanical
properties that had resulted from the cold work. This
returns ductility to the material as well as reducing tensile
and yield strength. For our shops, this means lower
hardness and gummier, less brittle chips. In very high
carbon grades, the diffusion into a spheroidal form of
carbides results in an improvement in machinability and
surface finish by increasing the mean free path of ferrite
between to carbide spheroids.
Grain Growth is the result of continued high
temperatures past recrystallization as the grain
boundaries are eliminated, resulting in an increase in the
present grain size regardless of its prior Austenitic grain
size. Large oversize grains observed in a nominally finegrained
steel are evidence of time and temperature at or
above the recrystallization temperature.
Stress relieving is a low temperature recovery process
for cold worked steel. Sometimes these stress reliefs are
called sub-critical anneal. The material never changes
Annealing is a process of heating and holding the
material at sufficiently high temperatures and long
enough time to eliminate some or all of the effects of the
prior cold work, then cooling in a controlled fashion.
Lamellar Pearlitic anneal is one type of anneal used in
medium carbon steels to optimize for machining.
Spheroidize anneal is used for high carbon steels (Over
0.80 Carbon) in order to improve machinability. It is also
used sometimes on low carbon steels to improve ability
to be cold headed or severely cold worked as it maximizes
Finishing Services that Remove or Reshape the Component Surface - Cribsheet#92Miles Free IIIThere are several surface finishing techniques that
“remove or reshape the surface layer” of a precision
machined component. These finishing techniques can
be applied to a wide variety of materials, and provide
increased durability, tighter tolerances, better aesthetics
and improved functionality for many applications.
Electropolish is a polishing process that uses an electrical
current to remove material from the surface of a machine
component. This process improves the surface finish by
leveling out the micro-peaks and valleys on the surface
layer of metal created during the machining process. It is
the opposite of electroplating, in which a current is used
to add material to the surface of a machined component
to level out the surface layer.
Grinding is a process that uses an abrasive grinding wheel
to remove material from the surface of the precision
turned component. This improves the surface finish and
provides extremely accurate dimensions for a wide variety
of applications. Depending on the geometry of the turned
component, centerless or centered grinding may be used
to complete the finishing process. Grinding can be done
on the OD (outside diameter), ID (inside diameter) and a
variety of types of features on the components (ie: holes,
slots and flats).
• Honing is a subset of grinding, used on the ID of a
precision machined component. It is more like a
polishing process than a true grinding process. The
honing process uses a rotating stone (hone) with
a fine abrasive to remove/polish a fine layer of the
surface material.
• Lapping is also a subset of grinding, used on the
OD of a precision turned component to improve
the surface finish and provide tighter dimensional
controls. In this process, the abrasive material is in a
paste form applied to a lap plate, and the component
is passed against the plate to remove/polish the
surface layer.
Pickling is a chemical treatment that removes material
from the surface layer of the metal. For precision
machined components, it is most often used to clean
(remove) the surface scale created during the heat
treatment process. Components are dipped in an acid
bath that dissolves the oxide scale from the surface level
of the part.
Tumbling & Vibratory Finishing
Barrel tumbling is a process that uses various sizes
and types of tumbling media in a rotating barrel to rub
against the surface layer of the components. This removes
excess material, burrs, can harden the surface, polish
out machining marks, brighten and burnish the parts.
The size and type of media used will vary depending on
the material of the component, its geometry (size and
features) and final requirements. Tumbling media can
be made of metals, ceramics and plastics and come in
a wide variety of sizes and shapes.Similar to tumbling,
turned components are put into a tub like machine that
has vibratory media in it. The tub is vibrated so the media
jostles against the part to remove surface marks, burrs
and result in an improved finish. Vibratory finishing
is used more often than barrel tumbling for turned
components due to the complexity of features and tight
tolerances of the parts. Finishing Services that Remove or Reshape the
Component Surface
The Most Common Types of Finishing Services for
Precision Machined Components - Part 2 of 2 - Craftsman Cribsheet #91
Miles Free IIIThe Most Common Types of Finishing Services for
Precision Machined Components - Part 2 of 2
There are a variety of surface finishing techniques that add
to or alter the surface layer of metal for a precision turned
component. These finishing techniques can be utilized for
aesthetic reasons, to protect the part from environmental
factors or to improve the function of the part.
Electroless (Chemical) Plating
In this process, the metal coating on the machined
component is achieved in a chemical bath that includes
a catalyst (in contract to the electroplating process which
uses an electrical current to plate the component). Plating
provides improved surface finishes, as well as improved
wear and corrosion resistance. The main advantage of
electroless plating is that it creates an even layer of plating,
regardless of the geometry of the part. Electroless nickel
plating is a common type of plating specified for precision
machined components.
Electoplating is a process used to coat a machined
component with a layer of metal, using an electrical
current. Widely used to improve surface qualities, it
offers improved appearance, corrosion and abrasion
resistance, lubricity, electrical conductivity and reflectivity,
depending on the substrate and the plating material
There are two general ways of electroplating machined
components, depending on the size and geometry of the
part: barrel plating (where the parts are put in a rotating
barrel filled with the chemical bath) and rack plating
(where the parts are attached to a metal rack and the rack
is then dipped in the chemical bath). Barrel plating is used
for small parts with simple geometries, and rack plating is
used for larger parts with complex geometries.
Knurling is a process to add a series of indentations on
a machined part so it is easier to handle
(doesn’t slip in someone’s grip). It is often
used on fasteners where they will need to
be screwed into something – the knurled
surface makes it easier to grab the part for
turning. Knurling can be done on a CNC
Swiss part during the turning process or
added to a part after it has been machined.
Passivating is a conversion process which changes
the surface layer of the component.
Parts are dipped in a chemical bath
which changes (converts) the chemical
composition of the surface. The terms
passivation refers to the fact that the
process makes the material more
passive (less likely to be affected by the
environment). The coating protects the
substrate material.
• Anodizing is a type of passivation process that is
used to increase the thickness of the oxide layer on
the surface of precision machined components,
which increases the part’s resistance to corrosion
and wear and reduces the galling on threaded
components. Used often on aluminum parts.
Anodizing produces a nonconductive surface finish.
• Chromate Conversion uses a particular type of
solution – in the past this was mostly hexavalent, but
many companies are moving to trivalent (blue and
yellow finishes which meet the EU initiatives and
RoHS standards). Chromate conversion produces an
electrically conductive surface finish.
The Most Common Types of Finishing Services for Precision Machined Componets Part 1 - Cribsheet #90Miles Free IIIThere are a variety of surface finishing techniques that add
to or alter the surface layer of metal for a precision turned
component. These finishing techniques can be utilized for
aesthetic reasons, to protect the part from environmental
factors or to improve the function of the part.
Bead Blast
Bead blasting the surface of a precision
machined component creates a uniform
matte (satin) finish and removes the
tool marks that are often visible from the
machining process. This is often used
when the component will be visible. As
the name suggests, the component is blasted with small
beads from a pressured gun. The process removes some
material and leaves a smooth surface.
Black Oxide
Black oxide is a conversion coating
which turns the surface of the precision
machined component black. It is used
for mild corrosion resistance, to minimize
light reflection and often for appearance.
Many parts for the firearms industry
require a black oxide finish to reduce light reflection.
Burnishing is a forming process that alters the surface
finish, size or surface hardness of a precision machined
component and creates a mirror finish. It can be used
to improve corrosion resistance, to eliminate surface
porosity, reduce fatigue failure and reduce surface visual
defects. In the process, a hardened and coated ball or roller
are run over the surface of the component to deform (or
shape) it to the specified requirement.
Case Hardening
Case hardening is a process
to harden the surface of a metal
component, while leaving
the interior (core) metal at its
original, softer state. This allows
the core of the component to
absorb stresses, but the outer
surface to have improved
wear resistance. There are several different types of case
hardening processes depending on the material and
requirements. The most common types of case hardening
for precision machined components include flame
hardening, carburizing and nitriding. Flame hardening
is the most common and heats the component (or bar
stock) rapidly to a specified temperature, and then cools it
rapidly, creating a layer of martensite on the surface.
Diffusion Processes:
• Carburizing. A type of case hardening process
where the steel component is put in a carbon rich
vacuum tank that elevates the temperature for a
certain amount of time before quenching the part
so that carbon is locked into the structure creating a
hardened surface.
• Nitriding. In this process, the steel part is heated
to a high level in a tank with ammonia gas for a
specified amount of time. Nitrides form on the
surface, creating a hardened surface. No quenching
is needed with this process. Nitriding causes
the least amount of distortion, but also requires
the steel to have chromium, molybdenum and
aluminum in its makeup
Honing and Lapping - Special Finish Processes - Cribsheet #88Miles Free IIIStandard grinding (both centerless and centered) produces a finer surface finish and/or more precise dimensions than can be achieved during the turning process on a CNC Swiss or CNC Turning Center.
Mechanical Property Tests: Hardness and Hardenability - Cribsheet #87Miles Free IIIA Glossary of Basic Steel Testing Terminology
Mechanical Property Tests: Hardness and Hardenability
Hardness. A resistance to
penetration. It is a measure
of the material’s resistance
to plastic deformation.
Hardness (measured by
indentation methods)
correlates with tensile
Plastic. The ability of a
material to flow without
Plastic deformation. The change in shape or section
in a material (deformation) that remains after the load
being applied is removed.
Stress. A force per unit of area. In tensile testing, stress
is force divided by a specimen’s original cross sectional
Brinell Hardness Test. A test which uses a specified
load to penetrate a sample with a hardened steel ball
of a specific size. The result is expressed as a unitless
number. The actual measure is kilograms / mm2.
Brinell test averages hardness over a relatively large
area compared to Rockwell hardness tests.
Rockwell Hardness Test. A test which compares
penetration between preload and major load on a
flat, smooth surface. Rockwell tests involve a much
smaller area than the Brinell test, and the material must
be of sufficient thickness and test locations spaced
adequately apart to ensure an accurate reading.
Rockwell B measures the depth of a
spherical tungsten carbide indenter
in relatively mild steels. The Rockwell
B scale runs from 65.7 to 100.0,
corresponding with the range in
Brinell of 111 to 241 Bhn.
Rockwell C measures the depth of a
diamond Brale indenter and is used
for harder (generally heat treated)
steels. Rockwell C scale runs from
20.5 (229 Bhn / 98.2 HrB) to 65.3,
corresponding to 745 Bhn.
Hardenability. The ability of a ferrous material to form
martensite when heated above and then quenched
from the upper critical temperature. Basically, it
describes the ability of a steel to harden. Hardenability
is unitless and is called out in sixteenths of an inch
of distance from a quenched end to reach a certain
Jominy Hardenability Test. A laboratory procedure
that takes a cylindrical steel sample to above the
upper critical temperature, quenches it with a flow of
water from one end, developing a range or gradient of
martensite in the specimen by the differential cooling
rate of the quench. Once cooled, flats are ground along
opposite sides of the length and Hardness tests are run
and recorded usually for sixteenths of an inch. These
readings are plotted and used to predict hardness
achievable after heat treatment for different sizes and quenchants.
Unleaded Brass for Plumbing Use - Cribsheet #86Miles Free IIIAB1953 California
California Assembly Bill 1953 (AB1953) prohibits the use
of any pipe, pipe or plumbing fitting, or fixture intended to
convey or dispense water for human consumption through
drinking water or cooking that is not lead free in California.
Products that do not meet the criteria as outlined by
AB1953 by January 1, 2010, cannot be sold in the State of
California. bit.ly/PMPA-PM8a
Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act
“Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act — Amends
the Safe Drinking Water Act to exempt from prohibitions
on the use or sale of lead pipes, solder, and flux: (1)
pipes or pipe or plumbing fittings or fixtures, including
backflow preventers, that are used exclusively for
nonpotable services such as manufacturing, industrial
processing, irrigation, outdoor watering or any other uses
where the water is not anticipated to be used for human
consumption; or (2) toilets, bidets, urinals, fill valves,
flushometer valves, tub fillers, shower valves, service
saddles, or water distribution main gate valves that are two
inches in diameter or larger.
Redefines “lead free” under such Act to mean: (1) not
containing more than 0.2% lead when used with respect
to solder and flux (current law); and (2) not more than a
weighted average of 0.25% lead when used with respect
to the wetted surfaces of pipes and pipe and plumbing
fittings and fixtures. Establishes a formula to calculate
the weighted average lead content of a pipe or pipe or
plumbing fitting or fixture. bit.ly/PMPA-PM8b
U.S. Code Title 42. The Public Health and
Chapter 6A. Public Health Service
Subchapter XII. Safety of Public Water Systems
Part B. Public Water Systems
Section 300g–6. Prohibition on use of lead
pipes, solder, and flux
“No person may use any pipe, any pipe or plumbing
fitting or fixture, any solder, or any flux, after June 19,
1986, in the installation or repair of — (i) any public
water system; or (ii) any plumbing in a residential
or nonresidential facility providing water for human
consumption, that is not lead free (within the meaning of
subsection (d)).
PMPA Member Unleaded Brass Suppliers Table
What brasses are available for plumbing applications to meet these no lead/low lead requirements?
What Else to Look for When Choosing a Heat Treater - Cribsheet #85Miles Free IIIWhat ELSE to Look for When Choosing a Heat Treater
• Are they accredited? Is the accreditation per Fastener Quality Act? Is their lab accredited to
A2LA or other?
• ISO, TS, QS, What other systems or standards? Do they have a quality manual? Have you examined it?
How does it compare to your own?
• Do they have adequate procedures documented for lot control and maintaining identification?
• Evidence of outside training for key personnel?
• Do they have the ability to do chemistry validation in house, or only heat treat structure, hardness and
mechanical properties in their lab?
• Turnaround time in the lab is _____. Turnaround time in their process is ____. Are these compatible with
your expected needs?
• Do they have evidence of up-to-date calibration on quality control instrumentation? Furnaces? Do they
have the technology you need (vacuum quench, induction, atmospheric controls, parts handling)? Do
they have capacity to take your planned workload?
• What range on furnace controls? Is that too broad ? (+/- 50 degrees? 25 degrees? 10 degrees? For
what are you willing to pay?)
• How often are they checking quenchants for contamination (Ie water in oil?)
• Are they using/can they show you strip chart records for each production lot?
• Do they have a procedure to ensure that parts move from quench to temper immediately — not sit
around at shift change or wait untampered overnight ( This comes from a real life experience.)
• How do they warrant/certify to you product conformance?
• Do you agree that their sampling plan makes sense for the way you provide them work?
• Do they have up to date copies of standards on hand and available?
• Does their OSHA 300 information posted show them to be a safe shop?
• Do they have 24/7 contact numbers and evidence that they respond timely?
• Any lawsuits pending? Any violations for environmental regulations?
• Do the premises look workmanlike and professional?
• Memberships in professional organizations show interest in continuous improvement. To what
organizaations do they belong?
• Credit report?
• Is pricing within expected range? Too low of pricing is suspicious.
• Recommendations from other businesses you know?What are some things to look for when using an outside heat treater for the first time? Here are some ideas to
start the conversation. What else would you ask? Is packaging a concern, Special labeling? Handling?.
OSHA Inspection Priorities Update 2019-2020 - Cribsheet #84Miles Free IIIWhat can you do to prepare for such inspections? Document
training, procedures and auditing the performance of your
people in Emergency Action plans Personal Protective
Equipment þ Lockout-Tagout þ Right-To-Know Hazard
Communication þ Slips, Falls and Tripping Hazards þ
Machine Guarding þ Powered Industrial Trucks þ Wiring
and General Electrical.
OSHA has identified two objectives for this revision to the
Enforcement Weighting System (EWS), now known as the
OSHA Weighting System (OWS)
• To continue to develop and support a management
system to focus enforcement activities on critical and
strategic areas where the Agency’s efforts can have the
most impact and
• To further promote the appropriate allocation of
resources to support OSHA’s balanced approach to
promoting safe and healthy workplaces.
OSHA Inspection Priorities Update 2019-2020
New Enforcement Priority Weighting
Scheme Enforcement Units
Enforcement cases will be assigned the
following weight:
Includes the most time intensive, complex, and high-priority inspections.
7 EUs
a. Criminal cases
b. Significant cases
Includes inspections for high-priority hazards and those that are more
complex than average and/or are of high lasting value. 5 EUs
a. Inspections following fatalities and catastrophes
b. Chemical plant NEP and Process Safety Management (PSM) Inspections
Includes programmed inspections following an established emphasis program (EP) for hazards that are
among the leading causes of death in the workplace.3 EUs
a. Caught-in hazards—e.g., trenching, equipment operations, oil & gas
b. Electrical hazards—e.g., overhead power lines, electrical wiring methods
c. Fall Hazards—e.g. scaffolds, elevated walking working surfaces
d. Struck-by hazards—e.g., highway work zones, landscaping, material handling
Includes programmed inspections following an established EP for priority hazards that are somewhat time intensive
and are a high priority. This category also includes inspections for novel hazards and programmed inspections
undertaken in conjunction with an established enforcement policy addressing associated serious safety and health
hazards. 2 EUs
a. Amputation hazards
b. Combustible dust
c. Ergonomics
d. Federal agency inspections
e. Heat hazards
f. Non-PEL overexposures
g. Workplace violence hazards
h. Permit required confined space hazards—e.g., grain storage or maritime or construction
i. Personal sampling—e.g., air contaminants or noise
j. Site specific targeting
Includes all other inspections not
otherwise listed. 1 EU
Late in 2019 OSHA revised its inspection priority weighting system.
Sensemaking for your precision
machining shop
You can intelligently manage
your company’s risk of OSHA
enforcement and penalties
by asking yourself these three
questions and then doing
something about them: • Do
you have a process for managing
safety? • Is it followed? • Is it
As employers we have a general
duty to maintain a safe workplace.
OSHA Mandatory Emergency Exit Plans - Cribsheet #83Miles Free IIIAccording to OSHA Standard 1910.38, Means of Egress,
Emergency Action Plans, an employer must have an
emergency action plan, in writing, if they have 10 or more
At a minimum, the plan must include:
• Procedures for reporting a fire or other emergency;
(1910.38 (c)(1))
• Procedures for emergency evacuation, including type
of evacuation and exit route assignments; (1910.38 (c)
• Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to
operate critical plant operations before they evacuate;
• Procedures to account for all employees after
evacuation; (1910.38(c)(4))
• Procedures to be followed by employees performing
rescue or medical duties; (1910.38(c)(5))
• The name or job title of every employee who may be
contacted by employees who need more information
about the plan or an explanation of their duties under
the plan. (1910.38(c)(6))
What is often overlooked is foreseeing that the employees
will need to have access to coats, jackets or other outerwear
if there is inclement weather, and also will need to have their
wallet, car keys and cell phones if the emergency requires
them to move their vehicles, communicate or evacuate the
premises. If your procedures do not cover this, your plans
could fail as employees crowd into the locker room to get
their “things.” A discussion about availability of outerwear,
wallets, keys and also cell phones - if they are forbidden on
the shop floor- will be needed to make your plan valid and
Also required under this standard:
• An employer must have and maintain an employee
alarm system. The employee alarm system must use a
distinctive signal for each purpose.
• An employer must designate and train employees
to assist in a safe and orderly evacuation of other
• An employer must review the emergency action plan
with each employee covered by the plan:
• When the plan is developed, or the employee is
assigned initially to a job;
• When the employee’s responsibilities under the
plan change;
• When the plan is changed.
OSHA 2019 Top 5 Violations - Cribsheet #82Miles Free IIIThe 2019 OSHA violations list was presented at the NSC
2019 Safety Conference and Expo. It covered a citation
period between Oct. 1, 2018 and Aug. 15, 2019. Of interest is
that the Top Ten list of most frequent citations is evenly split
between General Industry (1910) and Construction (1926).
Here are the five most frequent violations applicable to
our General Industry precision
machining shops, as presented at
the NSC 2019 conference.
Hazard Communication
3,671 citations
The Hazard communication
standard at 1910.1200 protects
worker health by informing
employees about the risk factors
of the chemicals that they can encounter in the workplace.
The regulation requires employers to develop implement
and maintain a written hazard communication program;
to maintain a list of hazardous chemicals using product
identifiers from the safety data sheet, provide training, and
methods to inform workers of hazards of use of chemicals in
non- routine tasks. Link: bit.ly/PMPA-PM1119-1
Control of Hazardous Energy - Lockout/Tagout
2,606 citations
The standard requires employers to have an Hazardous
Energy Control Program that provides energy control
procedures, Employee training, periodic inspections,
and hazard analysis. Goal is to prevent the unexpected
energizing, startup, or release of stored energy which could
injure the worker. Link: bit.ly/PMPA-PM1119-2
Respiratory Protection
2,450 citations
Respiratory protection must be provided by employers in
the presence of chemical or other health hazards such as
respirable dust. Employers must have a written respiratory
protection program, provide
training, and information about
respirator use, and also assure that
respirators are medically fit tested.
Link: bit.ly/PMPA-PM1119-3
Powered Industrial Trucks
2,093 citations
The employer shall ensure that each
powered industrial truck operator
is competent to operate a powered industrial truck safely, as
demonstrated by the successful completion of a the training
and evaluation specified in the standard.
Link: bit.ly/PMPA-PM1119-4
Machine Guarding– General Requirement
1,743 citations
It is the responsibility of the employer to provide and insure
the usage of “point of operation guards”, or properly applied
and adjusted point of operation devices, covering every
operation on a mechanical power press. The employer shall
establish and follow and inspection program, and maintain
records of each inspection.
Rapid Methods for Determining the Weight of a Steel Bar (Imperial Units) - Cribsheet #81Miles Free IIIThe need frequently arises in our shops to estimate the
weight of steel, whether as a part of quoting, to estimate how
much steel may be needed given a certain length of part, or
just to decide how heavy the bar is that we are loading into
the machines for safety purposes. Counting bars in a bundle
and multiplying by weight per bar allows a quick “reality
check” on whether or not the tag weight is correct, or how
much weight is left in the rack.
Steel weighs 0.2833 pounds per cubic inch.
To get the weight of a steel bar, we need to calculate its
volume in Cubic Inches.
To calculate the volume, we need to first calculate the area
in square inches of the section, then multiply by its length.
Rapid Methods for Determining the Weight
of a Steel Bar (Imperial Units)
Square or Flat Bar
To find the area of a square or flat bar,
multiply the width by the thickness.
Then multiply that by the length (in
inches) to calculate the volume, then
multiply the volume by 0.2833 pounds
per cubic inch
Example 1” square steel bar 12 feet (144 inches) long
1 inch times 1 inch times 144 inches = 144 cubic inches ;
times 0.2833 pounds per cubic inch = 40.97 pounds.
Example ½” by 2”inch flat 10 feet (120 inches) long
½ inch times 2 inches times 120 inches = 120 cubic inches;
times 0.2833 pounds per cubic inch = 33.99 pounds.
Round Bar
To find the area of a round bar, square
the diameter and multiply by 0.7854.
Multiply this by the length to calculate
the volume
Example 1” round by 12 feet long steel bar
1 inch times 1 inch times 0.7854 = 0.7854 square inches
times 144 inches = 113.09 cubic inches; times 0.2833
pounds per cubic inch = 32.04 pounds per bar.
Weight of bars left in a bundle: if there are 75, 1” round 12
feet long bars left in a bundle the weight of the remaining
steel is 75 bars times 32.04 pounds per bar = 2,403 pounds.
Example ¾” round by 4 feet (48 inches) long steel bar
.750” times .750” times .7854 times 48 inches = 21.21 cubic
inches; times 0.2833 pounds per cubic inch = 6.00 pounds
Hex Bar
To find the area of a hex, first
square the flat-to-flat distance, then
multiply that by 0.866. Then multiply
by length in inches to get the volume.
Then multiply by 0.2833 pounds per
cubic inch to get the pounds.
Example 1” hex steel bar, 12 feet (144 inches) long
1” times 1” times 0.866 times 144” times 0.2833 pounds per
cubic inch = 35.33 pounds
Example 1.5” hex bar 3” long blank for chucker.
1.5” times 1.5” times 0.866 times 3” times 0.2833 pounds per
cubic inch = 1.93 pounds per 3 inch blank.
How Sulfur and Manganese Improve Machinability - Cribsheet #80Miles Free IIITo shop personnel, “free machining” has several meanings:
• High rate of production is what the boss is looking for.
• Low cost of production is what the business owner and
accounting seek.
• Smooth, workman-like finish is what the engineers and
customers are expecting.
• To the operator, longer tool life (fewer tool changes and
adjustments) and short controlled chips are desired.
The intentional addition of sulfur and manganese to steel
is the most common way to achieve each of these outcomes
in our shops. The grades with these intentionally added are
called resulfurized (1117, 1137, 1144) or resulfurized and
rephosphorized (1215, 12L14) steels. Added in the ladle or
ladle metallurgy station, the manganese and sulfur combine
to form manganese sulfides. These sulfides are present in
the steel as small inclusions, distributed throughout the
As seen in Figure 1, many of these globular sulfide
inclusions will be continuously presented to the cutting edge
of the tool during cutting. The presence of manganese sulfide
decreases friction by acting as a lubricant, reducing the shear
path for the chip, decreases tool wear, and makes a smaller
chip, resulting in a better finish.
The aspect ratio, or length to width ratio, of the sulfides has
been studied, and in general, short and fat rather than long
and stringy sulfides are preferred.
In plain carbon and alloy steels, manganese and sulfur
are present at much lower percentages. They still form
manganese sulfides which promote machinability. If you
ever run into a heat of steel where the sulfur is below 0.010
weight percent, you will confirm this.
Seeing is believing. Manganese and sulfur are not just two
numbers on a chemical cert. They are the constituents that
make up the manganese sulfide inclusions which promote a
stable built-up edge (BUE) on our tools, decreasing friction
by lubricating the tool chip interface, and help to improve
surface finish by shortening the chip (chips tend to break
off at these sulfides). Because manganese and sulfur are
intentionally added to the steel, Manganese sulfides are
present in the steel and at the edge of the tool where they
optimize our machining process. Now the boss, business
owner, accounting dept, engineers, customers and operators
are all happy.
Shop Visitor Checklist - Cribsheet #79Miles Free IIIShop visits are an inevitable part of business today.
We have more visitors coming through our shops
now than ever before: an auditor to validate a process,
a customer representative to ensure you really
do have machines, a calibration of testing equipment
or community members to learn about potential
careers. Here is a checklist to make sure your
visitors and your shop have covered everything regarding
hazards, safety, security and rules for proper
dress and behavior.
If you are ITARS or producing defense-related items,
a certification of U.S Citizenship might be required.
U.S Citizen Yes No Signature_________________
Printed name ________________ Date___________
Safety Glasses are Mandatory
Hearing Protection: Mandatory or Optional
Hard Hats: Mandatory or Optional
Footwear: No open-toed shoes or sandals
No Neckties or Loose, Dangling Jewelry are Permitted
in the Shop.
Long Hair: Hair may not hang below the collar. Visitors
with hair below the collar must stay in marked
yellow aisles while in the shop.
Signage: Observe and obey all signs, posted warnings
and observe exit routes and marked aisle ways.
Stay in the Marked Yellow Walkways Unless with
a Guide.
Powered Industrial Equipment: Powered industrial
equipment is present in our facility to move material,
equipment and products. Be alert to forklifts, pallet
trucks, overhead cranes and other powered equipment.
Look for flashing lights, and listen for alarms.
Rotating and Moving Equipment: Rotating and
moving equipment is employed in our production
areas. Saws, lathes and mills are high speed,
high horsepower.
Work in Process (WIP) Hazards: Do not handle
work in process, product or tools. Sharp edges can
cut. Heavy tools and materials can strike or crush.
WIP parts can be hot from operations, or oily or have
sharp burrs. Avoid handling tooling, chips and production
parts and materials.
Slips and Falls: Slips and falls can be caused by
changes in grade, tripping over materials or slippery
surfaces due to oil, coolant or spills. Pay attention to
your footing.
Welding Arcs: Do not look directly at welding arcs.
Safety Data Sheets: Safety data sheets are available
for all materials.
Stay with Your Guide: Do not wander alone on the
shop floor or venture into other areas.
Emergency Alarms: Alarms may sound for various
reasons. If an alarm sounds, follow the instructions of
your guide to get to safety.
Evacuations: Evacuations are unlikely, but follow
your guide to the closest exit to get to a designated
assembly point.
No Smoking/Tobacco Free: Our shop and offices
are tobacco and smoke free. There’s no smoking or
use of tobacco on our premises.
No Photography: Photography of any type, including
cell phones and video, is strictly prohibited.
No Cell Phones: We work hard to maintain good
housekeeping and best practices, but the shop environment
requires your full attention. Cell phones
must remain in your pocket or purse while in
our shop. management
Straightness of Cold Finished Steel Bars - Cribsheet #78Miles Free IIIThe straightness of cold finished steel bars, and all other barstock for our machines, is of critical importance.
The controlling standard is ASTM A 108, Table A1.4. However, the standard errs in claiming the tolerances are
measured by placing the bars on a level table and the depth of the arc then measured with a feeler gage and straight edge. While that will give a value for the maximum departure from straightness, it does not actuallydescribe the true geometric relationship.
Top OSHA Violations for 2019 - Cribsheet #77Miles Free IIIBelow is a list of the 10 most common violations in
our shops this year, according to the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration:
1. Fall Protection (1926.501)
The employer shall determine if the walking/
working surfaces on which its employees are
to work have the strength and structural integrity
to support employees safely. Employees shall
be allowed to work on those surfaces only
when the surfaces have the requisite strength
and structural integrity.
2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200)
The purpose of this section is to ensure that
the hazards of all chemicals produced or
imported are classified, and that information
concerning the classified hazards is transmitted
to employers and employees.
3. Scaffolding - General
Requirements (1926.451)
Except as provided in paragraphs (a)(2), (a)(3),
(a)(4), (a)(5) and (g) of this section, each scaffold
and scaffold component shall be capable of
supporting, without failure, its own weight
and at least four times the maximum intended
load applied or transmitted to it.
4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134)
A respirator shall be provided to each employee
when such equipment is necessary to protect
the health of such employee. The employer
shall provide the respirators, which are
applicable and suitable for the purpose
intended. The employer shall be responsible
for the establishment and maintenance of a
respiratory protection program.
5. Control of Hazardous Energy - Lockout/
Tagout (1910.147)
This standard covers the servicing and
maintenance of machines and equipment in
which the unexpected energization or start up of
the machines or equipment, or release of
stored energy, could harm employees.
This standard establishes minimum performance
requirements for the control of such hazardous
6. Ladders (1926.1053)
Ladders shall be capable of supporting the
following loads without failure.
7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178)
This section contains safety requirements
relating to fire protection, design, maintenance
and use of fork trucks, tractors, platform
lift trucks, motorized hand trucks and other
specialized industrial trucks powered by electric
motors or internal combustion engines.
8. Fall Protection - Training
Requirements (1926.503)
The employer shall provide a training program
for each employee who might be exposed to fall
hazards. The program shall enable each
employee to recognize the hazards of falling and
shall train each employee in the procedures to
be followed in order to minimize these hazards.
9. Machine Guarding - General
Requirement (1910.212)
One or more methods of machine guarding
shall be provided to protect the operator and
other employees in the machine area from
hazards such as those created by point of
operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts,
flying chips and sparks.
10. Personal Protective and Lifesaving
Equipment - Eye and Face
Protection (1926.102)
The employer shall ensure that each affected
employee uses appropriate eye or face
protection when exposed to eye or face hazards
from flying particles, molten metal, liquid
chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical
gases or vapors or potentially injurious
light radiation.
Accident Incident Response: What to Do When an Accident or Near-Miss Incident Without Injury Occurs in Your Shop - Cribsheet #76Miles Free IIIAn accident is an unplanned occurrence in a
production setting where a person is injured. An
incident without injury is what many people call
a “near-miss.” Your employer should have an
emergency plan to deal with accidents and injuries
in your shop. The following list is a refresher in the
event that you can’t find your employer’s plan and
you encounter an accident involving a coworker:
1. Get assistance, preferably from a supervisor on
duty. Many people are tempted to affect a rescue by
themselves. This can lead to further injuries. Get
assistance first. None of our shop job descriptions
read “Hero.”
2. Stop the equipment and lock it out to prevent
3. Provide first aid and/or call 911. Your employer
or supervisor may have guidelines for calling 911.
As a supervisor, I transported a truck driver with an
amputated finger once in my personal vehicle, and
he was coherent and not in shock. The emergency
room was only a mile away. I had first-aid credentials.
Today, I would call 911 and insist on no rings in my
shop. The man’s ring caught on the rough lumber
of his trailer when he jumped off. For the official
word on first aid, download the pdf from OSHA at
4. Assign someone to meet the emergency
vehicle/responders. This saves time and assures
they make their way safely through your plant to the
downed employee.
5. Secure the scene. Supervisor should try to get
a couple of overall photos for later fact-finding
and investigation.
6. Supervisor or employer representative to
accompany injured employee to medical facility.
The injured employee will be the subject of the
medical team, and the supervisor can assist in
getting the admission handled and details shared
with the providers.
7. Prepare initial injury report. You should know
where the forms are located. We keep paper copies
adjacent to the first aid kit. There are downloadable
forms on the server. Do all your supervisors know
where to find them?
8. Notify State and Federal OSHA in accordance
to latest requirements. Under the revised rule,
employers will be required to notify OSHA of workrelated
fatalities within eight hours, and work-related
in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of
an eye within 24 hours. Previously, OSHA’s regulations
required an employer to report only work-related
fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or
more employees. Reporting single hospitalizations,
amputations or loss of an eye was not required under
the previous rule.
9. Gather facts and convene your incident analysis
team. Fact-finding includes getting statements from
the injured worker, if possible, or other employees
that may have witnessed the occurrence, taking
photos and looking for missing machine guards.
It also includes checking the status of the lockout,
blocking (if maintenance was underway) and the
condition of the floors and walkways.
10. Prepare preliminary written investigation report
to management. Management will need to approve
process changes, guarding improvements and other
actions to be taken to prevent recurrence. In addition,
they will need all the facts to deal with Workman’s
Compensation Bureau officials. If there are other
locations with similar processes or equipment, they
will also publish lessons learned to prevent this from
happening at other shops.
11. Implement necessary corrective remedial
actions and training. Don’t forget to redo a hazard
analysis to take into account changes in guarding or
practices implemented, then modify work instructions
and retrain all employees on the new procedure.
12. Welcome employee back to work. As soon as
the employee is released to work, have a plan to
welcome them back to work. Show that you are glad
they are back in the lineup.
13. Follow up to ensure that corrective actions
are in place and functioning as expected. You can
expect representatives from state or federal OSHA,
as well as the insurance company and Workman’s
Comp representatives to follow up. Have a plan
to demonstrate to them that the root causes were
identified, hazards eliminated or guarded, and that all
employees have been retrained.
A Shop Guide to 5-S - Cribsheet #75Miles Free III5-S is a standardized process for developing and
maintaining an organized, safe, clean and highperformance
work environment. The primary
objective of 5-S is to instill order and standardization
into the production system. This facilitates “visual
management,” or management by sight.
Defining the 5-Ss
The 5-Ss are organization, arrangement, cleanliness,
standardization and discipline. The 5-Ss are
important because, directly or indirectly, they reduce
or eliminate most of the eight kinds of waste:
1. Overproduction
2. Waiting
3. Unnecessary transport
4. Overprocessing
5. Excess inventory
6. Unnecessary movement
7. Defects
8. Unused employee creativity
Sort (Organization)
The idea of organization is to discard everything that
is not essential. One way to accomplish this is to
remove everything from the area and put back only
essential items. This is one of the hardest of the 5-Ss
to achieve. Sometimes a person outside the area is
needed to ask factual questions and discard nonessential
items. Key question: Why is this here?
Straighten (Arrangement)
Now that all the non-essential items have been
removed, the remaining items must be assigned
a specific location. Locations are marked with
paint, signs, color codes or colored squares. This
is arrangement. However, arrangement can also
mean assigning specific locations on items, such as
those on bulletin boards. Key question: Is this the
best place for this to minimize operator movement
and confusion?
Sweep (Cleanliness)
Cleanliness means more than sweeping the floor and
wiping down machines. It means cleaning everything,
inside and out. When a cleanliness issue occurs, such
as an oil leak, look for the root cause. Key question: Is
it cleaner now than when you started working here?
Standardize (Standardization)
Standardization is about setting up systems that are
recognized and followed by everyone as part of the
culture. Standardization includes performing a job the
same way each time, assigning standard color codes,
displaying standard signs and even holding meetings
with standard agendas. Key question: Is there a
Sustain (Discipline)
Discipline is the glue that holds all the other Ss
together. The discipline to follow the other 4-Ss must
become a mindset. Key question: Is the process
being followed? Is it still effective?
Five More Must-Do Safety Contacts to Start the New Year - Cribsheet #74Miles Free IIISpecifications
for Accident
Prevention Signs
and Tags
All employees shall be instructed that danger signs indicate
immediate danger and that special precautions are necessary.
All employees shall be instructed that caution signs indicate a
possible hazard against which proper precaution should be taken.
Link: short.productionmachining.com/accspecs
Confined Spaces
The employer shall evaluate the workplace to determine if any spaces are permit-required
confined spaces. If the workplace contains permit spaces, the employer shall inform
exposed employees, by posting danger signs or by any other equally effective means, of
the existence and location of and the danger posed by the permit spaces.
Link: short.productionmachining.com/permitreq
The Control
of Hazardous
Energy control program. The employer shall establish a program consisting of energy
control procedures, employee training and periodic inspections to ensure that before
any employee performs any servicing or maintenance on a machine or equipment
where the unexpected energizing, startup or release of stored energy could occur and
cause injury, the machine or equipment shall be isolated from the energy source and
rendered inoperative.
Link: short.productionmachining.com/hazardener
Industrial use incidental to principal business, handling, storage,
ventilation, drainage, quantity on site and water supply,
extinguishers, precautions, maintenance and electrical
grounding specified.
Link: short.productionmachining.com/flammable
Medical Services
and First Aid
The employer shall ensure the ready availability of medical personnel for advice and
consultation on matters of plant health. In the absence of an infirmary, clinic or hospital in
near proximity to the workplace which is used for the treatment of all injured employees,
a person or persons shall be adequately trained to render first aid. Adequate first aid
supplies shall be readily available. Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed
to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the
eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.
Link: short.productionmachining.com/medservice
Continuing from last month’s cribsheet, here are five more mandatory safety contacts to assure getting your
team’s safety training off to a good start in 2019.
5 Must-Do Safety Contacts to Start the Year - Cribsheet #73Miles Free IIIEmergency Action Plans
An emergency action plan must be in writing, kept in the workplace and available to
employees for review. However, an employer with 10 or fewer employees may
communicate the plan orally to employees.
Link: short.productionmachining.com/eap
Checklist: short.productionmaching.com/eapcheck
Fire Prevention
A fire prevention plan must be in writing, be kept in the workplace and be made available to employees for
review. However, an employer with 10 or fewer employees may communicate the plan orally to employees.
Link: short.productionmachining.com/fpp
Noise Exposure
The employer shall administer a continuing, effective hearing conservation program. Employers shall make
hearing protectors available to all employees exposed to an eight-hour time-weighted average of 85
decibels or more. Employers shall ensure that hearing protectors are worn.
Link: short.productionmachining.com/noise
Flammable Liquids
Industrial use incidental to principal business, handling, storage, ventilation, drainage, quantity on site and
water supply, extinguishers, precautions, maintenance and electrical grounding specified.
Link: short.productionmachining.com/flammable
Requirements for
Personal Protective
The employer shall assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present, or are likely
to be present, which necessitate the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). If such
hazards are present, or likely to be present, the employer shall: Select, and have each
affected employee use, the types of PPE that will protect the affected employee from
the hazards identified in the hazard assessment; Communicate selection decisions to
each affected employee; and select PPE that properly fits each affected employee.
The employer shall provide training to each employee who is required by this section
to use PPE.
Link: short.productionmachining.com/ppe
PPE Assessment e-tool: short.productionmachining.com/ppeassess
These five regulations are applicable to our shops and make a great logical foundation for getting 2019’s
safety training off to a good start.
All Craftsman’s Cribsheets are available for viewing and download at pmpa.org/knowledge-tools/craftsmans-cribsheets.
Variables Data: Four Aspects of Every Measurement - Cribsheet #72Miles Free IIIWhat’s in a number? What’s in the numbers we use?
A lot more than you might think. Numbers carry far
more information than only their value or size. In my
experience, there are four aspects or properties of
each and every measurement that we make:
• The number
• Accuracy of the number
• The units of the number
• Direction of the difference (from the average or
last reading)
The Number
Numbers are important in measurement because
they represent a distinct, confirmable quantity. That
quantity can be evaluated against other numbers
because of the order and sequence established by
the number’s location on the continuous number
line. This means when something is expressed as
a number, it has a distinct and confirmable value
upon which we can make decisions, either alone
or by comparing with other numeric measures.
Variables data is data acquired through numeric
measurements. The magnitude or absolute (numeric)
value of the measurement is what most people
understand by a given measurement.
Accuracy of the Number
Because numbers are found on a continuous number
line, the accuracy of the number is determined
by the gaging system and the units of measure.
The length of cold drawn steel bars sold through
distribution in the U.S. is typically 12 feet or 20
feet, depending on its grade. Shear cut bars are
produced to a length tolerance of 0.000 inch minus,
2.000 inch plus. The accuracy of the length is given
in units of inches, and while the specification calls
out 12-foot bars, in reality the accuracy is 12 feet
0 inch to 12 feet 2 inches. Accuracy issues are
systemic and subject to technological advancement.
Tolerances that were typical in years past have been
replaced by much more stringent requirements as
our technology and gaging improves.
Units are both descriptors of the variable being
measured on a product and a clue as to what is its
accuracy. In our length example, the bars may be
ordered to a length in feet. They will be produced
to an accuracy of minus nothing, plus 2 inches. And,
yet, the parts your shop produces may be held to
only a few thousandths of an inch. In metric, a length
could be measured to the nearest meter, centimeter,
millimeter or micron.
Direction of the Difference
One property of measurements is they are produced
as part of an ongoing series of measurements, and
so, with the exception of the very first measurement
on a job, we always have prior measurements with
which to compare our latest measurement. The
direction the current measurement takes from the
prior reading, or in best practice shops, from the
average of the prior readings, can be an important
call to action. The change in a length measurement
off the shear in that cold drawn steel line may only be
½ inch, but if it is ½ inch under that 12-foot minimum,
action must be taken immediately to get the process
back within tolerance. Normally, a ½ inch change in
length, between 12 feet and 12 feet 2 inches would
be unremarkable. It is the direction of the difference
between the last reading or average, say 12 foot
¼ inch, which is compliant with the spec, and the
immediate value 11 feet ¾ inch, that elevates this
measurement to, “take action now” status.
What is in a number? The quantitative value is
certainly the most easily recognized property of any
variables measurement that you take. However, it
is much more than only the quantity it expresses. A
measurement’s accuracy, the units in which it was
determined and the direction of its difference from
prior readings or averages are what give it such
power for defining the acceptability of the variables
that we measure. quality
A Quick Guide to the Chemical Elements Found in Steel - Cribsheet #71Miles Free IIICHEMICAL
Carbon C Strengthens, hardens, makes
heat treatable.
Improves up to ~0.23%. Gives
steel its hardness.
Anneal if over 0.40% and alloy
steel; if carbon steel and over
Manganese Mn Strengthens, hardens, enhances
heat treatment.
Improves surface and
No special techniques needed.
Promotes machining.
Phosphorus P Ferrite strengthener. Lowers
Crisps up chip. Improves
surface finish.
Be careful with subsequent cold
work on rephosphorized steels.
Sulfur S Lowers ductility, toughness,
weldability, surface quality.
Controls built up edge (BUE),
improves machinability about
Increase speeds and feeds.
Is machinist’s friend.*
Silicon Si Deoxidizer, makes steel sound.
May degrade surface quality. Abrasive on tools.
Want 0.01-0.02 max silicon in
12XX steels; 0.10 max Si for
11XX for best machinability.
Copper Cu Negligible in our applications. Usually it is a clue about how
steel is made.
Higher coppers tend to indicate
electric furnace steel.
Nickel Ni Ferrite strengthener. Aids heat
Usually makes chips tough to
Avoid dwell. Sharpen tools.
Secure workholding.
Chromium Cr
Corrosion resistance, high
temperature strength and heat
Higher strength makes
machining more difficult.
Can be abrasive. Pay attention
to tool edges and wear.
Molybdenum Mo Increases hardenability, raises
tempering temperatures. Not noticeable. No special precautions.
Aluminum Al
Develops fine austenitic
grain size. Can combine with
Decreases tool life. Pay attention to tool edges
and wear.
Lead Pb No effect on mechanical
Promotes machinability about
Run at higher productivity. Take
advantage of this.
(Niobium) Cb / Nb
Grain refiner up to 0.05% in
bars. Microalloy strengthener.
Similar to Al as grain refiner.
As microalloy, makes material
harder and tougher to machine.
Pay attention to tools,
understand condition if
Vanadium Va Grain refiner and strengthener.
Microalloy in forging steels.
Decreases tool life. Harder
steels more difficult to cut.
Pay attention to tools,
understand condition if
Bismuth Bi No strengthening effects.
Possible embrittlement.
Improves machining. Substitute
for lead.
Run at higher productivity. Take
advantage of this.
Nitrogen N
Strengthener and lowers
ductility (notch toughness).
Improves surface finish and
promotes chipbreaking.
Crisper chip and improved surface
Does not like to be cold
worked. Avoid dwell, avoid in
crimping applications.
* Sulfur: Plain carbon and alloy steels with sulfur below 0.010 wt % are problematic for machining and surface finish. 0.02 wt %
minimum sulfur is optimum in these steels for machining.
This handy quick guide will give you the common chemical elements found in steel, how they affect steel
properties and the machining process and a few tips on how to deal with them.
A Glossary of Basic Gaging Terminology - Cribsheet #70Miles Free IIIAccuracy - How close a measurement by the gage
comes to the true value of the quantity being
Bias - A systematic variation in the values returned
by a gage.
Calibration - An operation comparing values from a
gage to a known standard.
Error - Difference between the actual value of the
quantity being measured and the measurement
returned by the gage. (Interesting fact, the original
Latin meaning of error was “to wander about.”)
Linearity - Difference in the bias values of the gage
throughout the full operating range of the gage.
Precision - The closeness of approach of each
of the measurements to the average of all of the
Repeatability - The variation in measurements
obtained from the gage by a single operator
measuring identical quantities on identical parts.
Reproducibility - The variation in measurements
obtained from the same gage by different operators
measuring identical quantities on identical parts.
Resolution - The ability of the gaging system to
detect and reliably indicate even small changes in
the quantity being measured.
Stability - The difference in the average of a number
of sets of measurements taken with the same gage,
on the same parts, over different periods of time.
Tolerance - Allowable deviation from standard.
Tolerance implies an allowable or acceptable
deviation from the nominal value.
Many people confuse accuracy for precision.
Accurate measurements require precision,
but precision measurements do not ensure
accuracy. Accuracy describes “close to true value;
precision describes repeatability of obtaining
the measurement.” When gage accuracy errors
are small, typically, we look at repeatability or
reproducibility issues. When we find relatively
large or unexpected errors, we should look for an
untrained operator, worn gage, improper calibration
or error in the master used to set the gage.
Five (5) Keys to Being a Positive and Effective Team Lead - Cribsheet #69Miles Free IIImanagement, continuous improvement, problem-solving, problem solving, human performance, production, employees, workforce development, Many people worry about the differences between
being a leader and being a manager. Here are my
thoughts on the fi ve keys necessary for being a
positive and effective team lead.
1. They must be committed to continuous
improvement. This means correcting, revising,
adapting and improving themselves, the people
and processes under their authority, as well as the
policies and expectations of their management.
They are thoughtful and communicate effectively in
all directions.
2. Their approach to problem solving is informed
by the human performance system. They look at
the entire system of product realization. They are
not just looking for scapegoats to blame.
3. They accept that they are responsible for
their team’s production. If they do not accept
this responsibility, they are merely a critic. The
enlightened team lead knows that their job is
to constantly adjust and put the right pieces
together to make a coherent whole. This means
training, communicating and advocating for their
performers. Investing in their performers with
training and coaching is an investment in the team.
4. They are the one person who is always thinking.
They are thinking of how to better understand the
potential of what the shop already has and how
else to use it to increase capability, capacity and
quality. “What can we do, with what we already
have, to maximize our output?” is a thoughtful and
an important question. Harvesting increased value
from capacity on hand is pure value added. This
is called bricolage, and the one who does this is
a bricoleur.
5. They are slow to change their mind until given
facts and data. They are not easily intimidated
by the powers that be, nor by the tyranny of the
urgent. They are immune to the gossip and petty
politics that can derail others. An effective lead
or supervisor is never in a hurry, yet frighteningly
effective at his or her own pace. Theirs is the way
of respect.
Bonus trait: Anticipation. The very best folks in
manufacturing anticipate, and so they and their
team are prepared when the unexpected arrives. I’ll
take a class “C” anticipator over a class “A” reactor
any day.
At the end of the shift, either the earned hours were
achieved or they were not. Either the parts met the
specifi cation or they did not. Our organizations hold
the team lead accountable for that performance.
The team lead knows that the performance was
actually of his team, and he was the means to
achieve the results through them. It is a false choice
to say that the team lead should be more of a leader
or a manager. The best team leads are trainers,
coaches, active listeners, perpetual learners, thinkers,
bricoleurs and agents of change.
Ten (10) Important Things to Know Before Working as a CNC Machinist - Cribsheet #68Miles Free IIIWorkforce development, technical, employees, • The machinist is a bag of water, and the tools
and workpieces are harder and sharper.
• The machine’s power is measured in horsepower,
and the machinist won’t win a tug of war.
• f= mv^2/r. If it touches the machinist, it’s really
going to hurt when the surface feet per minute is
in the hundreds.
• It is better to ask questions than to destroy
a couple hundred thousand dollars’ worth of
• We were all beginners once, so don’t try to fake it.
• The best way to become permanently injured is
to try to use fingers or hands to slow down or stop
a rotating spindle.
• The second best way is to try to clear bird’s
nest chips with bare hands.
• Shops don’t really sell the parts that machinists
make. They sell the time of the machine. When
machinists make bad parts, that time is lost
and unrecoverable.
• Maintaining material and lot identification is
second in importance only to keeping
co-workers safe.
• When it comes to the application of the parts
being made, human safety is critical. The
machinist’s very best will be good enough.
Dimensional Contraction of 17-4 PH Stainless Steel - Cribsheet #67Miles Free IIIThe mechanical properties of 17-4 PH must be
fully developed by age hardening from Condition
A in order to reduce risk of failure and to take full
advantage of the material’s capabilities.
17-4 PH is a martensitic precipitation hardening (age
hardening) stainless steel that can provide both high
strength and excellent corrosion resistance.
In the annealed (solution treated condition -
Condition A) the density of this material is
0.280 lb/in^3.
H 900 density is 0.282 lb/in^3.
H 1075 density is 0.283 lb/in^3.
H 1150 density is 0.284 lb/in^3.
These changes in density values show that this alloy
undergoes a volume contraction when it is hardened.
This volume contraction is predictable and must be
taken into account if you are trying to hold close
tolerances. The contraction factor for the change
from Condition A to Condition H 900 ranges from
0.0004 to 0.0006 in/in or (mm/mm). Hardening from
Condition A to Condition H 1150 contracts in the
range of approximately 0.0009 to 0.0012 in/in
or (mm/mm).
Here are three reasons to NOT use 17-4 PH in the
Condition A state:
• The structure is untempered martensite. This
means it has low fracture toughness.
• The structure is untempered martensite. This
means it has low ductility.
• Without age hardening, this material is more
susceptible to stress corrosion cracking.
17-4 PH martensitic stainless steel can achieve high
strength and superior corrosion resistance when
precipitation hardened from Condition A to one of
the Condition H tempers. It is used in many high
performance applications made by our industry,
including valve parts for oilfield and chemical plant
use, fittings for aerospace and aircraft use, jet engine
componentry, fasteners, shafts for pumps, Dodge
Viper carburetors and many others.
In applications where high performance is mandatory,
it is also mandatory to follow needed thermal
treatment practices to assure the development of the
range of material properties provided.
For the savvy machinist, that also means
understanding the potential effect of that thermal
treatment on final size because of dimensional
contraction when hardened.
Material on Dimensional Contraction was taken from
the “Schmolz + Bickenbach 17-4 Datasheet.”
Density and European Equivalency data was taken
from the “Rolled Alloys Data Sheet.”
European designation note: Officially 17-4 PH
is designated as UNS S17400. It is the U.S.
available nominal equivalent to DIN 1.4548,
X5CrNiCuNb 17-4-4. technical
Five (5) Ways Fine Austenitic Grain Size Affects a Machine Shop - Cribsheet #66Miles Free IIItechnical, coarse-grained steels, heat treat, chemistry, plastic forming, distortion, ductility, hardenability, alloy, ASTM, E112, certification, material
Five (5) Ways Coarse Austenitic Grain Size Affects Your Machine Shop - Cribsheet #65Miles Free IIItechnical, material, certification, free machining, 11XX, 12XX, machinability, plastic forming, distortion, ductility, hardness, hardenability, ASTM, E112
Leaded Steels: What You Should Know - Cribsheet #64Miles Free IIIregulatory, Lead is not banned by the European Union’s “End
of Life Vehicles Regulations” for machining purposes
in steel, aluminum and brass. Lead is not banned
by the European Union’s “Restriction of Hazardous
Substances (RoHS) Directive.”
The exemption reads, “Lead as an alloying element
in steel containing up to 0.35 percent lead by
weight, aluminum containing up to 0.4 percent lead
by weight, and as a copper alloy containing up to
4 percent by weight.” This exemption is located in
article 4.2 and Annex, line 6.
If even the European Union recognizes the
additions of lead in materials for machining is
worthy of exemption, lead must provide some
significant benefits, such as:
• “Boosts machinability 25 percent at lower cost,”
says Pat Wannell, La Salle Steel, April 1994, quoted
in “Modern Metals Magazine.”
• “Cutting speeds can normally be increased from
15 to 25 percent above those employed for the
standard grade.”- Monarch Turning Manual
• “Lead, found mainly enveloping manganese sulfide
inclusions, promotes machinability in two
ways, possibly three. By forming a layer of liquid
lubricant at the tool chip interface, it reduces the
stress required to overcome friction. By acting as
an initiator of microcracks and, possibly, by causing
some liquid metal embrittlement, it reduces
the deformation stress.” “American Machinist”
Special Report 790.
• In our experience, we have found leaded steels to
lower cutting temperatures and reduce wear rates
on tools, resulting in higher uptime. Surface finish
on leaded materials is superior to those on nonleaded
Increasing speeds and production, reducing power
needed (and, thus, greenhouse gas emissions)
and improving surface finish are some powerful
advantages that are provided by the addition of lead
to materials for precision machining.
What’s the downside?
1. Lead is not soluble in iron. It is therefore a separate
phase in the steel, usually visible enveloping
the manganese sulfides as tails, though sometimes
appearing as small particles.
2. Lead has a higher density than iron. This means
it will tend to segregate while the metal is liquid,
given enough time.
3. Lead has a relatively low melting point (liquidus)
compared with steel. This can mean that, as processing
temperatures for heat treatment, leaded
steel parts can exude lead.
These three factors mean that if you absolutely must
have parts that are free from possible segregation,
parts that will not have potential hollows or porosity
after being exposed to high temperatures and
absolutely no visible indications of a separate phase
in the steel (that is, “lead stringers”), you probably
ought to forego the leaded grade.
And forego the 25 to 30 percent savings that it gives
you on the part machining cost. So, take your pick.
A Primer on Wear in Our Shops - Cribsheet #63Miles Free IIIhave some common modes of occurrence.
Wear in metal parts can be defined as, “The
undesired gradual change in dimensions in service
under frictional pressure.” Another way of saying
this is that wear is the undesirable deterioration of
a component by the removal of material from its
surface; it occurs by displacement and detachment
of particles from the surface.
Wear is usually evaluated in terms of weight loss,
degree of surface degradation or life to a specified
degree of wear as measured by specified means,
such as thinning of a section.
Wear is often mistakenly thought of as a singular
process. It has been helpful to me to look at wear
as occurring in two or more stages. In the first
stage, the material deforms. In the second stage,
removal of the deformed material or the further and
accelerated removal of material from where it has
been displaced occurs. This can be aggravated by
chemical and corrosive attack as an addition to the
loss of material caused by purely mechanical means.
One way to classify wear processes is by describing
the materials interacting abrasive wear, metallic wear
and erosive or corrosive wear.
Abrasive Wear
• Results from the relative movement between
metal and nonmetallics or abrasives
• Can include metal against nonmetallic or
abrasive materials failure modes
• Can include sliding friction, both wet and dry
• Can include rolling friction, both wet and dry
• Can include impact of loose abrasive, both
wet and dry
Metallic Wear
• Occurs because of the relative movement
between metals
• Strictly metal-on-metal failure modes
• Includes sliding friction, both lubricated and
non-lubricated failure modes
• Includes rolling friction, both lubricated and
non-lubricated failure modes
Erosive or Corrosive Wear
• A relative movement between metal and liquids
or vapors
• These failure modes involve the attack on metals
by liquids or vapors
• Wet steam
• Combustion gases
Three other types of wear are fatigue wear,
cavitation erosion and fretting wear. In these types
of wear, the cause of the deterioration is due
primarily to forces rather than material differences.
Fatigue wear arises from cyclic stresses creating the
removal of particles. This is the type of wear we see
most often in our machine shops.
Cavitation erosion results from the loss of material
because of high impact pressure or temperatures
when vapor bubbles in the flowing liquid collapse.
The cyclic stress resulting from the repeated
collapsing bubbles results in surface fatigue
wear. In our shops, we tend to see this on pump
Fretting wear is a wear process between two
surfaces in oscillatory relative motion of small
amplitude. Tangential displacement of first
lubricant and then material results from the small
but repeated relative surface motion. Then,
chemical reactions predominate in the formation of
oxides from particles removed in the wear process.
Sources include, “Steel Castings Handbook 5th
Edition” and the 1971 edition of “Making, Shaping
and Treating of Steel.” technical
A Cribsheet for 2018 - Cribsheet #62Miles Free IIIPMPA’s Business Trends Report has been reporting
an eight percent or more increase in the level of
sales and shipments for our industry in 2017. We and
our favorite economists see that trend continuing in
the first half of 2018.
Here’s what I think is in store for 2018:
New Technology
Yes, we know you can’t find the additional people
you need to run new machines. That is all the reason
you need to try to automate everything you already
have, so you can free up your talent to their highest
and best use. The highest and best use will be on
the new equipment you will need to stay competitive
in the strong markets ahead.
Also, reconsider your approaches to tooling and
accessories for what you have now. Finding the
cheapest cost per tool makes economic sense only
in a slow market and a hunker-down economy.
When your shop is so busy that you are routinely
scheduling overtime and are at the limits of your
capacity, tooling and accessories that reduce
setup time, operate longer between adjustments
and provide additional benefits such as tighter
tolerance capability are an investment that leads to
maximizing income from the capacity that you have
available. Talk to PMPA’s tech members to see how
their tools, accessories, software, specialty materials
and metalworking fluids can help you wring more
production out of your current capacity in less time.
Training, Training, Training
The talent already on your team is your strongest
asset. Training them to perform at their highest
and best use creates a win-win for them and your
shop. The best people in your workforce in five
years are probably the people that are already on
your team today. Whatever you can do to improve
their skills will pay dividends all the way around.
PMPA has created an online training program called
PMPA MFG to help you upgrade the knowledge
and competencies of your new hires as well as
existing performers.
Check it out at mfg-training.com, or give Sterling
Gill, III, a call at PMPA’s headquarters to get a
personal demonstration.
Increased Working Capital
If you really intend to take advantage of the strong
demand for manufactured products in the next year,
you will need to look at your working capital and
adjust accordingly. The economists we follow have
walked back their “Recession in 2019” forecast and
are now talking about a soft landing. This means
continuing strength for our shops through the first
half for 2018 and a slight slowing in Q3 and Q4. The
capital needs of a business in a strong and growing
market are much different than those needed
when we were all in hunker-down mode in a barely
tepid economy. Our business trends show that the
market for our products has shifted to a new higher
level, and we see that strength continuing in our
immediate and actionable future. Plan for success.
Talk to your banker.
Fewer Regulatory Surprises
The current administration’s noticeably different
approach to regulatory issues has allowed me to
focus my attentions to other areas of compliance,
improvement and member service. However, we are
now on the lookout for trade and tariff storms, which
could suddenly disrupt the markets and demand
for our components. On the regulatory side, as
shop owners, we need to continue to be diligent,
train, document and audit our systems for safety
and compliance. regulatory
Top Ten (10) OSHA Violations in 2017 - Cribsheet #61Miles Free IIIDeputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, Patrick Kapust, presented the agency’s preliminary
list at the National Safety Congress and Expo on September 26 this year.
Here are the top ten violations, along with the number of citations:
1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501) – 6,072
2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) – 4,176
3. Scaffolding (1926.451) – 3,288
4. Respirator Protection (1910.134) – 3,097
5. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) – 2,877
6. Ladders (1926.1053) – 2,241
7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) – 2,162
8. Machine Guarding (1910.212) – 1,933
9. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503) – 1,523
10. Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305) – 1,405
If you are just now reviewing your OSHA training performance, these standards would be a great place to start.
The items numbered 1910 are General Industry; those numbered 1926 are Construction. regulatory, management
Decarburization and Your Precision Machine Shop - Cribsheet #60Miles Free IIIDecarburization on surface layers can affect heat treatment
and hardness attained on parts. Decarburization
also provides evidence of where in a process a defect
or imperfection occurred.
Most defects in steel workpieces encountered in precision
machine shops are longitudinal in nature. While
their presence alone is enough to concern us, for the
purposes of corrective action, it becomes important to
identify where in the process the longitudinal imperfection
first occurred. Visual examination alone is not
enough to confirm the source. Did it occur prior to
rolling? During rolling? After rolling? Understanding
decarburization and how it presents in a sample can
help us to identify where and when in the process the
imperfection first occurred.
What is Decarburization?
The light area (ferrite) surrounding the dark intrusion is decarburization. Note
the lack of pearlite in this decarburized (lighter) zone. There is no evidence of
scale, indicating that this defect was created during, rather than prior to rolling.
“Decarburization is the loss of carbon from a surface
layer of a carbon-containing alloy due to reaction
with one or more chemical substances in a
medium that contacts the surface.”
– Metals Handbook Desk Edition
The carbon and alloy steels that we machine contain
carbon. In the photo, the carbon is contained in the
pearlite (darker) grains. The white grains are ferrite.
In an etched sample, decarburization surrounding a
defect is identified as a layer of ferrite with very little,
or none of the darker pearlitic structure typically
seen in the balance of the material. The black intrusion
in the photo above is the mount material that
has filled in the crevice of the seam defect.
What is Subscale?
Subscale is a reaction product of oxygen from the
atmosphere with various alloying elements as a result
of time at high temperatures. The presence or
absence of the subscale is the indicator that helps
pinpoint the origin of the defect. For a subscale
to be present, the time at temperature must be
sufficient for oxygen to diffuse and react with the
material within the defect. According to Felice and
Repp, 2,250° F and 15 minutes is necessary to develop
an identifiable subscale. Lower temperatures
would require longer times. Typically, rolling mill reheat
cycles offer plenty of time to develop a subscale
in a prior existing defect. However, for defects that
are created during rolling, the limited time at temperature
and the decreasing temperatures on cooling
make formation of subscales unlikely.
Reading Decarb and Subscale to Understand
the Defect
Decarburization is time and temperature dependent.
This means that its relative depth and severity
are clues as to time at temperature, though interpretation
requires experience and understanding of
the differences in appearance from grade to grade
based on carbon content.
Symmetrical Decarburization
If the decarburization is symmetrical this is an indication
that the defect was present in billet or bloom
prior to reheat and rolling. Oxygen in the high temperature
atmosphere of the reheat furnace depletes
the carbon equally from both sides of the
pre-existing defect.
Asymmetrical Decarburization
Decarburization that is obviously asymmetrical indicates
that the defect is mechanical in nature and was
induced some time during the hot rolling process.
Continuous improvement requires taking root-cause
corrective action. Identifying the root cause is critical.
When we encounter longitudinal linear defects in our
steel products, using a micro to characterize the nature
of the decarburization and presence or absence
of subscale provides important evidence as to when,
where and how in the process the defect originated. technical
Overall Equipment Efficiency - Cribsheet #59Miles Free IIIBusy machines and production lines are good, but
even better are busy machines and production lines
that are making the right product and making the
product right. This is one perspective on OEE –
Overall Equipment Efficiency.
What is OEE? Availability, Performance and Quality. As
a percentage of your equipment’s ideal values, each
of these factors plays a role in determining your shop’s
OEE. When I looked at OEE for my plant, I found that
we were definitely not getting the productivity that
our equipment was capable of achieving. Here are
three equations to help you determine your OEE:
1. Availability
Availability in my shop had two components: running
time (time the machines were actually producing
product) and scheduled time. Availability (A) is
the ratio of running time (RT) to scheduled time (ST).
Compare this availability factor to total operating
time and identify the differences: idle time due to
operator coffee, smoke and meal breaks, setups
and change-overs, breakdowns and mechanical
issues, delays waiting for first piece approval,
gaging setups or crane availability. Once these are
identified, prioritize them for improvement.
2. Performance
Performance is the ratio of the time the machine is
actually running and the theoretical time. The difference
between theoretical and actual is the time
lost because of tool changes, raking out chip bird’s
nests, emptying the chips, loading new barstock,
or slowing the machine down because of perceived
technical issues. Performance (P) is the ratio
of output achieved (OA) divided by the theoretical
output (TO).
This is often a factor that is more often identified
when comparing two shifts or operators on the
same process. It can also be affected by changes in
tooling or methods from the initial quote.
3. Quality
Production foremen might think that machining is
about making the production numbers, but shops
that remain in business know that it is making
parts with the quality needed that keeps the parts
shipped and the invoices paid. Quality (Q) was
simply the ratio of good parts (GP) divided by the
total parts (TP) produced.
OEE is now determined by multiplying A, our availability
term; P, our productivity term; and Q, our
quality term. What if you are at 90 percent for each
of these terms?
OEE=0.90 × 0.90 × 0.90 = 0.729 or 73%
What does a 1 percent improvement in each of
these do for you?
OEE=0.91 × 0.91 × 0.91 = 0.754 or 75.4%
What does 100 percent quality (zero defects) get
you with the other two factors at 0.90?
OEE=0.90 × 0.90 × 1.00 = 0.81 or 81%, technical
Relative Machinability of Materials - Cribsheet #58Miles Free IIItechnical, standard, carbon, alloy, steels, 1212, stainless steels, coppers, brasses, bronzes, 360 brass, benchmark, 2011, aluminum, chips, brass, copper, bronze
Seven Causes for Quench Cracking in Steel - Cribsheet #57Miles Free IIIFailures of steel parts in
service or production occur
infrequently. However,
when steel parts fail, the
consequences are dire.
Here are seven ways that
steel can fail as a result
of quench cracking from
heat treatment.
1. Overheating during the
austenitizing portion
of the heat treatment
cycle can coarsen normally
fine-grained steels.
Coarse-grained steels
increase hardening depth and are more prone
to quench cracking than fine-grained steels.
Avoid overheating and overly long dwell
times while austenitizing.
2. Improper quenchant. Yes, water, brine or
caustic will get the steel harder. If the steel is
an oil-hardening steel, the use of these overly
aggressive quenchants will lead to cracking.
3. Making an improper selection of steel for
the process.
4. Too much time between the quenching and
the tempering of the heat-treated parts.
A common misconception is that quench
cracks can occur only while the piece is being
quenched. This is not true. If the work is not
tempered right away, quench cracks can (and
will) occur.
5. Improper design. This includes sharp changes
of section, lack of radii, holes, sharp keyways,
unbalanced sectional mass and other
stress risers.
6. Improper entry of the part/delivery of the
quenchant to the part. Differences in cooling
rates can be created, for example, if parts are
massed together in a basket. This can result in
the parts along the edges cooling faster than
those in the mass in the center. Part geometry
can also interfere with quenchant delivery and
effectiveness, especially on induction lines.
7. Failure to take sufficient stock removal from the
original part during machining. This can leave
remnants of seams or other surface imperfections
that can act as a nucleation site for a
quench crack.
Finally, materials that are heat treated to high
strength levels, even though they did not quench
crack, may contain localized concentrations of high
residual stresses. If these stresses are acting in the
same direction as the load applied in service, an
instantaneous failure can occur. This will be virtually
indistinguishable from a quench crack during an
examination, because of its brittle failure mode, lack
of decarburization on surface of the fracture or other
forensic evidence of a process failure.
When looking at quench cracking failures under
the microscope, cracks and crack tributaries that
follow the prior austenitic grain boundaries are
a pretty good clue that grain coarsening and/or
its causes, such as overheating or too much time
at a certain temperature, have occurred. Temper
scale on the fracture surface helps the metallurgist
know that the crack was present before tempering.
Decarburization may show that the crack was open
prior to quenching.
Stress Cracks in Steel Bar Products - Cribsheet #56Miles Free IIIStress cracks are defined as transverse or
near transverse open crevices created when
concentration of residual stresses exceed the
local yield strength at the temperature of crack
formation. These stresses can be mechanically
induced or attributable to extreme temperature
differences and /or phase transformations.
They can originate at almost any point in the
manufacture of the steel.”– AISI Manual Detection,
Classification and Elimination of Rod and Bar
Surface Defects
Stress cracks are often seen in locations that
experience bending or straightening. They are
also referred to as “cross cracks” or “transverse
cracks.” Originally, they were identified in mill
billet and bloom products prior to rolling.
Micro examination can help determine crack
origin by noting:
• Orientation
• Intergranular nature
• Presence of scale
• Presence of subscale
Additional microstructural characteristics can
reveal the thermal history of heating and cooling
at the crack location.
Causes and corrective action:
• Excessive load during straightening can exceed
the local yield strength of the material,
causing it to crack. Reduce load applied by
machine, or consider tempering or stress relieving
material prior to straightening or further
cold work.
• Cooling too quickly can also induce stress
cracks. Critical cooling rates are highly dependent
on steel chemistry. Crack-sensitive
chemistries (medium carbon steels, high carbon
steels, medium and high carbon steels
with straight chromium or straight manganese
additions.) These steels should be slowly
cooled through transformation temperatures
to minimize the occurrence.
• Design faults such as:
–– Heavy sections adjacent to light sections and
sharp corners
–– Failure to fillet sharp corners
–– Use of fillets rather than tapers
–– Undercuts
–– Overloading the material during fabrication,
processing or application.
Detection of stress cracks is problematic
as their transverse orientation makes them
difficult to detect on equipment setup to
detect longitudinal defects.
Final Caveat:
The term “stress crack” is arbitrarily defined
based on industrial usage in the market. It does
not necessarily imply anything about the specific
metallurgical nature of the crack. I know a number
of people use the term “stress crack” to describe
longitudinal cracks on steel bar products, which the
AISI calls “strain cracks.”
The Eight (8) Wastes Found in Business and Manufacturing Processes - Cribsheet #55Miles Free IIIIn “The Toyota Way,” author Jeffrey Liker lists and
discusses the eight non-value-adding wastes that can
be found in business and manufacturing processes.
These can be applied anywhere, not just on a
production line. Here is a look at these wastes through
the lens of our precision machining shop processes.
Overproduction is producing items for which there are
no orders. It causes overstaffing, additional storage
and transportation costs and excess inventory. It can
also produce spoilage of inventory. An example of this
could be producing additional product on speculation
and then a customer makes a modification to the
design making those parts no longer suitable.
Workers idle for any number of reasons including
delays, machine downtime, capacity bottlenecks and
stockouts. Waiting is unrecoverable in that time lost
can never be regained.
Unnecessary Transport or Conveyance
Moving work in process, materials, parts or finished
goods long distances or repeatedly into or out of
storage add no value, can contribute to handling
damage (dings and scratches on parts) and adds costs
to operations.
Overprocessing or Incorrect Processing
This is defined as unneeded steps to produce, or
inefficient processing of parts. Overprocessing or
incorrect processing are often the result of poor
process design or skimping on tools. This usually
creates additional waste in the form of unneeded
worker motion. Overprocessing can also be caused
by producing higher quality products than ordered,
such as a ground surface finish where a standard as
machined finish is acceptable.
Excess Inventory
According to Mr. Liker, excess raw material, work
in process, and finished goods can cause longer
lead times, obsolescence, damaged goods, additional
transportation and storage costs and delays.
Experience has shown that excess inventory is typically
a crutch used to cope with problems such as unreliable
suppliers, defects, equipment
downtime, unbalanced production
and long setup times. Excess
work in process is a signal to look
at adjacent processes for improvement
opportunities. Excess
raw material is a signal to look at
supplier reliability and purchasing
process improvements.
Unnecessary Movement
Unnecessary movement is any wasted motion made
by employees during the course of their work by
looking for, reaching for, picking up and then putting
down the wrong gage, moving material out of the
way or walking. 5-S is a powerful means of eliminating
unnecessary movement in our experience. (PMPA
member Micron Manufacturing Co. determined early
on in its lean journey that the largest portion of waste
during a machine setup was wasted movement –
outside and away from the machine.)
Most of us already understood that the production of
defective parts or scrap is waste. Mr. Liker reminds us
that the costs to repair, rework, replace lost production
and inspection are additional waste and costs to our
shop as they involve additional handling, time and
effort, for which we pay, but are not reimbursed by
our customers.
Unused Employee Creativity
This is perhaps the highest dollar cost to our shops as
the penalty for failing to capitalize on the best ideas
of our employees can keep us noncompetitive, stuck
at an unsustainable level of production expertise and
prevent us from taking advantage of opportunities
where we could have been successful. Losing time,
ideas, skills improvements and learning opportunities
are how Mr. Liker defines this eighth waste. A more
positive way of looking at this is to assure that all your
employees are working at their highest and best use.
If you are in manufacturing, you really should study
“The Toyota Way.” It is like a Swiss Army knife of
quality and improvement tools for your brain.
To purchase the book “The Toyota Way,” please visit
short.productionmachining.com/toyotaway., quality, management, continuous improvement
Twelve (12) Cardinal Rules of Shop Safety - Cribsheet #54Miles Free IIIWe all know the importance of safety in our shops, so here are 12 simple rules to help eliminate accidents and
injuries in the workplace:
12 Cardinal Rules for Shop Safety
1. Never operate any machine or forklift if you
are not trained or not familiar with it. Ask
your supervisor.
2. Always wear proper PPE to include eye,
ear, hand and foot protection.
3. Eliminate entanglement hazards. Always
secure or remove loose clothing, tie loose
hair and remove jewelry, which can
entangle in rotating equipment (especially
rings and bracelets) before you operate
machinery. Do not wear fabric or leather
gloves around rotating equipment.
4. Always maintain a safe distance from
machines that are in use.
5. Never operate machinery without all shields
and machine guards in place.
6. Always lock out/tag out powered equipment
when cleaning, oiling or repairing. Test to
assure machine is fully de-energized.
7. Never use compressed air guns to
clean clothing and hair and never aim
at another person.
8. Never use your hands or a rag to clear chips;
never use rags around rotating equipment.
9. Maintain good housekeeping in your work
area to eliminate trip, slip and fall hazards.
10. Be sure to lift properly with your legs, not
your back. Ask for assistance and use back
support when necessary.
11. Always inspect cables, slings and straps and
assure they are secure prior to use.
12. Report all injuries, no matter how minor, to
your supervisor.
Unleaded Brass: Change Your Thinking - Cribsheet #53Miles Free IIIUnleaded brasses are not necessarily harder to
run than leaded brass. They are just different. By
recognizing and accommodating for their lack of
lead, and the resultant different thermal conductivity,
differences in chip forming and the need to up-tool
for heavier feeds rather than higher speeds, your
shop can be successful at making parts from these
newer, more challenging grades.
What are some strategies for machining the
unleaded brasses?
• Increase the feed. Since we lost the lead and the
ability to run at higher speeds, increasing the feed
can help us get to equivalent cubic inches of
removal rates.
• Improve the machine rigidity. Heavier feeds
mean the machine needs to be adjusted and solid.
It also means more horsepower required, again
mandating a rock-solid setup.
• Improve the tool. Even 4 percent lead is very
forgiving of tool quality; the nonleaded grades
are the opposite, they present a number of
challenges to your tools. Improved materials,
geometry and coatings are key to machining
unleaded brasses with minimum issues. They will
require fewer replacements, helping to get more
net production at the end of the shift.
Unleaded Brass: Change Your Thinking
• Improve the chip management. Some unleaded
grades replace the lead with zinc, resulting in
a grade with a type III chip, stringy and birds-nest
prone. With these grades, pay attention to drills
selected, and try inserts with chip control featres
to help you manage that chip.
• Deal with the increased heat. The lead helped
to reduce friction and heat in the leaded grades.
With the lead removed, you will have increased
heat generated. Carbide is more forgiving of
heat, as are tool coatings. Talk to your supplier
of metalworking fluids; chances are, it will
have a fluid that will help manage those extra
BTUs and maintain your tools’ edges.
• Change your ideas about machining brass.
Unleaded brass machines more like steel than
brass. As long as you think of it like leaded brass,
you will fight it. Instead, think of it as just a yellow
version of 1215 steel or stainless and your expectations
will be much closer to reality.
The market for precision machined parts continues
to evolve. Evolve your thinking and processing to
adjust to the realities of unleaded materials to remain
a viable and preferred supplier. shop floor cheat sheet, speeds, tool wear, cutting temerature, chip-tool contact area, drill chips, od tool chips, surface finish, 12L14, 1215, technical
Central Bursts, Chevroning in Cold Drawn Extruded Steels - Cribsheet #52Miles Free IIIIn cold worked steels, failures can be broadly
nucleated by localized defects, such as seams,
pipe and exogenous inclusions. The second are
those which result from exceeding the strength of
the material itself.
The compressive stresses of cold working
can result in failures by shear along planes 45
degrees to the applied stress. These are known
as shear failures. The presence of shear failures
in an otherwise metallurgically normal material
indicates excessive mechanical deformation.
While often the result of tooling issues, conditions
which lower material ductility include chemistry,
macrostructure, nonmetallics, microstructure
and aging. Hydrogen embrittlement has also
been implicated in investigations of premature
shear failure.
bar which exhibited central bursting was saw cut
lengthwise to show the internal ruptures.
This cribsheet will focus on the central bursts in
the product of cold drawn steel, especially from
the point of view of a shop making parts on
automated equipment.
The role of tooling at the cold drawing mill is usually
considered to be the root cause, as replacement
of dies typically eliminates the central bursting.
the die are generally found to be the cause of the
Other factors involved include die angle (half angle),
reduction in area, friction in process and strain
In your shop
In very rare cases, while machining parts from a bar
which exhibits internal bursts or chevrons, the part
will separate from the bar in the process because of
the prior existing rupture. The photo below shows
such a part. Note the fracture surface on the sides of
the stepped down diameter on the part end shown
in the photo below.
You might see these kinds of failures more often
found in parts that are cold headed or cold extruded.
Central bursts or internal chevrons are very rare in
the marketplace these days, as a result of improved
tooling, drawing lubricants, die design and
breaking off on the machine prior to being cut, you
just might be encountering central bursts in the steel. technical
Lockout/Tagout: What Management Needs to do for Periodic Inspection - Cribsheet #51Miles Free IIIThere are three main areas that are solely the
responsibility of management:
1. Documenting a de-energization/hazardous
energy control procedure (lockout/tagout
procedure) for every piece of equipment
in your plant
2. Training employees
3. Performing periodic assessment of
the efficacy of your hazardous energy
control program
Providing lockout/tagout devices, ensuring that
equipment is capable of being locked out and
tagged out are other management responsibilities
and are typically well in hand in the shops I visit.
If management hasn’t got their part right, there
is next to no chance that the company will pass
an audit. We’ll discuss documenting procedures
and training in additional posts. Today, we’ll take
a look at the requirements for periodic inspection
of your company’s hazardous energy control
program (lockout/ tagout).
Periodic Inspection
“The employer shall conduct a periodic
inspection of the energy control procedure at
least annually to ensure that the procedure and
the requirements of this standard are being
That’s pretty clear. Employer “shall” conduct
a periodic review. Have you done yours yet?
Can you show me documentary evidence of
the review?
“The periodic inspection shall be performed
by an authorized employee other than the
ones(s) utilizing the energy control procedure
being inspected.”
Who is authorized to perform this review in
your shop?
“The periodic inspection shall be conducted to correct
any deviations or inadequacies identified.”
So, can you show me documentary evidence that
you found deficiencies and took corrective actions?
Or is your program perfect until the inspector asks an
employee to demonstrate and they fail?
“Where lockout is used for energy control, the
periodic inspection shall include a review, between
the inspector and each authorized employee, of that
employee’s responsibilities under the energy control
procedure being inspected.”
Can you show me the evidence of review for each
authorized employee?
“Where tagout is used for energy control, the periodic
inspection shall include a review, between the
inspector and each authorized and affected employee,
of that employee’s responsibilities under the energy
control procedure being inspected, and the elements
set forth in paragraph (c)(7)(ii) of this section.”
I personally do not prefer tagout, but if your system
uses tagout, you must be able to provide evidence that
you comply with this requirement.
“The employer shall certify that the periodic
inspections have been performed. The certification
shall identify the machine or equipment on which
the energy control procedure was being utilized, the
date of the inspection, the employees included in the
inspection and the person performing the inspection.”
As the lawyers say, “duces tecum” – bring your papers.
Can you show me the documents of your periodic
inspections, covering all equipment and all employees?
Where you cannot, you are vulnerable. More
importantly, so are those employees. regulatory,
Ductility as Measured by Tensile Testing - Cribsheet #50Miles Free IIIThe ability of a material to deform plastically
without fracturing is called ductility. In the
materials usually machined in our shops,
ductility is measured by determining the percent
of elongation and the percent reduction of area on
a specimen during a tensile test.
In this post, we will describe how we can measure
ductility and use it to predict behavior based on
values reported on certs and test reports.
The percent elongation and percent reduction of
area values shown on our test reports and material
certifications from our material suppliers indicate
the ductility of the material tested.
In the tensile test, a cylindrical specimen is
gripped securely and subjected to a uniaxial
load and elongated until it breaks. At the end
of the test, the pieces of the fractured specimen
are fitted back together again, and the change
of length between the two gage marks put on
the specimen before testing is determined. The
change is then expressed as a percentage of the
original gage length.
The percent reduction of area is determined by
measuring the minimum diameter of the broken
test specimen after the two pieces are fitted
together, and the difference is expressed as a
percentage of the original cross sectional area
prior to the test.
The differences in measurements after tensile test
are used to calculate the percent elongation and
percent reduction of area.
A minimum of 12 percent elongation is
recommended for consistent, trouble-free thread
rolling applications.
Rolled threads are stronger, so having the ductility
to thread roll is important. However, too much
ductility makes it difficult to get the chip to
separate by cutting.
Low ductility can be problematic for cold
deformation manufacturing processes such as
thread rolling, cold forming, swaging, staking
and crimping. technical
Three (3) of My Favorite and Most Shared Ideas to Get the Most from Drills in Your Shop - Cribsheet #49Miles Free IIIKeep the drill short.
Drills need a rigid setup. Having extra length can
lead to deflection and drill wander. There is a reason
drills for screw machining applications are
short. It’s because we need the rigidity. I learned
this while working as the metallurgist for a steel
bar company. I got a call from a customer
that my steel wouldn’t drill straight.
After a three-and-a-half hour drive to the
customer’s shop out of state, I found a
very narrow diameter drill (maybe 3/16
inch) in a Jacobs chuck the size of my
head being held on a Morse taper the
length of my forearm. Add to that a short
cycle time, and the drill and chuck never got to a
consistently steady location. They were vibrating
until they entered into the next workpiece. They
could enter the workpiece at a number of different
locations based on the vibration. We shortened
the setup considerably, and suddenly, the steel we
provided was drilling straight, true and on center.
Get the feed rate right.
When I was learning machining, I was taught that
the feed rate determines your success in drilling.
After years and years in shops like yours, I am convinced
that what I was taught is correct. Yes, the
wrong speed can burn up a drill, but getting the
feed right assures the chips will break up appropriately
and flow smoothly down the flutes. Proper
feed assures that the drill won’t chip out on the
cutting edge and the drill itself won’t crack or split
up the center from too heavy of a feed.
Replace the drill on schedule before it dulls.
Planned replacement of the drill before it
dulls will make more parts per shift. This is an
under-appreciated way of thinking. In most companies,
they have a purchasing culture and want
to get the most out of a tool before replacing
it. In the most profitable companies, they have
a “respect the process” culture that focuses on
maintaining process control, not maximum tool
life. By replacing the drill before it gets dull, they
minimize downtime. They minimize the production
of defective parts. They minimize the creation
of work-hardening in the parts produced prior
to tool replacement. This means less downtime,
more trouble-free uptime and more parts at the
end of the shift. Twenty extra minutes of production
on a part with a ten second cycle time is an
extra 120 parts at the end of the shift. Shippable,
billable and no anomaly parts.
There are other factors besides feed that influence
drilling: proper speed, proper coating, proper
geometry, effective delivery of coolant. We could
create quite a list. But in my experience, the three
factors that hold the secret to productive drilling
in our precision machining shops are short rigid
setups, proper feed and planned or scheduled
replacement. These three factors are the keys
to getting more parts with less trouble out of
your shop. technical
Six (6) Reasons Steel is Vacuum Treated - Cribsheet #48Miles Free IIIVacuum treated or vacuum degassed steel is used for critical applications that require steel with an
exceptionally high degree of structural uniformity, internal soundness and other characteristics that may be
impaired by the effects of uncontrolled amounts of dissolved gases. Vacuum degassing treatments, along
with various de-oxidation practices, are specified to control the amounts of dissolved gases in the steel.
Vacuum treatment of molten steel:
• Reduces hydrogen content. This reduces
the tendency of steel to “flake” or
become “embrittled.”
• Reduces oxygen content. This makes it easier
for the steel to conform to restrictive microcleanliness
• Improves the recovery and uniformity of
distribution of alloying elements and
other additives.
• Helps control the composition of the steel
closer than without vacuum treatment.
• Results in higher and more uniform transverse
ductility, improved fatigue resistance and improved
high temperature performance.
• Can be used to achieve exceptionally low carbon
content that are otherwise unobtainable
by conventional means.
What are some situations where vacuum treatment
is employed?
• Large forgings and large cross-sections where
hydrogen would otherwise remain and contribute
to flaking and embrittlement.
• Bearings where uniformity throughout the
section is important for critical performance.
• Inverted delta, human-critical safety applications
where steel toughness and performance
place high demands on the steel’s properties
in all directions.
The removal of oxygen by degassing is a challenge
for the steelmaker, because this element
is extremely reactive and can exist in the steel in
many forms, such as free oxygen, dissolved in
the melt as a soluble nonmetallic oxide, combined
with carbon to form gaseous oxides and as
complex oxides in the accompanying slags and
refractories in the process. technical
OSHA's Top Ten (10) Most Frequently Cited Standards - FY 2015 - Cribsheet #47Miles Free IIIThink of your efforts here as an investment in ‘Penalty Prevention.’
The following is a list of the top 10 most frequently
cited standards following inspections of worksites by
federal OSHA for Fiscal Year 2015.
1. 1926.501 – Fall Protection (C)
2. 1910.1200 – Hazard Communication
3. 1926.451 – Scaffolding (C)
4. 1910.134 – Respiratory Protection
5. 1910.147 – Lockout/Tagout
6. 1910.178 – Powered Industrial Trucks
7. 1926.1053 – Ladders (C)
8. 1910.305 – Electrical, Wiring Methods
9. 1910.212 – Machine Guarding
10. 1910.303 – Electrical, General Requirements
evidence of the training.
A savvy management will take steps in their shops to
find and fix recognized hazards addressed in these
and other standards before OSHA shows up.
Action Steps:
1. Electrical: On your next walk around the shop,
look for outlets and power boxes that are not in
good condition and schedule their repair ASAP.
If you can see wiring or damage, it is likely
a violation.
2. Machine Guarding: This is a particular area of
OSHA emphasis. Are all provided guards in
place, or are they being removed or defeated?
Each instance would be a violation.
3. Lockout/Tagout: This, too, is an OSHA emphasis
and on their regulatory agenda for review.
Now would be a good time to review and make
sure all affected employees have been trained,
the evidence exists of that training and you have
audited to assure performance. (If I went into
your shop and saw a machine undergoing a major
change-over, would I find it locked out?) Note: The standards that are numbered 1926.XXX,
numbers 1 (Fall Protection), 3 (Scaffolding) and
7 (Ladders) are construction industry, rather than
general industry. Nevertheless, “Fall Protection”
and “Ladders” are relevant in our manufacturing
shops as well. Source: osha.gov/Top_Ten_
In our work with shops involved in OSHA
inspections, we have learned that failure to have
documented training and evidence is more likely
to be the root cause of the citation. You must train,
and you must be able to provide documentary
Four (4) Keys to Business Sustainability - Cribsheet #46Miles Free IIIMany people, particularly those in purchasing and accounting, see buying at the lowest
costs as being a key to sustaining their business. Here are four keys that will unlock true long-term
sustainability for your precision machining shop.
Solve problems first.
Solving problems is the most
efficient use of your company’s
talent and knowledge. The effort
spent on solving the problem
stops the deviation from normal
in your immediate operations and
reduces the potential expenditures
on inspection, remediation and overprocessing.
Do you have a culture of
problem solving?
Solve the problem for good.
It does no good to solve a problem today only to
see it return later. That is not problem-solving. It
is critical to identify the root cause and then take
permanent corrective actions to prevent that root
cause from ever appearing again. What problems
has your team made go away forever in your shop?
Can you name one? Two? More?
Understand that lowest cost over the long term
is not the lowest price over the short term.
Yes, you can buy cheaper tooling from a jobber.
Many purchasing departments are incorrectly
focused on cost-per-tool, cost-per-pound of raw
material or cost-per-gallon of metal removal fluid.
Cheap drills are no bargain if they only last for
60 to 70 holes instead of 400 to 500 per drill. To
be sustainable, the company needs to have the
lowest cost to produce a compliant part, not just
the cheapest materials to make it. Does your shop
reward the purchase of the cheapest inputs for the
job, or attaining the lowest cost for production of
compliant parts?
Spend less time and money on maintenance by
actually planning it.
Our industry is focused on reducing cycle time and
setup time, as it should. Without exception, every
shop owner or operations manager is focused
on these. But if everyone is focused on these,
how does that help you? For your shop to be
uniquely sustainable, why not focus on eliminating
unplanned downtime and lost production time due
to unexpected breakdowns? It is a truism that we get
what we measure. Today, most shops have rigorous
systems for ERP and operations planning, but does
your shop have any process for proactive machine
Today, customers expect zero defects and 100
percent on-time delivery from every supplier. Why
not make your shop sustainable by actually having a
four-point process to get there by solving problems
first, solving them for good, getting to lowest cost
per compliant part produced, and eliminating
unplanned downtime by actually planning for it? quality
Orders of Magnitude: Key to Process Problem-Solving - Cribsheet #45Miles Free IIIIf you have an intermittent or periodic problem, start counting frequency of occurrence,
and then figure out what the order of magnitude is compared with your process.
The order of magnitude reflects the relative scale of
our processes and helps us see what is and is not
applicable to the problem at hand.
To solve periodic or intermittent problems in our
shops, the first step after identifying the problem
is collecting data about “when” and “how often”
it occurs. Then, compare it with the orders of
magnitude that occur naturally in your shop that can
help you narrow down the likely causes.
Relative frequency can be a big help when you
figure out that the frequency has some relationship
or equivalence to some aspect of your process. If
the frequency is about equal to two occurrences per
bar, then it becomes relevant to look at bar ends
first. With two ends per bar, or the fact that you
might get only two parts out of the first bar end,
this tying of frequency to an order of magnitude
denominator saves a lot of thrashing about to try to
identify root cause.
Here are some orders of magnitude that exist in
your shop.
Material Order of Magnitude
• Per piece
• Per bar
• Per bundle
• Per lot
• Per order
• Per heat
• Per supplier
Machining Operation Order of Magnitude
• Per spindle
• Per stock-up
• Per machine
• Per shift
• Per release
• Per batch
• Per lot
• Per production order
Using PMPA Business Trends Report to Understand Your Business - Cribsheet #44Miles Free IIIThe PMPA Business Trends Report is published monthly and provides a credible means for our member shops to
compare their performance with the performances of other precision machining shops. Actual net sales and hours
of first shift scheduled are the two performance indicators tracked, while three-month outlook for net sales, lead
times, employment and profitability document the forward-looking sentiment of your peers. Participating member
companies get the index calculated for their company, which they can compare with the index for the industry.
Here are a few takeaways from the PMPA March 2016 Business Trends Report. Industry sales jump 12 percent in March, “PMPA Business Trends Report.”
• With 80 companies responding, the PMPA Business Trends Index in March climbed 14 points,
or 12 percent, to 131, only the third time the index has been above 130 in its history.
• Up 12 percent over prior two months; down 4 percent from March 2015.
• The decline in sales outlook is not at all surprising, given the March high. The sentiment for profitability
increases, while the lead time and employment remain the same.Opinions for the next three months compared with today:
• Net sales: The outlook for sales of precision machined products has declined. Seventy-six percent of
respondents expect the level of sales to remain the same or increase over the next three months.
• Lead times: Ninety-four percent of respondents expect lead times to remain the same or decrease.
• Employment: Eighty-seven percent of respondents expect employment prospects to increase or remain
the same for the next three months, a positive assessment. Sentiment is unchanged from last month.
• Profitability: Prospects for profitability have moved to the positive, after remaining level for three months.
Why Tool Life Can Vary: Carbon and Alloy Steels - Cribsheet #43Miles Free IIIDespite the use of our best technology and our efforts to control our processes,
tool life can vary when machining carbon and alloy steels. Here are six factors that can affect tool life in
your shop.
1. Variations between suppliers. Even though
the grade is the same, suppliers’ melt
processes, scrap practices, melt recipes and
reduction in cold-drawing and straightening
practice can significantly affect chip breakage,
resulting built-up edge on the tool and the
surface finish differences.
2. Variations in chemistry. With a potential
subset of variations between suppliers, the fact
is that a plain carbon grade with 0.005 weight
percent sulfur will not machine like a material
with 0.025 weight percent sulfur.
3. Variations in grain size. While this factor is
typically more relevant in stainless steels, when
machining forgings, blocky structures resulting
from excessive temperatures can result in
inconsistent machining performance.
4. Variations in microstructure. In this case,
it is not so much about the grain size as it is
about the present structure. This is particularly
problematic in the ~0.40 weight percent
carbon alloy grades such as 4037.
5. Decarburization or scaling on the work
surface. Decarb can result in a carbon-poor,
gummy surface, only to transition into a fully
carbon-containing microstructure. Scale on the
work surface can result in excessive tool wear
because of the high hardnesses of the various
iron oxides that may be present (hematite, the
red oxide of iron, Fe2O3, has a microhardness
of approximately 1030 DPH).
6. Deoxidation/high inclusion count. Free
machining grades such as 12XX and 11XX
steels are typically sold to a “coarse grain
practice” with no deliberate additions of grain
refiners or deoxidizers. Sometimes, you may
find deliberate additions of silicon to 1144 in
order to improve the internal soundness of
the steel. The resulting silicates can abrade
the edge of the tool when running at the
surface feeds expected for re-sulfurized steel.
The addition of aluminum as a grain refiner
can cause rapid edge wear as well. Rarely,
one might encounter exogenous inclusions
entrapped in the steel from melt and casting.
These can be real show stoppers.
Takeaway: Purchasing the same item from different
suppliers hurls the range of global variation at your
machining operations. Standardizing on a single
supplier for an item will allow you to get to a steady
state in your process.
Plan, Do, Study, Adjust: The Engine of Continuous Improvement - Cribsheet #42Miles Free IIIquality, management, ISO 9000:2000 Section 8.5.1 reads:
“The organization shall continually improve the
effectiveness of the quality management system
through the use of the quality policy, quality
objectives, audit results, analysis of data, corrective
and preventive action, and management review.”
In TS16949:2009 it reads: Continual Improvement of the
“The organization must define a process for
continual improvement.” Manufacturing Process Improvement
“Manufacturing process improvement must
continually focus on control and reduction
of variation in product characteristics and
manufacturing process parameters.”
The standard defined continual improvement as:
“recurring activity to increase the ability to fulfill
Recurring activity. To me, that means “cycle.”
Plan, Do, Study, Adjust (PDSA). It is not a wheel;
PDSA is a continuous cycle of cycles!
Karen Martin shared this graphical representation of
PDSA in her book, “The Outstanding Organization.”
Plan. Do. Study. Adjust.
This is the process of continuous (continual)
improvement or The Deming Cycle.
Material Influences on the Weldability of Carbon Steel - Cribsheet #41Miles Free IIIThe weldability of steels is influenced primarily by
the carbon content. Carbon equivalents of 0.35 or
less are safe to weld without any pre-weld or postweld
heat treatments required. At higher carbon
levels, steels may require either pre- or post-weld
heat treatment in order to prevent stress buildup
and weld cracking.
The weldability is negatively influenced by free machining
additives such as sulfur. Weldability can also
be influenced by grain size. Thickness of the welded
section is also a factor in determining the need
for pre- and post-weld thermal treatments.
Carbon Equivalent
Carbon is a major factor in determining a steel’s
carbon equivalency. However, other elements that
are contained in the steel also have an effect on the
steel’s carbon equivalence. These additional elements
can really add up in scrap-fed electric arc furnace
steels that now predominate in our market.
Here are two formulas for calculating carbon equivalents.
For best results, CE should be 0.35 or less
regardless of the formula used.
Formula 1:
CE=%C+(%Mn/6)+(%Cr+%Mo+%Va)/5 (%Si+%Ni+%Cu)/15
In this formula, every six points of manganese in
the steel equals one point of carbon, so a 0.60-percent
manganese would add an additional 10 points
of carbon equivalence. The sum of chrome, moly
and vanadium divided by 5, gives another portion
of carbon equivalence, as does the sum of silicon,
nickel and copper divided by 15. The sum of all of
these calculated factors added to the actual carbon
content gives the total carbon equivalent for
the steel. If the carbon equivalent totals more than
0.35, you might need to pre- or post-weld heat
treat, depending on section thickness.
Formula 2 (GE Formula):
CE= C+(Mn/6)+(Ni/20)+(Cr/10)+(Cu/40)+(Mo/50)+(Va/10).
Material Influences on the Weldability of Carbon Steel
This formula does a finer tune on the individual residual
elements (look at the denominators for copper
and moly in this formula compared to the first.)
Sulfur can contribute to poorer weld quality because
the gases produced will create a more
porous, slaggy and less-sound weld. Manganese
sulfides, the form of the sulfur in the steel, can
also hold hydrogen.
Coarse grain steels can further coarsen adjacent
to the weld by the additional heat (heat = grain
growth) creating abnormally large grains in the
heat-affected zone and dramatically altering
mechanical properties in that area. Choosing
fine grained steels for welding can help eliminate
this risk.
To assure fewest problems when welding carbon
steels, choosing steels below 0.35 percent carbon
equivalency steels that are also non-re-sulfurized
and fine-grained, will eliminate many problems and
the need for pre- or post-weld thermal treatment to
relieve stresses induced by welding.
Top Ten (10) OSHA Violations - Cribsheet #40Miles Free IIIThe Top 10 OSHA Violations for FY 2015
1. *Fall Protection (1926.501) – 6,721
2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) – 5,192
3. *Scaffolding (1926.451) – 4,295
4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134) – 3,305
5. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) – 3,002
6. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) – 2,760
7. *Ladders (1926.1053) – 2,489
8. Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305) – 2,404
9. Machine Guarding (1910.212) – 2,295
10. Electrical – General Requirements (1910.303) – 1,973
* Denotes Construction Standard
Top Ten OSHA Violations
In 2016 we believe OSHA will:
• Be on the lookout for the violations you see to
the left.
• Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s
directorate of enforcement programs,
presented the “OSHA Top Ten” at the National
Safety Council 2015 Safety Congress. Seven of
the OSHA Top Ten Violations for FY 2015 were
for general industry. Three of the top ten
violation categories were construction standard
violations, but those hazards can exist in indus
try as well.
• Focus on Regulatory Enforcement:
Our peek at the latest regulatory agenda tells
us that paperwork compliance issues
on recordkeeping and reporting of injuries and
illnesses, walking working surfaces and
personal fall protection (slips, trips and fall
protection) will be an emphasis in 2016.
Both of these are in the final rule stage on the
fall 2015 DOL/OSHA regulatory agenda.
Occupational exposure to beryllium is in the
proposed rule stage. Shops machining
materials containing beryllium should
certainly be aware and shop practice
compliant with this proposal.
• Expected Emphasis Items?
Issues that could have a major impact on our
shops include lockout/tagout, powered
industrial trucks, mechanical power presses
update and emergency response and
preparedness. These appear on the fall
regulatory agenda in the pre-rule stage.
I am certain that OSHA will be emphasizing
understanding, complying and providing
training for your employees to meet the
requirements of these regulations.
Tempering Steel - Cribsheet #39Miles Free IIIIn steel, tempering is reheating hardened steel to a temperature below the lower critical temperature for
the purpose of decreasing hardness and increasing toughness.
(The lower critical temperature is the temperature of the austenite-to-pearlite eutectoid transformation.
In steels below this temperature, austenite does not exist.)
Tempering is sometimes applied to normalized steels for similar reasons: It decreases hardness and
improves toughness.
The chart above shows the colors that are elicited by tempering a 0.95-percent carbon content steel at
the temperatures shown.
(For example, think about a drill rod.) chart, technical
Heat Treat Colors for Steel - Cribsheet #38Miles Free IIIThe above chart shows the heat treat colors for steel by temperature.
These days, pyrometers are affordable, but it is the mark of a craftsman to be able to tell temperature by eye,
if only to validate the instrumentation or suspect it.
These colors were obtained from a 0.40 wt. percent carbon, alloy steel, as seen through a furnace peep hole
during average daylight conditions. technical
Thirty (30) Potential Causes of Part Length Variation on Screw Machine Parts - Cribsheet #37Miles Free IIIThere are many different ways that part length can vary when
using a cut-off tool on multiple-spindle automatic screw machines. Here are some of the major reasons grouped into a
rough classification by where the cause exists.
The Cut-Off Tool Itself
• Tool is dull
• Tool is improperly ground (point angle too large)
• Tool is loose/improperly inserted into holder
• Tool blade is too thin
• Cut-off tool is hitting while in high speed
• Cut-off tool is being hit by die head or chasers
The Cut-Off Toolholder
• Toolholder itself is loose
• Toolholder is hitting work spindle
• Toolholder is hitting tool post
• Toolholder is warped or bent
• Toolholder is worn
The Work Spindle
• Spindle has end play
• Spindle has worn bearings
• Spindle carrier has end play
• Index lock pin spring is broken
• Finger holder is not adjusted properly
• Broken pins or fingers are in the finger holder
• Feed tubes are bent or beat up
• Wrong stock feed cam. Overfeeding stock will
cause bounceback from stock stop resulting in
short part
• Incorrect collet tension
The Cross Slide
• Cross slide has play
• Cross slide is loose
• Cam is loose
• Cut-off cam is too large and causes too much feed
• Cam drum is loose
Other Tools
• Stock pushed back into collet by drill
(dull drill pushing stock rather than cutting chip)
• Stock pushed back into collet by reamer
• Face-off tool is loose
• Face-off tool is dull
• Face-off toolholder is loose
• Die head is pulling stock out of collet
making the part long, quality
Plan. Do. Study. Adjust: The Engine of Continuous Improvement - Cribsheet #36Miles Free IIIContinuous improvement is of necessity in the very
DNA of our shops.
ISO 9000:2000 Section 8.5.1 reads:
The organization shall continually
improve the effectiveness of the quality
management system through the use
of the quality policy, quality objectives,
audit results, analysis of data, corrective
and preventive action and management
TS16949:2009 reads: Continual Improvement of the
The organization must define a process
for continual improvement. Manufacturing Process
Manufacturing process improvements
must continually focus on control and
reduction of variation in the product’s
characteristics and manufacturing
process parameters. The standard defined continual improvement as, “recurring activity to increase the ability to fulfill requirements.”
Recurring activity. To me, that means cycle.
Karen Martin shared a graphical representation of PDSA in her book “The Outstanding Organization.”
A Gage R&R Approach - Cribsheet #35Monte GuitarAn improperly defined gage repeatability and
reproducibility (R&R) program can drain a company
of resources and reduce the effectiveness of the
shop. ISO/TS16949:2009 states that variation
studies, “shall apply to measurement systems
referenced in the control plan.” The purpose of
analyzing your measurement system is to understand
the sources of variation that can influence the
results produced by the system. Here is a suggested
approach to applying logic to this requirement.
Measurement Techniques: Any one of three
systems to check product status, product
characteristics or process equipment. The types
of measurement techniques used within the
organization include measurement systems,
inspection systems and test systems.
1. Measurement System
A precision measurement technique used to
check product characteristics. Statistical studies
are appropriate, because an operator could alter
the reading of the equipment with an improper
method. Examples of measurement systems include
micrometers and hardness testing machines.
2. Inspection System
A non-precision measurement technique.
Tolerances are large enough to minimize the
consequences of operator error. Instrumentation
classified as an inspection system does not lend
itself to measurement system analysis studies.
Examples of inspection systems include visual,
ruler and tape measure.
3. Test System
A precision measurement technique used to
generate a reading that prompts a pass or fail
decision. Instrumentation classified as a test
system does not lend itself to measurement system
analysis studies. Test system techniques are used
predominantly in checking the equipment that
supports the process (pyrometer, PSI gage,
UV light meter).
A Gage R&R Approach
Craftsman’s Cribsheet
Monte Guitar – Director of Technical Programs
All Craftsman’s Cribsheets are available for viewing and download at short.productionmachining.com/cribsheets.
The standard’s “each type” requirement does not
mean that each and every micrometer must have
evidence of an R&R associated with it. The analysis
of each type of gage can be done by selecting
a representation of both gages and operators. A
100 percent R&R inspection for each gage would
provide no additional value. It is the system that
is being measured, not the individual gages. Any
competent auditor would understand that a massive
R&R production process based on 100 percent
inspection would add no more value and would be
statistically irrelevant.
Examine your control plan and locate the space
where you are to identify the measurement system
utilized. The “Evaluation Measurement Technique”
is the column within the control plan that references
the statistical studies requirement. The statistical
studies should be performed only on those devices
classified as measurement systems as defined above.
By properly designating the types of systems
you use in your shop, you can avoid the need for
irrelevant and redundant gage studies that add no
value. You will be justified in limiting your statistical
studies to those measurement systems cited in your
control plan.
Ra & Rz: Communication is the Key - Cribsheet #34Miles Free IIIEveryone will agree that open lines of
communication with your customers is
key to running a successful business,
and nowhere is that more evident than
in setting expectations before a job
even begins.
And Ra versus Rz as a measurement
proves it.
To review: Ra stands for average
roughness, and it is the most commonly
used criterion in North America.
“Ra is calculated by an algorithm that
measures the average length between
the peaks and valleys and the deviation
from the mean line on the entire
surface within the sampling length. Ra
averages all peaks and valleys of the
roughness profile and then neutralizes
the few outlying points so that the
extreme points have no significant impact
on the final results.”
– Modern Machine Shop
Rz is “mean roughness step,” and it is a more
common measurement parameter in Europe.
Again from Modern Machine Shop, “Rz is calculated
by measuring the vertical distance from the highest
peak to the lowest valley within five sampling
lengths, then averaging these distances. Rz averages
only the five highest peaks and the five deepest valleys—
therefore extremes have a much greater influence
on the final value.”
To create even more confusion, the Rz calculation
has changed over the years, resulting in three
different calculations.
Ra & Rz: Communication is Key
Craftsman’s Cribsheet
Miles Free – Director of Technology and Research
All Craftsman’s Cribsheets are available for viewing and download at short.productionmachining.com/cribsheets.
And converting from Ra to Rz and vice versa has no
established ratio, either. Values range from 4-to-1,
up to 20-to-1 and can be further influenced by the
part’s shape.
So, with all these variations, not only in the part, but
in the measurement criterion, what’s a part maker
to do? Establish both your criteria and the customers
up front, know what their measuring method and
equipment will be and agree on any conversion ratios
well beforehand. Last, communicate throughout
the production process so that at the end of the
project, they’re happy, and you’re paid.
For more info, read up on this topic here:
Leaded Steel Refresher - Cribsheet #33Miles Free IIIEverything old is new again. Once a staple of the
shop, leaded steel was out of fashion as new technologies
and applications called for different materials.
However, with definite savings in machinability,
cutting speed and uptime, it should still be a part of
your shop.
The Basics
• In the U.S., 12L14 is the predominant grade.
11SMnPb30, 11SMnPb28, 9SMnPb28 and
9SMnPb36 are German designations nominally
equivalent to 12L14. The Chinese version is
Y15Pb, and Japanese equivalents include
SUM22L, SUM23L and SUM24L.
• Today, leaded steel is more consistent and uniform
than in the past, when it was produced by
the ingot process.
• There is no sacrifice in mechanical properties
when adding lead to steel. Neither longitudinal
nor transverse mechanical properties are affected
by the addition of lead to steel.
Lead Facts
• In order to be dangerous to humans, lead must be
in soluble form. The lead in steel bars is a separate
solid phase. The IARC lists lead under its Group
2B category.
• Lead is not banned by the European Union’s
Restrictions of Hazardous Substances (RoHS)
Directive. As long as it is “an alloying element in
steel containing as much as 0.35 percent lead by
weight, aluminum containing as much as 0.4 percent
lead by weight, and as a copper alloy
containing as much as 4 percent by weight.”
• It is also not banned by the EU’s End of Life
Vehicles Regulations for machining purposes in
steel, aluminum and brass.
• Lead, as well as chromium, copper, manganese,
nickel and phosphorous, is required to be
reported under Sara 313 (40 CFR 372.65)
when above thresholds.
When to Use
• The use of leaded steel can increase machinability
by as much as 25 percent, leading to lower energy
and time savings.
Leaded Steel Refresher
Craftsman’s Cribsheet
Miles Free – Director of Technology and Research
All Craftsman’s Cribsheets are available for viewing and download at short.productionmachining.com/cribsheets.
• “Cutting speeds can normally be increased from
15-25 percent above those employed for the
standard grade.” – Monarch Turning Manual
• Leaded steels tend to lower cutting temperatures
and reduce wear rates on tools, resulting in more
uptime. Surface finish on leaded materials is superior
to that on non-leaded equivalents as well.
• “Lead, found mainly enveloping manganese
sulfide inclusions, promotes machinability in two
ways, possibly three. By forming a layer of liquid
lubricant at the tool chip interface, it reduces the
stress required to overcome friction. By acting as
an initiator of micro-cracks and, possibly, by
causing some liquid metal embrittlement, it reduces
the deformation stress.”– American Machinist
Special Report 790
When Not to Use
• Lead is not soluble in iron. It is therefore a
separate phase in the steel, usually visible enveloping
the manganese sulfides as tails, though
sometimes appearing as small particles.
• Lead has a higher density than iron. Because of
this, it will tend to segregate given enough time
while the metal is liquid.
• Lead has a relatively low melting point (liquidus)
compared with steel. This can mean that at processing
temperatures for heat treatment, leaded
steels can “exude” lead.
• Because of these three factors, avoid the use of
leaded steel if your parts:
–– Must be free from possible segregation
–– Cannot have potential hollows or porosity after
being exposed to high temperatures
–– Can have absolutely no visible indications of a
separate phase in the steel (commonly referred
to as “Lead Stringers”)
How Chemistry Determines Machinability: Manganese Sulfides - Cribsheet #32Miles Free IIIThe manganese and sulfur content shown on the
cert determine the volume fraction of manganese
sulfides in the steel.
As manganese sulfides rise beyond a 1 percent volume
fraction, surface finish improves, chips formed
are smaller with less radius of curvature and the friction
force between cutting tool and chip decreases
due to lower contact area.
Manganese sulfides are a separate internal phase,
shown as the dark inclusion material in the photo.
How does manganese sulfide improve the machinability?
• The MnS inclusions act as stress raisers in the
shear zone to initiate micro cracks that subsequently
lead to fracture of the chip.
• MnS inclusions also deposit on the wear surfaces
of the cutting tool as “Built Up Edge,” or BUE.
• BUE reduces friction between the tool and the
material being machined. This contributes to lower
cutting temperatures.
• BUE mechanically separates or insulates the tool
edge from contact with work material and resulting
heat transfer.
This is why resulfurized steels in the 11XX and 12XX
series can be cut at much higher surface footage than
steels with lower Manganese and Sulfur contents.
Unleaded Brass: Change Your Thinking - Cribsheet #31Miles Free IIIUnleaded brasses are not necessarily harder to
run than leaded brass. They are just different. By
recognizing and accommodating for their lack of
lead, and the resultant different thermal conductivity,
differences in chip forming and the need to up-tool
for heavier feeds rather than higher speeds, your
shop can be successful at making parts from these
newer, more challenging grades.
What are some strategies for machining the unleaded
• Increase the feed. Since we lost the lead and the
ability to run at higher speeds, increasing the feed
can help us get to equivalent cubic inches of
removal rates.
• Improve the machine rigidity. Heavier feeds
mean the machine needs to be adjusted and solid.
It also means more horsepower required, again
mandating a rock-solid setup.
• Improve the tool. Even 4 percent lead is very
forgiving of tool quality; the nonleaded grades
are the opposite, they present a number of
challenges to your tools. Improved materials,
geometry and coatings are key to machining
unleaded brasses with minimum issues. They will
require fewer replacements, helping to get more
net production at the end of the shift.
• Improve the chip management. Some unleaded
grades replace the lead with zinc, resulting in
a grade with a type III chip, stringy and birds-nest
prone. With these grades, pay attention to drills
selected, and try inserts with chip control features
to help you manage that chip.
• Deal with the increased heat. The lead helped
to reduce friction and heat in the leaded grades.
With the lead removed, you will have increased
heat generated. Carbide is more forgiving of
heat, as are tool coatings. Talk to your supplier
of metalworking fluids, chances are that they will
have a fluid that will help manage those extra
BTUs and maintain your tools’ edges.
• Change your ideas about machining brass.
Unleaded brass machines more like steel than
brass. As long as you think of it like leaded brass,
you will fight it. Instead, think of it as just a yellow
version of 1215 steel or stainless and your expectations
will be much closer to reality.
The market for precision machined parts continues
to evolve. Evolve your thinking and processing to
adjust to the realities of unleaded materials to remain
a viable and preferred supplier.
(with Lead)
(without Lead)
(Going from 12L14 to 1215) RESULT
Reduce speeds;
increase feeds concurrently
Same/similar cubic inches
removal; less heat
Faster/easier to replace tooling;
Higher grade tools; improve coatings,
increase back rake angle
Increase tool life; increase uptime/
day; generate less heat
Improve coolant;
improve coolant delivery
Increase tool life; increase uptime/day
CHIP-TOOL CONTACT AREA SMALLER LARGER Rethink cutting strategy Reduce chip thickness
DRILL CHIPS THINNER THICKER Drills – Oilhole; pecking Expedient removal of chips & heat
OD TOOL CHIPS SHORTER LONGER Adjust angles; add chipbreakers Control chips
Change tools more often;
SPC to determine when
Maintain acceptable finish;
Reduce downtime/day
What Does Ductility Mean? - Cribsheet #30Miles Free IIIThe ability of a material to deform plastically without
fracturing is called ductility. In the materials usually
machined in our shops, ductility is measured
by determining the percent of elongation and the
percent reduction of area on a specimen during a
tensile test.
Ductility is often indicated by chip control issues in
certain steels, as the chip readily deforms but does
not separate from the workpiece. This can result in
persistent burrs attached to the work.
Long necklace chips are another sign of ductile materials
in machining.
Short chips curled into “6s and 9s,” showing a bit
of heat discoloration, are typical of less ductile materials
and ductile materials machined at proper
parameters using chip breakers and high-pressure
coolant delivery.
In machining practice, we prefer materials that are
“crisp” rather than ductile. In order to successfully
deal with ductile materials, strategies such as
chip-control features on inserts, wiper-style inserts,
through-tool coolant, interrupted cuts, chip breakers
and high-pressure coolant can be considered. Dialing
in the appropriate feeds, speeds and depth of
cut are crucial too.
Three Key Factors to Understand Machinability of Carbon and Alloy Steel - Cribsheet #29Miles Free IIIThe machinability of steel bars is determined by
three primary factors. Those factors are:
1. Cold Work
2. Thermal Treatment
3. Chemical Composition
Cold Work improves the machinability of lowcarbon
steels by reducing the high ductility of
the hot-rolled product. Cold working the steel by
drawing through a die or cold rolling results in chips
that are harder, more brittle, and curled, producing
a less built-up edge on the tool’s cutting edge. The
improved yield-to-tensile-strength ratio means that
your tools and machines have less work to do to get
the chip to separate.
Thermal Treatment improves the machinability of
steel by reducing stresses, controlling microstructure
and lowering hardness and strength. While this is
usually employed in higher carbon steels, sometimes
a Spheroidize Anneal is employed in very low carbon
steels to improve their formability. Stress Relief
Anneal, Lamellar Pearlitic Anneal and Spheroidize
Anneals are the treatments applied to improve
machinability in bar steels for machining.
Chemical composition is a major factor that
contributes to the steel’s machinability or
lack thereof. Chemical factors that promote
machinability include:
Carbon - low carbon steels are too ductile, resulting
in gummy chips and the build-up of workpiece
material on the tool edge (BUE). Between 0.15 and
0.30 wt percent carbon, machinability is at its best.
Machinability decreases as carbon content increases
beyond 0.30.
Sulfur - combines with Manganese to form
Manganese Sulfides which help the chip to break
and improve surface finish. In non-resulfurized steels,
higher levels of sulfur are best for machining.
Lead - is added to steel to reduce friction during cutting
by providing an internal lubricant. Lead does not
alter the mechanical properties of the steel.
Phosphorus - increases the strength of the softer
ferrite phase in the steel, resulting in a harder and
stronger chip (less ductile) promoting breakage and
improved finishes.
Nitrogen - can promote a brittle chip as well, making
it especially beneficial to internal machining operations
like drilling and tapping which constrain the
chip’s movement. (Nitrogen also can make the steel
unsuitable for subsequent cold working operations
like thread rolling, crimping, swaging or staking.)
What is the best indicator of machinability? Chips.
Chips don’t lie.
Grinding Advice You Probably Didn't Know - Cribsheet #28Miles Free IIIHere are some reasons why you should not even
need gloves when working on grinders and
grinding machines.
Issue: “There are sharp edges or burrs that will cut
me if I hold the part. The grinding will be to remove
the burrs.”
Response: Use a file to knock down the burrs so
that you can safely hold the part for grinding, or use
leather finger cots to grip the part.
Issue: “The part gets too hot to hold.”
Response: Then you are grinding wrong. Here is a
list of some of the things that can go wrong by letting
the heat of grinding get out of control:
Remove the temper from steel. Especially on tools,
loss of temper means loss of tool hardness and edge
life. A drop from Rc63 to about Rc48 for a couple of
tenths (0.0002-0.0005) can contribute to side wear
and edge failure.
Crazing or checking on carbide can be caused by
burning during grinding.
Work hardening. Overly shiny surfaces are usually
the clue that work hardening has occurred.
Creation of untempered Martensite. Untempered
Martensite can be formed in high carbon and alloy
steels by getting high surface temperature from
grinding (red heat), then quenching in water.
Further advice:
Untempered Martensite is very brittle and
reduces toughness.
Keeping the work cool continuously while grinding is
an important aspect of preventing damage to work,
the wheel and injury from occurring to the worker.
Hogging off material and infrequently quenching is a
great way to destroy a tool by grinding. Water needs to be plentiful to absorb the heat from
grinding and is frequently used to reduce heat buildup
in the work.
Take multiple small passes and cool in between in a
large bath of water while grinding to minimize
heat buildup.
Wearing the required PPE, making sure the grinding
wheel is properly dressed and that all guards
are in place and properly adjusted are also key to
safe grinding.
Bottom line:
If the work is too hot for your fingers, it may be
approaching the danger zone regarding loss of
mechanical properties and function in end use.
Lockout Tagout: Periodic Inspection - Cribsheet #27Miles Free IIIregulatory, Providing lockout/tagout devices and ensuring that
equipment is capable of being locked out/tagged
out are key management responsibilities. Here is a
look at the requirement for periodic inspection of
your company’s Hazardous Energy Control Program
“The employer shall conduct a periodic inspection
of the energy control procedure at least annually to
ensure that the procedure and the requirements of
this standard are being followed.”
That’s pretty clear. Employer “shall” conduct a periodic
review. Have you done yours yet? Can you
show me documentary evidence of the review?
“The periodic inspection shall be performed by an
authorized employee other than the ones(s) utilizing
the energy control procedure being inspected.”
Who is authorized to perform this review in
your shop?
“The periodic inspection shall be conducted to correct
any deviations or inadequacies identified.”
Can you show me documentary evidence that you
found deficiencies and took corrective actions? Or
is your program just perfect … until the inspector
asks an employee to demonstrate and they fail?
“Where lockout is used for energy control, the periodic
inspection shall include a review, between the
inspector and each authorized employee, of that
employee’s responsibilities under the energy control
procedure being inspected.”
Can you show me the evidence of review for each
authorized employee?
“Where tagout is used for energy control, the periodic
inspection shall include a review, between
the inspector and each authorized and affected
employee, of that employee’s responsibilities under
the energy control procedure being inspected,
and the elements set forth in paragraph (c)(7)(ii) of
this section.”
I personally do not prefer tagout, but if your system
uses tagout, you must be able to provide evidence
that you comply with this requirement.
“The employer shall certify that the periodic inspections
have been performed. The certification
shall identify the machine or equipment on which
the energy control procedure was being utilized,
the date of the inspection, the employees included
in the inspection and the person performing
the inspection.”
As the lawyers say, “Duces tecum” (bring your papers).
Can you show me the documents of your
periodic inspections, covering all equipment and
all employees?
Where you cannot, you are vulnerable. More importantly,
so are those employee
Adapting the Deming Cycle to the Management Process - Cribsheet #26Miles Free IIIThe Deming Cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act) is a staple
of management in the manufacturing world. Why
does it need to be adapted for management? It was
written for management.
The Deming Cycle addresses the management and
continuous improvement of manufacturing processes.
It is a tool for managing shop-floor processes
and fostering their improvement. But how could the
Deming Cycle be updated to address management
In shop-floor processes, the inputs are known, the
tools are known, the people involved are known and
the outputs are known. What have to be adjusted in
the shop are the processes. Management does not
have the certainty of known inputs, tools, people or
even outputs for all of their managerial processes.
We live in an economic and political environment
that is best described by Volatility, Uncertainty,
Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA). That’s the acronym
the U.S. military came up with in describing its
battlefield. Given a VUCA world, planning (the first
step of the Deming Cycle) could be the first and insurmountable
failure. How can you plan for what
you don’t know?
AREIR is an acronym that stands for Anticipate, Recognize,
Evaluate, Implement and Review. This is
my proposal for how top managers can systematize
their practice of guiding their firms through today’s
VUCA landscape.
Anticipate. This is more than just planning. It is taking
an active role to identify vulnerabilities and opportunities
that are likely to emerge. These can be
in the supply chain (inputs), customer (outputs) or in
the entire market ecosystem (changes in availability
of financing, regulatory enforcement, currency and
economic crises). Who on your team is your “overthe-
horizon radar?” How much time do they devote
to this? Is it sufficient?
Recognize. Recognize means that when a change
has occurred, you must become aware of it. If your
books are not kept up to date, how long would it
take before you run deeply into debt without knowing
it? Recognize means having the right indicators
and having them on a timely basis.
Evaluate. This
means to critically
think about
the facts and
their implications
for your business.
I define critical
thinking as
recognizing and
challenging assumptions.
do these new
facts challenge
your current operational plan? If you fail to respond
to the new facts, what will be the consequences?
Critical thinking is the step where “courage” is a
key ingredient to your success. Without the courage
to recognize, challenge and make inferences,
what is the point? Evaluate is the step where decisions
are made.
Implement. Implementing the decisions made
by your team’s evaluation has you safely back in
Deming Land. Implementing is the “Do” of the
“Plan, Do, Check, Act” cycle. You already have
mature processes for management. Make sure to
use them as you implement the decisions the facts
have convinced you to make.
Review. It is imperative that every action we take is
reviewed for the possibilities for continuous improvement.
This is what makes a managerial work
cycle. What is our opportunity to improve? What if
we had those new business-changing facts sooner?
How can we make that happen? What can we do in
the future to recognize our vulnerability sooner?
The Deming Cycle is a useful tool for managing
and nurturing industrial processes. “Anticipating,
Recognizing, Evaluating, Implementing and Reviewing”
is now the order of the day for management
AREIR is not as graceful an acronym as Dr.
Deming’s PDCA. But in the volatile, uncertain,
complicated and ambiguous world in which we
manage our shops today, it gives us at least a
heads-up view—ahead of everyone else—about
what might be coming.
Do Your Parts Meet the Article Exemption Test for REACH? - Cribsheet #25Miles Free IIIFor an object to be considered an article, the following
conditions should be fulfilled:
The shape, surface or design of the object must:
1. be obtained during production and be special;
2. be relevant for the function of the object;
3. be more important for the function than the
chemical composition of the object.
Precision machined products easily meet
these conditions:
1. The shape, surface or design of the object must
be obtained during production and be special.
• The shape and many surfaces of precision
machined parts are created by stock removal
during production and are regarded as
• Precision machined products are custom
produced (special) at the order of the customer.
• They have different dimensions and technical
characteristics, as specified by the customer at
the time of the order.
• Their surfaces are developed during production
to meet the customer’s (special) dimensional and
geometric requirements.
2. The shape, surface or design of the object must be
relevant for the function of the object.
• It is axiomatic that the custom design of the
precision machined product is to create
the needed form, fit and function in order
to assure desired performance and function.
3. The shape, surface or design of the object must be
more important for the function than the chemical
composition of the object.
• Precision machined products are machined from
a variety of metallic alloys, including steel, stainless
steel, aluminum, brass and many others of
varied compositions.
• These compositions are varied and determine
manufacturability as well as influence mechanical
properties, though they are not sole determinants
of those properties.
• Without final precision machining to special
size, form and geometry, the raw material
itself would not provide the needed function
demanded by the customer.
Bottom line: Precision machined products are
clearly “articles” as defined by Regulation (EC) No
1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the
Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration,
Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of
Chemicals (REACH), and so exempt from regulation. management
Turning Nonconformances into Stronger Relationships - Cribsheet #24Monte GuitarHow can we use a nonconforming event to
solidify relationships with customers? Complete the Corrective Action Loop
1. Don’t discount the power of following up.
In our haste to complete and send a corrective
action response to a customer, we forget the additional
opportunities that these replies offer.
Our time and focus is on the process to come up
with the answer; but often the process ends with
sending the response. We are afraid to bring
this “opportunity” up again for fear that it could
open wounds. One of the biggest chances
to sell the value of your company is to demonstrate
your follow-up service.
2. Beat the customer to the eventual question
“was the corrective action effective?”
Not only will you be providing great service,
but you also will be serving as the customer’s
personal reminder that they need to “evaluate
the effectiveness of corrective actions” per
ISO requirements.
3. Be certain your sales representative understands
the steps taken to resolve the issue.
Having a complete understanding of what was
done to resolve the issue should be part of
the corrective action process. This is the prime
time for sales to meet and/or reinforce relationships
with those who produce the final product.
It is essential for sales to fully understand the
steps taken so that they can effectively advocate
to the customer.
Embrace Plant Visits
1. Ask your customer if your operations personnel
can meet and greet them.
A great way to reaffirm shop personnel’s “ownership”
of the process is to demonstrate their
importance as part of the resolution team. What
better way than to have a team member on the
customer’s shop floor see where their part is further
processed? If a trip is not practical, a video
demonstration would be valuable.
2. Reciprocate!
Get the customer into your plant to observe your
capable processes and people. Have your shop
personnel demonstrate actions taken to improve
your processes. Introduce the customer to those
who are producing their parts and allow your people
to be your most convincing salespeople.
3. The power of your skilled machinists.
Plant visits will demonstrate that ownership is in
the hands of every person who has a contribution
to the final product. It is about taking advantage
of the power of having your skilled machinists look
into the eyes of the customer and explain how they
are achieving quality. Too often this opportunity
is overlooked.
Expand Training and Awareness Perspective
1. Understand the distinction.
Think of training as the instructions provided for
the task-oriented activities of a particular function.
Think of awareness as the continual development
and education of people, both formally and informally.
Awareness focuses on educational opportunities
and the need to broaden employees’ perspective
of their job.
2. Provide more “awareness.”
Your “training” was part of the process to solve the
problem. Expand this review for your people and
educate them as to why the issue must be resolved.
Focus on broadening the employees’ job perspective
and the impacts involved with their work.
3. Provide growth opportunities:
The routine of the day is enough for employees to
reaffirm what works and hone in on what can be
done better. We can expand a person’s awareness
by teaching them about the issues that reside outside
of the machine.
When we need to respond to a nonconforming situation,
we often get caught up in the discussion of right
vs. wrong, good vs. bad and ‘is’ vs. ‘is-not.’ While this
data analysis approach is perfect for problem solving,
the process often does not take into consideration the
additional opportunities available to strengthen relationships
between operations, sales and the customer.
Inspection of Slings, Lifting Devices and RIgging Equipment - Cribsheet #23Miles Free IIIFabric and cable slings are widely employed in
shops to lift and move bundles of bar stock in particular,
as well as scrap totes, pallets and other equipment
when needed. They often carry weights as
much as 5 tons, over valuable equipment and in the
vicinity of employees.
A failed sling could cause thousands, or hundreds of
thousands of dollars in damage as well as potential
injuries or death.
• Do you know where your slings and straps are?
• Do you know their condition?
• Do you have a process to assure compliance?
Documentation, Baby! Documentation!
It doesn’t take a lot to get your shop into compliance
for 1926.251.
The key is to:
1. Be aware of the requirement.
2. Set up a simple system to track slings.
3. Execute with training to inspect before use and
to inspect monthly.
Training Tip: “It’s also critical to train your people
that slings are not to be used without affixed, legible
identification markings, required by paragraph (a)(2)
(i) of the OSHA regulation.”
Rigging equipment for material
handling shall be inspected
prior to use on each shift and
as necessary during its use to
ensure that it is safe. Defective
rigging equipment shall be
removed from service.
- OSHA 1926.251(a)(1)
Three Contributors to Plating Problems on Steel Parts - Cribsheet #22Miles Free IIIPlating difficulties are invariably related to 3
potential contributors: Inadequate cleaning,
insufficient stock removal and features of the part
being plated. The location of the plating problems
on your parts gives you a key to determining the
mechanism of failure.
• If the plating problems are occurring on both
original bar surfaces as well as on machined
surfaces, inadequate cleaning is likely the cause.
• If the plating difficulties are only on the portion
of your parts that are original bar stock surface,
insufficient stock removal is the most likely cause
of the problem.
• If the plating is fine everywhere else on the part,
except near a particular feature, retention of contaminating
fluid by a feature of the part is the
likely cause.
Inadequate Cleaning
Despite efforts to clean, some soil or contaminant
remains, interfering with the plating. The cleaning
method employed could just be insufficient for the
task of cleaning, not enough time, agitation and
so on.
Or it could be that the incorrect cleaning process is
being used. Acidic cleaners do not remove oils or
greases. Alkaline cleaners are needed to remove oils
and greasy residues from steel parts. Solvents can
be used to remove the bulk of oily residues as well.
An insufficient pre-clean can allow oils or oily residues
to remain and mask or obstruct the deposition
of the metallic plate.
If the plating problems are occurring on both original
bar surfaces as well as on machined surfaces, this
is likely the cause.
Insufficient Stock Removal
Today, most cold drawers use mechanical descaling
(shot blasting) technology to remove surface
scale from bars prior to drawing. Shot blasting does
not fully remove every bit of scale. The shot stream
abrades off most, but not every single bit of scale
on a bar’s surface. The presence of this scale could
interfere with the subsequent plating of parts by the
following mechanisms:
• It can retain metalworking fluids or cleaner,
causing localized reactions and staining.
• Residual scale will prevent electrical current flow
and prevent the deposition and adhesion of
the plate.
• It can create an air bubble by geometry as well
as perhaps a hydrogen bubble if the bath is acidic.
This bubble can form a barrier preventing
deposition/adhesion of the plate.
If the plating difficulties are only on the portion of
your parts that are original bar stock surface, this is
the most likely cause of the problem.
Part Geometry Features and Location
Many times the design of the part can be the cause
of the plating difficulties. Features including smalldiameter
holes, blind holes, recesses and grooves
can retain fluids, create bubbles or support a
meniscus which can result in localized contamination,
staining and create a barrier to deposition.
If the plating is fine everywhere else on the part except
near a particular feature, retention of fluid by a
feature of the part is the likely cause. Adding a wetting
agent to reduce surface tension in cleaner or
rinse can eliminate the problem.
If the machined surface’s plate is fine, but not the
original bar surface nor the inside of a hole, it isn’t
the steel. It’s one of the above. technical
Material Selection for Machined Product Applications - Cribsheet #21Miles Free IIIHere is a checklist for selecting materials for making parts by precision machining.
The material must meet the explicit design
requirements, regardless of ease of machining.
If the requirement involves a maximum magnetic
permeability, electrical conductivity, minimum
yield strength or other explicit physical, mechanical
or chemical property, that requirement must
be met.
þþ The material must be commercially obtainable.
It does not matter if somewhere in the world
someone has designed the “perfect” recipe for
a material for your customer’s application, if that
material cannot be purchased, legally imported
or is otherwise unavailable to you in your market,
it is no longer a suitable material.
þþ The material that is chosen must be suitable for
both your production machining process and
any additional processing that your customer
may perform on your parts after receipt (typically
cold work such as crimping, staking and swaging;
but could also include brazing, welding or
other processes).
þþ The material chosen may have implicit properties
or characteristics that could interfere with
the customer’s processing, while not affecting
your original production. Implicit in the material’s
thermo-mechanical processing are factors such
as amount of reduction in hot rolling, percent of
cold work in drawing and chemical differences
due to different melt processes or supplier scrap
charging practices.
þþ Only when you have assured that the material selected
will not have a deleterious effect on the
customer’s process, can we address further optimizing
it for our processes.
þþ There are two cost components to a precision
machined part. The first is the raw material cost;
the second is the cost to fabricate the finished
part from the raw material. Purchasing agents
concentrate on lowering the raw material cost
per pound. That can throw additional costs into
fabricating the part by causing decreased efficiency,
reducing uptime and necessitating more
frequent tool changes, etc.
þþ The material that results in the highest number of
conforming parts without creating production issues
at the end of the day is the optimum material.
It may not be the least expensive per pound.
þþ Once you arrive at a material that works for a
particular application, do not increase the variation
that your shop operators face by changing
suppliers. Even if you are purchasing from service
centers, it is important for you to determine the
original producer of the material, and any processors,
such as cold finishers, so that you can
understand and control the process path and
minimize variability to your shop and customers
on subsequent production runs.
þþ The same kind of thinking can be applied to tooling;
sure the jobber drills are cheaper per drill,
but what is the cost per drilled hole using the
cheapies, versus an engineered better-coated
tool? How many holes do you get from each?
Would a special combination tool provide even
greater savings to your cycle time or reduce variation
on tied dimensions?
þþ Economy in production must be looked at over
the entire production and use life cycle. Optimizing
for any one step, such as for machining, can
result in not only higher costs, but also possible
failures in further processing, assembly and end
use by implicitly sabotaging the properties needed
for those steps.
Accuracy versus Precision - Cribsheet #20Miles Free IIIYour quality assurance manager can put you to sleep explaining the difference
between these two terms, but you really need to know the difference.
Not Accurate Accuracy describes “close-to-true value.” Precision
describes “repeatability.”
Accuracy in measurement describes how closely the
measurement from your system matches the actual
or true measurement of the thing being measured.
It is the difference between the observed average of
measurements and the true average.
Think of accuracy as the “trustworthiness” of a
measurement system.
Precision in measurement describes how well a
measurement system will return the same measure;
that is its repeatability.
As the targets show, it is important to be both
accurate and precise if you are to get useable
information from your measurement system.
But the repeatability has two components: that of
the measurement system (gage) itself and that of the
operator(s). The differences resulting from different
operators using the same measurement device is
called reproducibility.
In our shops, we cannot tell if our measurement
system has repeatability or reproducibility issues
without doing a Long Form Gage R&R study.
Gage repeatability and reproducibility studies (GR&R)
use statistical techniques to identify and discern the
sources of variation in our measurement system: is it
the gage, or is it the operator?
Gage error determined by the GR&R is expressed
as a percentage of the tolerance that you are trying
to hold.
Typically, 10 percent or less gage error is considered
acceptable. Over 30 percent is unacceptable;
between 10 and 30 percent gage error may be
acceptable depending on the application.
Regardless, any level of gage error is an opportunity
for continuous improvement.
Toxic Release Inventory Reporting: What You Need to Consider - Cribsheet #19Miles Free IIISARA Title III Section 313 (part of the community
right-to-know regulations) is the legal authority requiring
manufacturers to inventory their use of “Toxic
Chemicals” during the calendar year and report
on “releases” of those chemicals if the reporting
thresholds for that chemical are exceeded.
Do you need to report Toxic Release
Inventory (TRI)?
1. During the previous calendar year, did your shop
have 10 or more full time employees or the
equivalent of 20,000 employee hours?
2. Do your operations have a NAICS code associated
with manufacturing 31-33 (old SIC
codes 20-39)?
If the answer to both questions is YES, you may be
subject to TRI reporting.
Next, do you have chemicals subject to TRI Reporting?
While there are over 600 chemicals on the TRI
list, here are some typically found in raw materials
in our precision machining shops: arsenic, beryllium,
chromium, cobalt copper, nickel, manganese,
lead and cobalt. Aluminum is also to be considered,
but only as a fume or dust. While we have mentioned
only metals, organic chemicals may be found
in our shops that also require reporting, such as the
degreaser trichloroethylene.
If your raw materials contain one or more TRI chemicals,
you must now determine if you manufacture,
process or otherwise use any of the TRI chemicals
above threshold quantities.
If you machine materials that contain any of the
metals or chemicals mentioned above, you are
“processing” the TRI chemical. Precision machining
operations are included under processing. The
“trichloroethylene” would probably be classified
as “otherwise use,” as would the use of tool steel
in machining.
Calculate threshold quantities for chemicals you
process or otherwise use. For chemicals that you
“process,” the threshold for non-PBT chemicals is
25,000 pounds per year. For “otherwise use,” it is
10,000 pounds per year. PBT chemicals (Persistent
Biological Toxicity) in our shops include lead when it
is NOT contained in brass, bronze or stainless steel.
The PBT lead threshold is 100 pounds. You would
calculate the thresholds for PBT and non-PBT lead
separately, if you don’t exceed the threshold for either,
do not report lead.
If the total amount of any chemical over the calendar
year exceeded one of the above applicable
thresholds, you need to fill out a TRI report. For a
quick estimate: one truckload of 40,000 pounds of
leaded steel will put you at the 100 pound threshold
for lead. Four truckloads of 303 stainless, 160,000
pounds, will put you at 28,800 pounds of chromium,
3,800 pounds above reporting threshold. 42,000
pounds of 360 brass will exceed the threshold for
copper and trigger need for reporting.
More detailed information on TRI, including a
member-only calculator, can be found on the
PMPA website: pmpa.org/knowledge-tools/
Perform R&R Studies Only Where Logical - Cribsheet #18Monte GuitarAn improperly defined Repeatability and Reproducibility
(R&R) program can drain a company of resources
and reduce the effectiveness of the shop.
ISO/TS16949:2009 states that variation studies
“shall apply to measurement systems referenced in
the control plan.” Here is a suggested approach to
applying logic to the requirement.
Measurement Techniques: Any one of three systems
to check product status, product characteristics
or process equipment. The types of measurement
techniques used within the organization include
measurement systems, inspection systems and
test systems.
1. Measurement System: A precision measurement
technique used to check product characteristics.
Statistical studies are appropriate because an operator
could alter the reading of the equipment
with an improper method. Examples of measurement
systems include micrometers and hardness
testing machines.
2. Inspection System: A nonprecision measurement
technique. Tolerances are large enough to minimize
the consequences of operator error. Instrumentation
classified as an inspection system does
not lend itself to measurement system analysis
studies. Examples of inspection systems include
visual, ruler and tape measure.
3. Test System: A precision measurement technique
used to generate a reading that prompts a pass
or fail decision. Instrumentation classified as a test
system does not lend itself to measurement system
analysis studies. Test system techniques are
used predominantly in checking the equipment
that supports the process (pyrometer, PSI gage,
UV light meter).
The purpose of analyzing your measurement system
is to understand the sources of variation that can
influence the results produced by the system. The
standard’s “each type” requirement does not mean
that each and every micrometer must have evidence
of an R&R associated with it. The analysis of each
type of gage can be done by selecting a representation
of both gages and operators. A 100 percent
R&R inspection for each gage provides no additional
value. It is the system that is being measured, not individual
gages. Any competent auditor would understand
that a massive R&R production process based
on 100 percent inspection would add no greater value
and would be statistically irrelevant.
Examine your control plan and locate the space
where you are to identify the measurement system
utilized. The “Evaluation/Measurement Technique”
is the column within the control plan that references
the statistical studies requirement. The statistical
studies should be performed only on those devices
classified as measurement systems as defined above.
By properly designating the types of systems you
use in your shop you can avoid the need for irrelevant
and redundant gage studies that add no value.
You will be justified in limiting your statistical studies
to those measurement systems cited in your
control plan.
Quality System Improvements - Cribsheet #17Monte GuitarHere are four steps to help you organize, define, simplify
and improve your quality system. These steps apply
whether you are developing a new system or just going
through the process of review and revision.
Organize by Department (Level-3):
1. Break your system down into logical departments/
locations. This makes locating information easy and
it avoids complicating a function with requirements
outside of their responsibility.
2. Create a standard set of abbreviations for
3. Create an organizational chart for each department.
4. Identify job titles on documentation (never names).
Define Responsibilities and Authorities for Personnel:
1. Determine the management-level personnel responsible
to “own” the documentation for their
department or area of responsibility.
2. Define the responsibilities and authorities for each
function listed on the department’s organizational
3. Review each responsibility and determine if it lends
itself to a work instruction.
4. Use the responsibilities and authorities document as
a mechanism for driving your training program.
5. Do not repeatedly identify “responsibility” boilerplate
information on every document.
Simplify Work Instructions:
1. Be sure there is only one sentence per action verb.
2. Stay away from writing paragraphs (nobody will
read it and it does not allow for easy reference).
3. Focus the writing on “how” things are done.
4. Do not describe “why” things are done. “Why”
detail is best to be left for the training process.
5. Work instructions are not written to the level of detail
that could help someone off the street. They are
the guiding instructions to facilitate the training process
that are made available for reference.
6. Do not write interdepartmental work instructions.
No one should write what another department or
area outside of their responsibility should be doing.
Those responsible for the work must be the ones involved
with the definition of the instructions.
Quality System Improvements
Craftsman’s Cribsheet
Monte Guitar – Director of Technical Programs 17 NUMBER
Helping Precision Machine Shops Be More Productive and Profitable
7. Before you create a new document, ask yourself
“can we modify our existing documentation?”
Improve Control:
1. Avoid duplication – documents that reside in
multiple locations increase the possibility of confusion
and are difficult to control.
2. Do not require a signature or initials on work instructions.
Approval can be shown by identifying
the owner of the documentation as the person
authorized to make changes.
3. Make documentation available electronically.
Have the “Table of Contents” for the particular
department on the desktop and “hyperlink” to
each procedure from this table of contents.
4. Make the electronic version the “controlled”
copy. Everything printed is considered to be uncontrolled
(and identified as such in the footer).
OSHA's Top Ten (10) Most Frequently CIted Standards for FY 2013 - Cribsheet #16Miles Free IIIThe National Safety Council recently released a preliminary
compilation of OSHA’s Top 10 Most Frequently
Cited Standards in the 2013 fiscal year:
1. Fall Protection (1926.501) – 8,241
2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) – 6,156
3. Scaffolding (1926.451) – 5,423
4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134) – 3,879
5. Electrical: Wiring Methods (1910.305) – 3,452
6. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) – 3,340
7. Ladders (1926.1053) – 3,311
8. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) – 3,254
9. Electrical: General Requirements
(1910.303) – 2,745
10. Machine Guarding (1910.212) – 2,701
Scaffolding, respiratory protection and ladders are
the least likely to be found in precision machining
shops. The remaining standards are key to maintaining
a safe workplace and injury-free workforce in
our shops.
Fall Protection: Pay special attention to housekeeping
on walking working surfaces. Also keep floors
and aisle ways free of debris. Winter weather conditions
can add additional risk. Compliance in this area
will only increase in priority as our workforce ages.
Hazard Communication: In December, you must
train your employees to the new Globally Harmonized
Standard for Hazard Communications. They
will need to learn new format for symbols as well as
new content. We see this as an area for high awareness
in the coming year. Link to: osha.gov/dsg/
Electrical Wiring Methods: With all of the electrical
power used in our shops, this needs to be a foundation
of our best practices. Assure grounding compliance.
Avoid and eliminate temporary wiring and
eliminate the use of flexible extension cords.
Powered Industrial Trucks: Are your people trained?
Are only trained personnel operating? Is all equipment
adequately equipped with needed safety
equipment? Is that equipment operable, or has it
been disconnected (back-up horns and strobes)?
Lockout Tag Out: Proper de-energization of powered
equipment is an area for particular attention
in our industry. We have heard of some
OSHA inspectors not being familiar with the Criteria
from the Kershaw Letter. See our blog here:
Electrical General Requirements: It has been my experience
that the most common failure under this
requirement is the maintenance of clear working
space: “Space about electric equipment. Sufficient
access and working space shall be provided and
maintained about all electric equipment to permit
ready and safe operation and maintenance of such
equipment.” 1910.303(g)(1) That means nothing in
front of panels and switches.
Machine Guarding: Actually this is the regulation
that requires “Anchoring fixed machinery. Machines
designed for a fixed location shall be securely anchored
to prevent walking or moving.” 1910.212(b)
Distortion in Heat Treatment - Cribsheet #15Miles Free IIIThere are two kinds of distortion that can result from
a heat-treating process in steel: dimensional distortion
and shape distortion.
Dimensional Distortion can take place upon heating
when steel parts change volume as they
change crystal structure. When heated parts are
quenched, their internal crystal structure changes
again. When the quenched parts are tempered,
the resulting volume change may not be sufficient
to offset the changes from the prior heating and
transformations. This change of volume can cause
dimensional distortion.
The rule of thumb that I have used for medium
carbon alloy steels is to expect a change in linear
dimensions of about 0.125% maximum. That is, one
eighth of a percent of the linear dimensions could
be the change encountered from heat treatment and
quench. It generally is less, but 0.125% gives me a
rule of thumb to evaluate capability to hold dimensions
after heat treat.
Shape Distortion (warpage) as a result of heat
treatment is a result of processing or design
issues rather than the expected phase changes of
the material.
8 reasons steel parts can warp upon quench
and tempering:
1. Rapid heating
2. Overheating
3. Non-uniform heating
4. Non-uniform cooling
5. Non-uniform agitation
6. Water contamination in oil
7. Large changes of mass and section
8. Asymmetric features
Rapid heating can cause stresses to develop in
parts due to excessive temperature gradients.
Overheating similarly lowers mechanical
properties, potentially leading to parts sagging or
creeping depending on orientation in the furnace.
Non-uniform heating also creates differences in
properties within the parts as well as leading to
incomplete transformation products or hybrid
structures upon quenching. Non-uniform cooling
allows unbalanced stresses to develop during the
quench, as does non-uniform agitation of quench
medium. Often non-uniform heating or cooling
result from the way parts are stacked or piled in
the basket or on the belt such that gradients of
temperature are created. Water contamination in oil
is difficult to figure out, but in addition to warped
parts, inconsistent hardness readings between parts
or on the same part are a sign of this. Parts with
large section changes or that have asymmetric
features are also more likely to warp than parts with
balanced and uniformly distributed mass, regardless
of process control.
Choosing steels with higher hardenability (alloys
rather than plain carbon steels), finer grain size and
paying attention to the details of loading, time at
temperature and quenchant delivery are all steps
that can minimize shape distortion, even when part
design is less than optimum. technical
How Society Drives Technical Innovation in Precision Machine Shops - Cribsheet #14Miles Free IIIThe parts that we produce in our precision machining
shops are usually embedded into other products
which are sold. Seldom are the products of our
shops sold as a final product. Typically we look at
markets (automotive, aerospace, fluid power, off
road) when we think about where our products are
used. While this marketing focus has its commercial
merit, a look at the forces driving demand can
help us all better understand our role in the evolving
world and what demands for our products and
processes are likely to look like in the years ahead.
Seven megatrends that impact precision machining:
• Mobility
• Population growth
• Globalization
• Communication
• Health
• Aging society
• Urbanization
Changes and new developments in each of these
areas can be seen in the products we produce. Decreasing
mass and size of parts can be a result of the
megatrends mobility (hand-held rather than desktop
devices) and population growth (use less material to
serve more people).
As our shops respond to meet these new demands,
we adjust through our “technical innovation.” PMPA
technical member Horn USA shared the following
graphic detailing “technical innovation.”
Precision machining involves each of the five columns
in this graphic. We employ production technology,
cam automatics through CNC Swiss; materials are
changing in the jobs we quote today compared to
those of just a few years ago. Processes today often
involve poka-yoke, mistake-proofing, as well as 5-S
and various Lean and Six Sigma process innovations
including use of Production Cells rather than “departments;”
Kanban and Kaizen may also be employed.
Increasingly electronics and software are tools for
us to use to provide better shop management and
control, as well as drivers of the component parts we
make for the computer devices that they run on.
The graphic interestingly shows that “State of the
Art” is the foundation for technical innovation. It isn’t
really innovation if the new thing you are implementing
is just catching up to yesterday’s state of the art.
When you look at the products that you produce in
your shop, take a moment to think about which of
the seven megatrends are driving demand for the
products that require that component. How are you
positioned to meet changes in those demands?
Is your shop more heavily invested or accustomed
to serving needs of any one or two of those megatrends
in particular? What does that mean for you in
terms of commercial strategy? What new indicators
should you be following based on your new recognition
of the demand drivers of the markets that your
shop serves? management
The Purpose of Work Instructions - Cribsheet #13Miles Free IIIEmployees do not work with a copy of a work instruction
in hand. So why do we have them? Here
are ideas on how to get the most value out of these
1. Training
• New employees start with the process expert
so that they can observe how tasks should
be performed.
• The trainer uses the work instructions so that
the new employee understands the basis for
which they are performing tasks.
• The trainer can reaffirm the defined steps, and
the new person can confirm the validity of
the process.
• This training process is a great opportunity for
an additional review of the content of the
work instructions.
2. Reference
• Ensure that the work instructions are readily
available in case of questions (electronically
whenever possible).
• Be sure the content of the instructions is in
a format that allows for quick reading, one
thought per bullet point.
• Do not write in paragraphs, nobody wants to
read a story.
• Write “how” the instruction is to be done
specifically for each core task.
• Avoid defining “why” the activity is performed.
There should not be a need for an expert organization
to reaffirm why core tasks are needed.
• If it is felt that “why” information needs to
be defined, write separately from these reference
instructions and make this additional
description available as “reference only”
training documents.
3. Problem Solving
• Reference the work instructions when internal
or external nonconformances are identified.
• Ask if the supporting instruction properly defines
the process; audit the instruction to
confirm proper definition.
• If the task is properly defined, the manner
by which training is conducted may need to
be revisited.
• The operator/employee cannot be held fully
accountable if the records of training are to an
inadequately defined work instruction.
4. Continuous Improvement
• The current documentation should be the starting
point for all improvements.
• Improve the work instructions through document
reviews, audits, a problem solving process
and, most importantly, with the input from the
experts who perform the tasks.
• Always improve existing documentation before
deciding to create a new document.
• Increased volume does not equate to continuous
Identifying that your work instructions serve these
four key purposes provides additional evidence that
your organization practices advanced quality planning.
It demonstrates that top management understands
the importance of ensuring that guiding
documentation is properly created, implemented,
utilized and improved upon. regulatory
Shop Safety: A Dozen Indicators to Score Your Shop - Cribsheet #12Miles Free IIIAs a manufacturing guy, I have spent a lot of time in
shops in many industries. So what do I look at when I
first visit a shop like yours? My list may surprise you.
1. Is my guide wearing their personal protective
equipment? Do you hold yourself as an example
of safety behaviors in your shop?
2. Do you hold me to the same standards for PPE
as yourself and others in the shop environment?
If not, why?
3. Now that we’re in the shop, I always look
overhead. Is there anything that can fall from
4. Then at the floor and walkways. Maintaining
footing is my next concern. Are the floors uncluttered
and free of spills? Are the aisle ways
marked? Free from debris, power cords and
other hazards?
5. Are your personnel wearing their PPE?
6. How your grinders present is how your shop will
present. Dressed? All guards on and in proper
place? Clearances on rests correct? Evidence of
side grinding? Properly secured? Water in the
cup? The grinder is a proxy indicator for your
shop; pay attention to your grinders.
7. Are machine guards in use or carelessly tossed
aside so workers can expedite whatever they
think that you think is more important than
their safety?
8. Lockout-tagout. If I see folks doing maintenance,
I am going to look for proper de-energization.
9. General housekeeping. Can I see that there is a
process in place to keep things tidy? If so, that’s
good. Can I see pride in housekeeping? If so,
that’s better. Can I see that your work areas could
be mistaken for a pharmaceutical company or
hospital despite the fact that you are cutting
metal? If so, welcome to best in class.
10. Are containers labeled? Some shop fluids properly
diluted and Mountain Dew look surprisingly
similar; the chemicals and fluids used in our
shops need to be identified so that we can properly
understand their uses and potential hazards
(and not mistake them for a beverage when we
are tired and distracted…).
11. Is there an overhead crane? If so, we need to
check your straps and slings. Having a couple
thousand pounds of steel bars overhead held by
frayed nylon is not a safe practice.
12. Eye wash stations, first aid kit, fire extinguishers
and defibrillator. Are they available? Accessible?
Are the inspections up to date?
There are many, many more potential hazards that
one can encounter in a production shop. This is NOT
an all-inclusive list. I hope that my checklist will help
you see your shop through new eyes and help you
improve the culture of compliance with your team. regulatory
Drilling Problem Checklist - Cribsheet #11Miles Free IIIProblems with drills and hole-making are getting
even more frequent as more jobs are being run in
non-free-machining steels. Here is a drilling checklist
to aid in your problem solving:
Checklist #1: What’s The Problem?
þþ Drill breaking
þþ Drill life
þþ Hole has rough finish
þþ Hole is tapered
þþ Hole is not round
þþ Mouth of hole is bell shaped
þþ Hole attributes are inconsistent between holes
Until you can correctly name the problem, you have
virtually no chance of solving it. Once you have
identified the problem, here are some best practice
questions to consider before calling for an assist:
Checklist #2: What’s Your Drilling Practice?
þþ What is drill material?
þþ What is drill coating?
þþ Is it an oil hole drill?
þþ Is there visible wear on the drill? Where? Lips?
Margin? Corners?
þþ Is there visible material build-up on the drill?
þþ Is failure random, or after a certain number of
holes have been made?
þþ Is the drill alignment correct? How do you
know? (If on a multispindle machine, do the
problems correlate to a particular spindle or
tool position?)
þþ What do the chips look like coming out of
the drill? Are they consistently like that or do
they vary?
One Craftsman’s Cribsheet is insufficient to fully discuss
how to cure drill failures and hole-making problems,
but it does give us a chance to help you better
organize and describe the situation so that you can
work on the correct problem.
1. Oil starvation can be a primary cause of many drilling
issues, including drill breakage due to chip
packing. Assure that oil is in the hole and on the
drill and not just in the neighborhood.
2. Matching the drill quality to the material and level
of difficulty is time well spent. Having the right
angle, coating and other parameters to match the
material will end up costing less per hole successfully
made than just buying a lot of inexpensive
drills and losing production time changing them
and rejecting or reworking parts.
When you call for help, having the answers to the
above checklists will help your supplier’s technical
people focus on the relevant issues and expedite
your problem solving.
All technical
Powerhouse Brainstorming to Find Root Causes - Cribsheet #10Monte GuitarBrainstorming sessions are very ineffective in their
use of time. Assembling a number of people, letting
them speak (produce) only one at a time, and the
pressure to not offend others and avoid organizational
taboos reduce the effectiveness of small
group brainstorming.
Powerhouse Brainstorming is a method that unleashes
the power of all attendees in a short amount of
time, and produces output that can then be immediately
analyzed by the group.
Powerhouse Brainstorming consists of five
simple steps:
1. Give each member of the team three sticky notes
in two different colors, red and yellow, so they
each have six total sticky notes.
2. Red notes first. Pair up team members and ask
them to stand up, and then each is to come up
with three ideas which the other records, one idea
per red sticky note. After each has contributed
and recorded their three ideas, they sit down. Collect
the six red sticky notes from each pair and set
them aside.
3. Next repeat the process, using the yellow
sticky notes.
4. After everyone has finished, ask them to put the
yellow sticky notes on the white board under
the headings of the Cause and Effect, or Fishbone
Diagram: Man, Materials, Machine and
Methods. Just the yellow notes. Keep the red
notes separate.
Powerhouse Brainstorming to Find Root Causes
Craftsman’s Cribsheet
Monte Guitar - Director of Technical Programs 10 NUMBER
Helping Precision Machine Shops Be More Productive and Profitable
5. After everyone has had a chance to post their
notes and look at what the others have posted,
ask if there is a consensus about the most likely
cause or causes. Allow the group to discuss.
If the team cannot come to an agreement about
the most likely causes to be investigated, then you
can return to the red sticky notes to mine for further
ideas. If the group has come up with two very strongly
held but different ideas, congratulations, the answer
will not be in between their points of view, but
the problem is sure to be!
Usually, the red sticky notes from the first round are
the “easy to come up with” answers, the ideas on
the yellow sticky notes from the second round are
the result of everyone thinking a little more deeply
about the problem. By putting people in pairs, politically
correct or showboating answers are avoided,
and the small grouping enforces that each pair
comes up with their share of ideas.
In less than 30 minutes you can come up with six
ideas from each participant, and have the best half of
them classified and discussed on their merit. That’s
why we call it Powerhouse Brainstorming! management
Three (3) Contributors to Plating Problems on Steel Parts - Cribsheet #9Miles Free IIIPlating difficulties are invariably related to three potential
contributors: inadequate cleaning, insufficient
stock removal and features of the part being plated.
The location of the plating problems on your parts
gives you a key to determining the mechanism
of failure:
• If the plating problems occur on both original bar
surfaces as well as on as machined surfaces,
inadequate cleaning is likely the cause.
• If the plating difficulties are only on the portion
of your parts that are original bar stock surface,
insufficient stock removal is the most likely
cause of the problem.
• If the plating is fine everywhere else on the part
except near a particular feature, retention of
contaminating fluid by a feature of the part is
the likely cause.
Inadequate Cleaning
• Inadequate cleaning describes the situation
where despite efforts to clean, some soil or contaminant
remains, interfering with the plating.
• The cleaning method employed could just be
insufficient to the task of cleaning: not enough
time, agitation, etc.
• It could be the incorrect cleaning process
being used.
-- Acidic cleaners do not remove oils or greases.
-- Alkaline cleaners are needed to remove oils
and greasy residues from steel parts.
-- Solvents can be used to remove the bulk of
oily residues.
• If the plating problems are occurring on both
original bar surfaces as well as on as machined
surfaces, this is likely the cause.
Insufficient Stock Removal
Cold-drawn steel bars are now abrasive cleaned
by shot blasting with hardened steel shot. Shot
blasting does not fully remove every bit of scale;
some scale can remain in the bottom of small pits
and depressions. This scale could interfere with
the subsequent plating of parts by the following
• It can retain metalworking fluids or cleaner from
the precleaning step and then release these
during plating causing localized reactions and
• Because scale is an insulator, it will prevent electrical
current flow at its location and thus mask or
prevent the deposition and adhesion of the plate.
• It can create an air bubble by geometry as well as
perhaps a hydrogen bubble if the bath is acidic.
This bubble could form a mechanical barrier
masking its location and preventing deposition/
adhesion of the plate.
If the plating difficulties are only on the portion of
your parts that are original bar stock surface, this is
the most likely cause of the problem.
Part Geometry Features and Location
Many times the design of the part can be the cause
of the plating difficulties.
Features such as small-diameter holes, blind holes
and recesses and grooves can retain fluids as well as
create bubbles or support a meniscus. These can
result in localized contamination, create staining and
interference with deposition by providing a fluid or
bubble barrier.
If the plating is fine everywhere else on the part except
near a particular feature, retention of fluid by a
feature of the part is the likely cause. Adding a wetting
agent to reduce surface tension in cleaner or
rinse can eliminate the problem.
If the machined surfaces’ plate is fine, but not
those of the original bar surface nor the inside
of a hole, it isn’t the steel. It’s one of the causes
listed above.
There are other problems that can arise during
plating that can be attributed to the plating
process itself, but it has been my experience that
these three categories cover most of the problems
encountered when both the machine shop and the
plater claim that “there must be something wrong
with the steel.” technical
OSHA Global Harmonized System Hazard Communication Standard Fact Sheet - Cribsheet #8Miles Free IIIOSHA announced on March 20, 2012 a final rule updating OSHA’s
Hazard Communication Standard to align with the United Nations’
Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.
Employers must start training to understand the new label
elements and Safety Data Sheets format by December 1, 2013.
How this affects you:
Employers must train workers on the new label elements and SDS
format by December 1, 2013. Chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors
and employers must comply with all modified provisions of
the final rule by June 1, 2015. However, distributors may ship products
labeled by manufacturers under the old system until December 1, 2015.
By June 1, 2016, employers must update alternative workplace labeling
and hazard communication programs as necessary, and provide
additional worker training for new identified physical and health
hazards. During this transition period, all chemical manufacturers,
importers, distributors and employers may comply with either 29 CFR
1910.1200 (the final standard), the current standard or both.
Effective Dates:
For PMPA’s GHS Compliance Fact Sheet, visit:
Or for the OSHA Guide to GHS, visit: http://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/ghs.html
OSHA Global Harmonized System Hazard
Communication Standard Fact Sheet
Craftsman’s Cribsheet
Miles Free – Director of Technology and Research 08 NUMBER
Helping Precision Machine Shops Be More Productive and Profitable
December 1, 2013 Train employees on the new label elements and safety data sheet format. Employers
June 1, 2015
December 1, 2015
Compliance with all modified provisions of this final rule, except: Distributors
shall not ship containers labeled by the chemical manufacturer
or importer unless it is a GHS label.
Chemical manufacturers,
importers, distributors
and employers
June 1, 2016
Update alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication
program as necessary, and provide additional employee training for newly
identified physical or health hazards.
Transition period
to the effective
completion dates
noted above
May comply with either 29 CFR 1910.1200 (the final standard), the current
standard or both.
Chemical manufacturers,
importers, distributors and
employers. regulatory
Correct Handling Preserves Straightness - Cribsheet #7Miles Free IIIStraightness is critical for holding position and
tolerances on today’s highly engineered medical,
aerospace, automotive and electronic parts. Here
are six ways that bars can lose their straightness.
1. Mechanical damage to an end. If the bundle is
struck by a lift truck, or if the bars catch on a rack
or table while being hoisted with the crane, this
can cause the ends of the bars that are caught to
be deflected out of the bundle and bent.
2. Improper blocking and support at mill or on
truck. Cold finished barstock, especially smaller
diameters, needs to be supported at multiple
points along its length. This reduces the possible
radius that the bundle can sag or droop between
supports. The mills that I’m familiar with (PMPA
Tech members) are pros and know the best way
to support the product and package it securely.
Reputable mills put more bands on smaller ID bar
bundles to preserve straightness when needed.
3. Truck loading and securing. The binders used to
secure the bars onto the truck can cause a permanent
deformation if they are not matched up
with the blocking beneath the bars. I saw a trucker
once use a 4-foot piece of pipe as a “cheater” to
secure the binding chains “one more notch.” You
could hear the wood underneath the bundle being
crushed. Chains are always bad news for colddrawn
bars, causing nicks, gouges and low spots.
4. Improper unloading. Putting a spreader bar on so
that there are multiple points of support for the
bundle is critical, especially with the smaller diameter
bars and small bundles. I have seen shops
unload bundles by using a single “hitch” at the
approximate middle of the bundles. This causes
a permanent camber over the length of the bars.
Jerky crane lifts rather than smooth movements
can magnify this effect.
5. Hand unloading or using a forklift. Small diameter
bars especially can be bent by the way they
are manually pulled out, lifted and carried, instead
of being placed on a table or rack. Using a forklift
can also cause bars to be bent.
6. Frequency of handling. If you are buying from
a service center, the number of times that the
material has been handled can double or triple
compared to a direct shipment from the mill.
Given that you may be buying unbundled quantities,
it is a fact that the number of lifts and
handling increases dramatically with the additional
destination of the service center, as well as in the
act of splitting the bundle. technical
Why Service Trumps Quality and Price - Cribsheet #6Miles Free IIIthe precision machining business, nobody sets
up their machines based on the quality or price of
raw material/bar stock. They set up their machines
based on your delivery (service). The same is true
for those buying parts from your machining shop.
Ability to provide your product on time and to specification
is the true determinant in the real world of
execution. That’s why there is a gap between the
dream world of business plans (what we think we can
get) and the real world of monthly operating statements
(what it is that we got).
The difference between what we think we can get
and what we got is a failure of the supplier to service
(provide what is needed as planned) the customer.
Why isn’t Quality the determining factor?
1. The quality of the product meets
requirements, or else you will get claim/
return and won’t get the order (again).
2. All suppliers have the same certifications,
technology and/or level of product provision.
Quality is a given, not a differentiator.
Why isn’t Price the determining factor?
You will meet the market price for whatever comparable
products exist for the same requirements, or
else the lowest priced comparable product will be
selected. Comparable in this case means “quality.”
Your ability to serve the customer with immediate
delivery, your ability to get to “yes” on their immediate
and most troubling requirements are the only
differentiators of any importance in the precision
machined products market. A low price six months
from now is of no impact when the need is for parts
by Friday.
The Quality Function: Value-Added Overhead - Cribsheet #5Monte GuitarHow can the quality function help an organization
make more money? By serving the operations and
sales groups. Recognize and embrace the fact that
quality neither produces nor sells. Quality is a support
function, and it can have a huge impact on the
bottom line. Serving Operations:
• Identify your role in reducing operational
expenses by allowing professionals on the floor
to concentrate on what they do best.
• Simplify systems and processes so these
functions can concentrate on producing.
• Ensure that work instructions are easily
accessible through key postings and/or by
electronic means.
• Define your document approval process without
the bureaucratic need for literal “sign-offs.”
• Maintain and post key department measurables
for the entire plant.
• Spearhead and manage your company’s
problem-solving efforts for both internal and
external issues.
• Act as a working member of the teams by
documenting the planned actions. Assist with
the follow up of actions whenever possible.
• Communicate the successes, failures and
improvements to both the participants of the
group and to the balance of the plant personnel.
• Develop relationships with all floor personnel.
Verbal confirmation of postings, customer visits,
audits and other events will reaffirm the organizational
vision and provide a sense of ownership
for each person you speak with.
Serving Sales:
• Quality can assist sales by keeping sales personnel
abreast of the continual efforts and successes of
the plant.
• Provide quick customer response to quality issues
by giving a personal call to the customer within 24
hours of notification.
• The facts will play out as to where the “fault” lies
with any problem, but it is the immediate contact
and verbal commitment to solve the problem that
will have lasting impact.
• Provide documentation to the customer in
electronic format, including statistical reporting
mandates and product certifications.
• Embrace requests for PPAP by utilizing your ability to
respond to these requests in an electronic format.
• Don’t shy away from new quality standards. If you
see that a mandate to achieve a certain certification
(for example, TS16949 or ISO-17025) is on the horizon,
prepare your system to conform today.
• If your current system is logically defined, adding to
it will not be as overwhelming as you might think.
Your leadership will be rewarded.
• The quality function, like all support functions, has a
duty to identify what it is that they can do to support
those who directly affect the bottom line, operations
and sales. Communication is the key to successful
quality support in manufacturing.
OSHA Inspection Priorities - Cribsheet #4Miles Free IIIHow does OSHA decide to inspect a workplace?
OSHA prioritizes inspections based on the
following criteria:
1. Imminent danger situations—hazards that could
cause death or serious physical harm receive top
2. Fatalities and catastrophes—incidents that
involve a death or the hospitalization of three or
more employees come next.
3. Complaints—allegations of hazards or violations
also receive a high priority.
4. Referrals—from other federal, state or local
agencies, individuals, organizations or the media
of hazard information receive consideration for
5. Follow-ups—checks for abatement of violations
cited during previous inspections are also conducted
by the agency in certain circumstances.
6. Planned or programmed investigations—
inspections aimed at specific high-hazard
industries or individual workplaces that have
experienced high rates of injuries and illnesses
also receive priority.
For more on these inspection priorities consult the
OSHA Fact Sheet: http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/
You can intelligently manage your company’s risk of
OSHA enforcement and penalties by asking yourself
these three questions and then doing something
about them:
• Do you have a process for managing safety?
• Is it followed?
• Is it effective?
As employers we have a general duty to maintain
a safe workplace. Let’s take our duty seriously. You
know the folks from OSHA will.
Additional Resources:
OSHA Field Manual: http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/
OSHA Employers Rights: http://www.osha.gov/
OSHA Top Ten Most Frequently Cited Standards:
http://www.osha.gov/Top_Ten_Standards.html What can you do to manage the
risk of such inspections?
Training and auditing the performance
of your people in
Personal Protective Equipment
Right-To-Know Hazard Communication
Slips, Falls and Tripping Hazards
Machine Guarding
Powered Industrial Trucks
Wiring and General Electrical
Five (5) Buyer Decision That Can Increase Part Costs - Cribsheet #3Monte GuitarSmall order quantities are a double-edged sword.
Minimizing inventory on hand is an important lean
concept; but often the cost of separate setups for
small runs is more expensive than holding a modest
inventory. If your parts are standard to you, getting
the economic order quantity correct can save you
money by minimizing what you have to pay for setup
costs. (And by the way, we’re working like crazy to
reduce those setup costs.)
Material selection can increase costs of production
and can mean missed deliveries if the grade is “just
not commercially available.” Engineering requirements
for the end use must be paramount, but the
material contribution to manufacturing costs needs
to be evaluated as well. The reduction in suppliers
and their inventories, and everyone’s attention to
‘lean’ means that the ‘perfect material’ for the part
just might be a 6-month leadtime rolling lot accumulation
with no assurances of delivery.
Special diameter holes are often overlooked as a
cost driver. But with every non-standard hole diameter
specified, the supplier will need to purchase
higher cost, non-standard drills, reamers and plug
gages. Lead times for specials could also mean your
parts are delayed while tools are made for your job.
Are you certain that a standard hole size won’t do
the job needed?
Close tolerances are a source of pride to the craftsmen
of the precision machining industry. Our people,
processes and engineering can assure that the
hole delivered is as specified. But if you specify
tolerances that are ‘closer than needed,’ the extra
attention, more frequent tool adjustments and
changes, and loss of productivity to make those
adjustments can add incrementally to the cost. We
can make what you need—are you asking for more
precision (cost) than you need?
Unnecessary fine surface finish, such as close
tolerances, can add higher costs when specified
unnecessarily. What is the reason for the finish
specified? While today’s modern tooling and
machines are able to provide better surface finish
than machining technology of the distant past,
for some requirements a separate grinding, shaving,
burnishing or other treatment may be required. If
there is not really a close fit, sliding fit, and there
is no movement on the surface, over-specifying
surface finish can needlessly increase your
part costs.
Many folks think that the obligation to be “lean” and
to minimize waste is 100 percent the responsibility
of the producer. The five items above point out that
eliminating needless waste is also a responsibility of
the buyer.
Ideas for Your Quality Audit Program - Cribsheet #2Miles Free IIIYou meet all of the requirements of the standard
with your audit program, but is it becoming a cumbersome
fact collection process without a whole lot
of difference or creativity between audits? Here are
a baker’s dozen of tips to take your audit program to
the next level of excellence:
1. Reaffirm the purpose of your audits with all
internal auditors.
2. Reiterate to the team that audits are not a game
of “gotcha” with fellow workers. Improvement,
not blame, is the purpose of your audits.
3. Be sure that Top Management understands that
the organization should not be concerned with
the number of nonconformances found in the
audit. When an issue is identified, it presents the
opportunity to improve the process.
4. Take digital pictures of nonconforming issues,
not people. Get a shot of the incorrect label,
the dated micrometer, the improperly staged
material, the incomplete documentation and the
outdated procedure.
5. Speak with as many people on the floor as
possible during your audits.
6. Document the names of all the people that you
speak with on a page that lists name, title and
position. This approach makes the team more
visible and it shows that the same people are not
always targeted come audit time.
7. Use the audit team as an additional means to
gauge the effectiveness of training.
8. Select a random person or two from each
department and review their training records.
Select a procedure that they have been trained
to and verify that they are performing the task in
accordance with the documentation.
9. Be more inclusive in your “Opening” and
“Closing” meetings. Insist on additional participants
from the floor. This makes more people
aware of the purpose and scope of the audit.
A sign-in sheet is evidence of participation
and a script of your review is evidence of the
awareness provided.
10. Show the pictures of the violations. Put the
photos in a PowerPoint format so that the attendees
at the closing meeting can get a clear visual.
11. Have a Top Management representative speak at
the closing meeting.
12. Restate that nonconformance issues are process,
not people issues, and the organization is committed
to ensuring the processes are corrected.
13. Use quality boards to post the output from your
audits. Include the findings, the people you
spoke with and the digital pictures. This process
bolsters the evidence of your internal communication
efforts. A visual display of these issues
provides an additional reminder of the need to
be compliant with established processes and the
need to prevent reoccurrences.
The audit is a perfect opportunity to ensure all
people in your plant are aware of the progress you
are making. Mix it up. Keep your audits fresh and
interesting for all parties involved.
Three (3) Key Factors to Understanding the Machinability of Carbon and Alloy Steel - Cribsheet #1Miles Free IIImachinability of steel bars is determined by
three primary factors: Cold work, Thermal treatment,
and Chemical composition.
1. Cold work improves the machinability of low
carbon steels by reducing the high-ductility of
the hot-rolled product. Cold-working the steel
by drawing through a die or cold-rolling results
in chips that are harder, more brittle and curled,
producing less build-up on the tool’s cutting
edge. The improved yield-to-tensile-strength ratio
means that your tools and machines have less
work to do to get the chip to separate.
2. Thermal treatment improves the machinability of
steel by reducing stresses, controlling microstructure
and lowering hardness and strength. While
this is usually employed in higher carbon steels,
sometimes a Spheroidize Anneal is employed in
very low-carbon steels to improve their formability.
Stress Relief Anneal, Lamellar Pearlitic Anneal and
Spheroidize Anneals are the treatments applied to
improve machinability in bar steels for machining.
3. Chemical composition is a major factor that
contributes to the steel’s machinability or
lack thereof. Chemical factors that promote
machinability include:
Carbon. Low carbon steels are too ductile, resulting
in gummy chips and the build-up of workpiece
material on the tool edge (BUE). Between 0.15
and 0.30 wt. percent carbon, machinability is at its
best. Machinability decreases as carbon content
increases beyond 0.30.
Sulfur combines with Manganese to form Manganese
Sulfides, which help the chip to break and
improve surface finish. In non-resulfurized steels,
higher levels of sulfur are best for machining.
Lead is added to steel to reduce friction during
cutting by providing an internal lubricant.
Lead does not alter the mechanical properties of
the steel.
Phosphorus increases the strength of the softer
ferrite phase in the steel, resulting in a harder and
stronger chip (less ductile), promoting breakage
and improved finishes.
Nitrogen can promote a brittle chip as well, making
it especially beneficial to internal machining
operations like drilling and tapping, which
constrain the chip’s movement. (Nitrogen also can
make the steel unsuitable for subsequent coldworking
operations like thread rolling, crimping,
swaging or staking.)
Sometimes Bismuth, Selenium or Tellurium may be
encountered as machining enhancers. technical

PMPA Articles from Production Machining Magazine 2021

TitleSummaryAuthorPublish Date
Cold Work, Work-Hardening and Your Precision Machining ShopThe pros and cons of cold work, work-hardening.Miles Free IIIJanuary 2021
Welcome Tom Halladay, PMPA’s New Board PresidentTom Halladay talks about H&R Screw Machine Products, his history with
PMPA and his vision for PMPA this year.
Carli Kistler-MillerJanuary 2021
Data Driven Manufacturing - Profitability GPSWhat data drives your shop? An unexpected look at the kinds of data that you
ought to be using to make your shop the most competitive and sustainable that
it can. Spoiler alert — no new sensors or IT technologies required to get the
payback from these data tools.
Miles Free IIIMarch 2021
Highest And Best Use for Operating ExpensesTo keep your business going, you need more than workforce, equipment
and materials. PMPA Affinity Partners can enhance your workforce
safety, protect your investment in plant and equipment, provide lower
costs for energy and shiping as well as expedite your quoting process.
Carli Kistler-MillerMarch 2021
PMPA Market Insight - Automotive & Light TruckAutomotive and Light Truck Industry spends $249 billion on materials, components, supplies, minerals and machinery.
It’s our industry’s largest market served.
Joe JacksonMarch 2021
What Makes a Production Machining
Shop a Production Machining Shop?
A production machining shop is one that makes the things that give us the
highest standard of living and safety and quality of life.
Miles Free IIIApril 2021
How Emotional Intelligence Helps
Maintain a Workforce Part 1
The lack of available skilled workers is an ongoing issue. It’s easier to
keep a good employee than to find one. A leader can leverage Emotional
Intelligence skills to keep the workers they have.
Carli Kistler-MillerApril 2021
PMPA Market Insight - Aerospace ManufacturingThe components that our precision machining shops make for the
Aerospace manufacturing sector provide human safety, critical functionality
and other essential capabilities to an industry in which a single
imperfection can lead to disastrous results.
Joe JacksonApril 2021
OSHA Emphasis Programs — What is on Regulator’s Radar for Precision MachiningOSHA Emphasis Programs, also called directions, directive or instructions,
impact precision machining nationally and regionally. Miles has researched
and listed the programs relevant to precision machining.
Miles Free IIIMay 2021
How Emotional Intelligence Helps Sustain a Workforce Part 2The lack of available skilled workers is an ongoing issue. A leader with
Emotional Intelligence can leverage those skills to keep the workers
they have.
Carli Kistler-MillerMay 2021
PMPA Market Insight - Automotive PartsThe precision machining industry provides the automotive parts manufacturing industry with the parts that provide the critical functionality and safety performance needed. The automotive and automotive parts markets are the largest served by our precision machining industry.Joe JacksonMay 2021
Quality — A Better Definition for ManufacturingQuality is a critical factor in manufacturing. Has the definition
changed over the years?
Miles Free IIIJune 2021
Stereotyping Generations Can Lead to Missed OpportunitiesOur workforce consists of Baby Boomers, Generation X, Y and Z.
They have grown up in different worlds. But does stereotyping our
employees by generation help or hurt our leadership?
Carli Kistler-MillerJune 2021
PMPA Market Insight - Electronic ConnectorsConsumer electronic devices is a major factor driving the growth
of the electronic connector manufacturing industry. These
connectors were 10% of the $69 Billion in consumer electronics
retail e-commerce revenue in 2020.
Joe JacksonJune 2021
Heads up on LeadThe latest information on lead in precision machining workpieces
and options as the supply chain becomes an issue.
Miles Free IIIJuly 2021
August Provides Immersive ExperiencesThe best investment in your business is in your performers. PMPA
is providing three precision machining experiences that shouldn’t
be missed: National Technical Conference, Mastery Program and
Precision Machining Technology Show (PMTS).
Carli Kistler-MillerJuly 2021
PMPA Market Insight - Medical Instrument ManufacturingIn 2020, the global market for both critical care and transport
ventilators increased by over 300%, which was a major factor driving
the growth of the medical instrument manufacturing industry.
Joe JacksonJuly 2021

PMPA Articles from Production Machining Magazine 2015-2020

TitleSummaryAuthorPublish Date
Precision Machining — What Has Changed Since COVID-19 BeganIs new technology the change? The essential workers that have been making parts that
make a difference are the real change — and it is a positive change that bodes well for
manufacturing, workforce, and our economy.
Miles Free IIIDecember 2020
Interview with Cate Smith About PMPA’s Annual Meeting 2020PMPA’s executive director, Cate Smith, shares her first experience at
PMPA’s Annual Meeting which took place in-person on October 22-25 at
Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgeville, Missouri.
Carli Kistler-MillerDecember 2020
Carbon. Carbon. Carbon - The Secret to Understanding SteelIn the real estate industry, the secret to understanding how any property transaction will be priced is “Location. Location. Location.” In order to understand steel, it is Carbon. Carbon. Carbon.Miles Free IIINovember 2020
Ventilator Crisis — Clippard Delivers for FordClippard Instrument Laboratory, Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio harnessed their talent, experience, capabilities and PMPA network to deliver 50,000 sets of ventilator parts to Ford Motor Company.Carli Kistler-MillerNovember 2020
Why You Should Consider Standard WorkStandard work is a means to reduce the number of decisions that your performers need to make in order to ensure that compliant parts are produced.Miles Free IIIOctober 2020
Beware of False Unemployment Claims Filed with Your InformationFalse unemployment claims are a reality during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a quick reference as to what to look for and how to handle it if a false unemployment claim is filed with your name.Carli Kistler-MillerOctober 2020
From Unemployment to Essential Worker - Adapt to Thrive“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” - Peter DruckerMiles Free IIISeptember 2020
PMPA’s Annual Meeting PivotThe schedule for PMPA’s Annual Meeting in Ridgedale, Missouri from October 22-25 was scrapped and revamped to address the issues our members are facing in today’s COVID-19 world.Carli Kistler-MillerSeptember 2020
Smith & Richardson — Surviving COVID-19Rich Hoster, president of Smith & Richardson Inc. in Geneva, Illinois, shares his business experiences with COVID-19 challenges.Carli Kistler-MillerSeptember 2020
Sometimes Its the SteelSometimes it can be the steel. Frustratingly, because it came in exactly as you asked. Ask better.Miles Free IIIAugust 2020
A Peek Behind the CurtainFor the PMPA members (or non-members) who wonder how things get done at PMPA National, here is a little peek behind the curtain.Carli Kistler-MillerAugust 2020
Working Smarter Not Harder
Geoff Dawson from PMPA member FANUC America talks about their history, how robots have enhanced the workspace, and about their latest automation family.Carli Kistler-MillerAugust 2020
How Do We Fix American ManufacturingIn America, many have lost sight of the fact that the object of the act of manufacturing is not merely the generation of maximum profit, but instead the creation of value.Miles Free IIIJuly 2020
Covid-19 Effects on the Manufacturing WorkforceHow has Covid-19 actually affected the manufacturing workforce? Have employer needs changed? Are the changes here to stay?Carli Kistler-MillerJuly 2020
A Commitment to Reducing Machining Times (Haimer)Steven Baier, HAIMER U.S.A.’s V.P. of Sales, shares their four core competencies, the company’s commitment to reducing machining times, and why thinking like a manufacturer has proven beneficial.Carli Kistler-MillerJuly 2020
Legacy Policies are Dead Long Life the New Policies!Growing up, I learned that necessity is the mother of invention. During the recent COVID-19 crisis, many of us found out that necessity is indeed a cruel mother.Miles Free IIIJune 2020
The Bottom Line is The By-Product of Good Work (DACRUZ Manufacturing)Victor DaCruz, owner of DACRUZ Manufacturing in Bristol, Connecticut, shares industry experiences and his perspective on PMPA.Carli Kistler-MillerJune 2020
Communicating in an Isolated WorldWith the Covid-19 pandemic, communication has never been more critial and new communication channels influence change.Carli Kistler-MillerJune 2020
Effective Associating — Better TogetherWhere do you go to make sense of the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity that can overwhelm your ability to manage your shop?Miles Free IIIMay 2020
BETTER TOGETHER Even When We're ApartThe first four months Cate Smith spent as PMPA’s Executive Director.Cate SmithMay 2020
Update on UpdateJust before the Covid-19 overtook the country, Precision Machined Products Association was able to hold its annual Update Conference.Carli Kistler-MillerMay 2020
12 Working from Home Leadership Tips12 Working from Home Leadership TipsMay 2020
W.H. Bagshaw — 150 years of Precision Machining — Manufacturing Careers, Families, and the CommunityWhat lessons can we learn from a precision manufacturing company that has thrived its way through the past three industrial revolutions?Miles Free IIIApril 2020
Effective Communication: WhoThe answer to “Who” isn’t just a name. It’s a person. Discover the different communication preferences for each generation.Carli Kistler-MillerApril 2020
Growth of a Company (Peterson Tool)Peterson Tool Company was founded in 1958 by John L. Peterson, Sr., with a $500 loan and 1,000 sq ft barn in a town outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Over 60 years later, Peterson Tool fills 40,000 sq ft between two adjacent facilities and serves 30 countries.Carli Kistler-MillerApril 2020
PMPA Advocacy and Your Bottom LineYour return on investment for PMPA’s Advocacy efforts can be seen on the increased depreciation and credits taken on capital equipment purchases, on the 100% Tariffs that were avoided on the European-sourced copper and brass products that you machine, and on the repeal of the 2.3% Medical Device Tax, the 1.9% Health Insurance Tax, and the 40% Cadillac Excise Tax on health care plans.Miles Free IIIMarch 2020
Effective CommunicationCommunication breakdown can be more than frustrating, it can be detrimental. It is always important to say what you mean and mean what you say, but in today’s world there are many channels through which to say it. So how do you choose the appropriate channel?Carli Kistler-MillerMarch 2020
Journey to Ownership (Adams Automatic)Eric Dales, owner of Adam’s Automatic, Inc. in Olmsted Falls, Ohio, earned his GED, earned his machinist certificate, started work at Adam’s Automatic, became a Certified Journeyman Machinist through an apprentice program, and bought the business in 2012.Carli Kistler-MillerMarch 2020
Workforce Development - Training Shows HowTo expand on his “Workforce Development — What We Can Do Better” article, Miles Free explains the Who, What, Where, When, Why, How and How Many of one of the four upskilling tools — Training.Miles Free IIIJanuary 2020
PMPA Tech Talks — Listen, Discover and ConnectPMPA Tech Talks covered important topics such as operations, benchmarking, metallurgy and digital security.Carli Kistler-MillerJanuary 2020
R.F. Mau Uses Conservative Approach To Grow - Member ProfileBrian Adams, fourth-generation President of R.F. Mau,
and Vice President/General Manager, Tony Gemignani,
discuss the past, present and future of the company.
Carli Kistler-MillerJanuary 2020
Meet the New PMPA President - Victor DaCruzIn October 2019, at the Annual Meeting held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, the PMPA installed its new President, Victor DaCruz of DACRUZ Manufacturing. Victor is eager to continue the hard work of outgoing president, Mike Reader of Precision Plus, Inc.Miles Free IIIDecember 2019
PMPA in Las VegasPMPA held its Annual Meeting at the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The Annual Meeting is a well-attended meeting with exciting speakers and a celebration of the year.Carli Kistler-MillerDecember 2019
Robotic Advantage Adapts to Their Customer Needs - Member ProfileNew England Tool in Manchester, Connecticut has developed Robotic Advantage to provide their customers with automated systems that integrate seemlessly.Carli Kistler-MillerDecember 2019
Are You Turning the Lights Out on Profitability?A lesson learned from a father who was a mechanic translates to precision machining; the value that the customer receives is what they pay for.Joe JacksonDecember 2019
Workforce Development — What We Can Do BetterThe causes of our workforce issues may be out of our hands, but there are definitely steps that we can take to improve our shop’s response to the issue.Miles Free IIINovember 2019
Decision By Committee Works at PMPASome committees can be a waste of time, but at PMPA, the committees are populated with dedicated PMPA members and staff who work hard to improve the precision machining industry.Carli Kistler-MillerNovember 2019
PMPA Lean Tips - Continuous Improvement Powered by Commitment and ProcessWhat would you do with a reduction of 64% in non-billable hours? PMPA visited SEPCO-Erie in Erie, Pennsylvania twice and witnessed the results of commitment to continuous improvement.Carli Kistler-MillerNovember 2019
Expanding Offerings with Max-Bar Tooling (Somma Tool)Somma Tool Company has a history of taking advantage of opportunities to help the business thrive. Recently, Somma Tool found a way to expand its product line — and market — by acquiring the Max-Bar Tool Company.Carli Kistler-MillerNovember 2019
Steel Basics — Where Do Steel Properties Come FromThe properties of the steel materials we machine in our shops are the result of a complex interplay between chemical composition, developed by hot and cold work, and further controlled by various thermal treatments to develop microstructures.Miles Free IIIOctober 2019
#PMPAstories - What’s Your StoryThere are so many stories to tell and Carli encourages PMPA members to share their PMPA professional and personal stories.Carli Kistler-MillerOctober 2019
Lean Thinking Results with Blu Balls®Although Lean thinking often results with a elimination of a step or waste, Bill Hovey, owner of Telemark CNC, LLC used lean thinking to develop a new coolant nozzle.Bill HoveyOctober 2019
Improvement Starts in the Men’s Room (Dan Ignasiak)Dan Ignasiak, owner of SEPCO-Erie in Erie Pennsylvania, wanted to improve the productivity and efficiency of his shop, so he started with the men’s room and implemented process and a new way of thinking.Carli Kistler-MillerOctober 2019
Four Questions for Customer DelightOperational Excellence, Product Leadership, Customer Intimacy — one of these rules them all. Miles Free visited PMPA member, HORN at their headquarters in Germany and returned home with four questions which can be used to determine customer delight.Miles Free IIISeptember 2019
PMPA ListServes are PowerCarli explores the power behind PMPA ListServes which provide answers, recommendations and solutions through a peer-to-peer email network.Carli Kistler-MillerSeptember 2019
Failure is Not an Option at Criterion (Tanya DiSalvo)Tanya DiSalvo and the team at Criterion Tools and Die in Brookpark, Ohio, work in “No Failure” industries. Tanya shares Criterion’s history, their vision and how Criterion meets these standards.Carli Kistler-MillerSeptember 2019
A Peek Behind the Scenes at PMPA - Miles FreeA Morning with Miles FreeCarli Kistler-MillerAugust 2019
PMPA Member Tornos Finds Success in its Industry Expertise and Cutting Edge Product DesignIn 2019, at its new headquarters in the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines, Illinois, Tornos Technologies US celebrated its 60th anniversary as one of the world’s leading producers of Swiss-type automatic lathes and multi-spindle machines.PMPA StaffAugust 2019
VUCA - We Can’t Plan - We Can PrepareVUCA, or volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, has grown to fill our business environment.Miles Free IIIAugust 2019
A Peek Behind the Scenes at PMPA - Renee MerkerRenee Merker, Event GuruCarli Kistler-MillerJuly 2019
PMPA Member Peerless Machinery Finds Success in Delivering Full-Service Solutions for CustomersFor more than a decade, Peerless Machinery has made a name for itself in the industry by challenging some of
the misconceptions associated with the used machine tool equipment market.
PMPA StaffJuly 2019
If You Had Only One NumberYou know your sales number, but do you know what it means?Miles Free IIIJuly 2019
PMPA Members are FamilyA Peek Behind the Scenes at PMPACarli Kistler-MillerJune 2019
PMPA Member JC Gibbons Manufacturing Finds Success in Diversification and Exceptional Customer ServiceToday, 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.PMPA StaffJune 2019
Surprising Development in the Top 10 OSHA Violations for 2018Every year, we review the top 10 OSHA violations for the prior calendar year in order to help our members proactively
make their shops safer and more compliant. OSHA just released its “Top 10 Violations” at the National Safety Council Congress and Expo. As we reviewed the top reported violations, we noticed a trend. A surprising trend. Let’s see if you can notice it, too.
Miles Free IIIJune 2019
The Precision Machining Industry and the PMPAOur history became the future.Miles Free IIIMay 2019
PMPA Member Horberg Industries Finds Success in its Longevity and Attention to DetailMore than 84 years ago, William Horberg founded what would become Horberg Industries, one of the industry’s leading suppliers of precision pins.PMPA StaffMay 2019
What Sparks Joy - Shop EditionHere are 31 things that spark joy for those in the precision machining industry.Miles Free IIIMay 2019
Change for the Better, Better TogetherThe PMPA executive board (with the full support of your PMPA staff) is working on a new approach to ensure we continue to provide our members with the technical support, information and networking deliverables that our team has
consistently delivered.
Mike ReaderApril 2019
PMPA Member C. Thorrez Industries Celebrates 100 Years of SuccessThe name “Thorrez” comes from a Flemish word meaning “towers,” but that is only one reason why C. Thorrez Industries chose to use medieval towers as the company logo. More importantly, the company chose a tower because it represents strength, patience, unity and the brick-by-brick mentality necessary to carry a family-owned business into its now fifth generation.PMPA StaffApril 2019
Here’s What Isn’t Making it to DigitalWhat isn’t making it to digital is an important question you should know and care about in order to sustain your business.Miles Free IIIApril 2019
PMPA Welcomes Michael Reader as its New PresidentOn Oct. 4, 2018, Michael Reader of Precision Plus in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, was formally elected as PMPA’s next president. The election was held at the organization’s board of directors meeting at PMPA’s 85th Annual Meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes hotel in Orlando, Florida.PMPA StaffMarch 2019
PMPA Member AccuRounds Finds Success in Operational Excellence and Community LeadershipAccuRounds was founded in 1976 by an Italian immigrant, Len Tamasi, when he purchased a company called B&F Swiss in Canton, Massachusetts. Wanting to focus on manufacturing highly precise round components, Mr. Tamasi changed the name to AccuRounds,PMPA StaffMarch 2019
Effective Associating Advocacy to Advance our MembersPMPA’s mission is to provide information, advocacy and networking opportunities that advance our members. Where do you turn to get guidance and clarity to make clear your responsibilities in each of these areas? Miles Free IIIMarch 2019
NTC 2019 - A Crossroads of Talent and TechnologyKnowledge is picked up from a variety of channels, not all of which are formal. At our National Technical Conference, we have prepared more than 30 sessions to provide your attendees with knowledge in a variety of areas.Miles Free IIIFebruary 2019
PMPA Member PFI Precision Machining Finds Success in Equipment Investment and Employee TrainingFor more than 50 years, PFI Precision Machining has evolved and changed to remain a steady supplier of high quality, cost-effective, close-tolerance component parts and mechanical assemblies to a number of different industries, including automotive, food processing equipment, offhighway machinery and aerospace.PMPA StaffFebruary 2019
Precision Machining Industry Prognostications - How’d We DoBefore we make our predictions for the coming year, perhaps a brief review of what we thought was ahead last year might be in order.Miles Free IIIDecember 2018
PMPA Member ABF Engineering and Machining Finds Success in its Product Quality and Internal Software DevelopmentABF found early success in manufacturing components for push-pull cables and fluid control parts. As technology advanced within certain industries, ABF learned to pivot to other industries and now offers production machining, milling, drilling and other services for industries including aircraft, automotive, consumer goods and marine.PMPA StaffDecember 2018
Understanding Steel Material Specifications on New JobsOne of the most important aspects of successfully quoting and running a new job is to fully understand the material specifications of the material to be machined and its impact on your operations.Miles Free IIINovember 2018
PMPA Member Lovejoy Chaplet Corp Finds Success in Providing Unique Product OfferingsIn 1911, Lovejoy Chaplet Corp. opened for business in the small town of Hoosick Falls, New York. The company was originally a manufacturer of foundry works parts, mostly tin shelled chaplets and hinge tubes, and had a bank of Browne and Sharpe screw machines that ran off power shafts from the ceiling of the plant floor.PMPA StaffNovember 2018
Technical Conference and PMTS Come to ClevelandOne of the premier benefits of PMPA membership, with dozens of sessions spread out over three days, is that there is no better place to be in order to learn, grow and build your career or business.PMPA StaffNovember 2018
Change in Demand - Time to Change Your ThinkingAccording to our analysis of the PMPA Business Trends Sales Index, the demand for our products has shifted steadily upwards in the market.Miles Free IIIOctober 2018
PMPA Technical Member Absolute Machine Tools Finds Success in its Flexible and Innovative Product LineIn 1988, best friends Steve Ortner and Hayden Wellman founded Absolute Machine Tools in Mr. Wellman’s father’s garage in Lorain, Ohio, with little more than a small line of machining centers to sell and support.PMPA StaffOctober 2018
Letter to a New MachinistCongratulations on your graduation! Congratulations on persevering and completing a major life milestone. Your experience with completing your education through high school bodes well for your continued success in life.Miles Free IIISeptember 2018
PMPA's 2018 Annual Meeting - Strategies for SuccessPrecision machined products industry professionals are
invited to participate in PMPA’s Annual Meeting this fall at
the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida. This is
the place for senior management and company owners to
connect and learn from one another by actively participating
in this conference.
PMPA StaffSeptember 2018
Seduction or Intention - Choosing Your Time Wisely at IMTSPMPA’s latest “Business Trends Report” shows that shops are busy working overtime and juggling their schedules to produce the almost unprecedented demand for components from our customers.Miles Free IIIAugust 2018
PMPA Member Ashley Ward Finds Success in Equipment Investment and Vertical IntegrationEstablished more than a century ago, Ashley Ward Inc. has become one of the United States’ largest companies in the screw machine industry, with five locations across the country.PMPA StaffAugust 2018
Making the Most of a Trade Show VisitThe International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) 2018 is set to take over Chicago’s McCormick Place from Sept. 10-15.PMPA StaffAugust 2018
PMPA National Technical Conference Review - Regulatory Compliance OverviewOn Tuesday morning at the National Technical Conference this year, I presented during a session discussing regulatory requirements that apply to our precision machining shops. Occupational safety and environmental compliance were the two main topics of this session.Miles Free IIIJuly 2018
PMPA Member H & R Screw Machine Products Finds Success in its Wide Customer Base and Diverse Machining CapabilitiesWhen it was founded in 1976, H & R Screw Machine Products was no more than a single Brown & Sharpe screw machine in a small building located behind the home of founder, David Halladay.PMPA StaffJuly 2018
PMPA National Technical Conference Review - Regulatory Compliance OverviewMFG Day, started in 2012, addresses common misconceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers the opportunity to open their doors and show, through a coordinated effort, what manufacturing really is and what it isn’t.PMPA StaffJuly 2018
National Technical Conference Recap - Metallurgy for the Non-MetallurgistIn today’s fast-changing world, changing materials requirements make materials knowledge essential for machinists to successfully deliver parts to spec.Miles Free IIIJune 2018
PMPA Member American Micro Inc. Finds Success in Diverse Product Offerings and Strong Customer RelationshipsIn 1953, Swiss immigrant Gerard Paroz left his home country for New York City to find work in the United States in the machine tool industry. He eventually found work in Cincinnati, Ohio, at Gruen Watch Co., where he has mastered his skills in mechanical engineering and Swiss turning technology.PMPA StaffJune 2018
When Things Go Bad, Don’t Ask Who, Ask ...In my experience, when things go bad, the first questions asked are usually, “Who did this? Who is responsible?” These are the wrong questions to ask and will actually create obstacles to conducting the root cause analysis needed to make a permanent corrective action.Miles Free IIIMay 2018
PMPA Technical Member Gosiger High Volume Finds Success in Customer Support and Offering a Niche Product LineMore than 90 years ago, Clarence H. Gosiger founded the C. H. Gosiger Machinery Company in Dayton, Ohio.PMPA StaffMay 2018
Two PMPA Members Selected for 2018 STEP AwardsTwo PMPA members were honored by the Manufacturing Institute’s 2018 STEP Awards for excellence in manufacturing.Miles Free IIIMay 2018
Letter to My Son About Lead in MachiningThanks for asking about whether or not lead is a hazardous material. I can understand your curiosity, knowing I worked with lead in the lab, in the melt shop, in the mill where probably 25 percent of our product was leaded steel for machining and in PMPA member company shops when I am asked to help them solve process problems.Miles Free IIIApril 2018
PMPA Member Cox Manufacturing Finds Success in Product Innovation, Serving a Diverse ClienteleLong before he bought the machine that laid the foundation for Cox Manufacturing Co., William Cox, Sr. worked on airplanes for the United States military.PMPA StaffApril 2018
For Those Too Busy for Customer Relationships There's An App for That ButSome of the fastest-growing disruptive technologies we see these days are online, cloud-based parts sales brokerage companies.Matthew HooperApril 2018
Effective Associating in a Changing WorldIt’s no argument that our world is changing.Miles Free IIIMarch 2018
PMPA Member Prime Engineered Components Finds Success in Employee Training and Diverse CapabilitiesA little more than 50 years ago in Watertown, Connecticut, Prime Engineered Components was only a handful of screw machines in a garage, making munitions for the Vietnam War efforts.PMPA StaffMarch 2018
Why it is Important to Build Effective TeamsEffective teams are an integral part to every company’s success.Sterling Gill IIIMarch 2018
What Does the Customer Expect of the SalespersonCustomers are the purpose of our businesses. They have the needs that we fill. They are the judge of the quality of our offerings. What does the customer expect of our salespeople?Miles Free IIIFebruary 2018
PMPA Member CJWinter Finds Success in Superior Customer Service and Quick Turnaround TimesIn 1969, Robert J. Brinkman acquired what would become CJWinter, a Rochester, New York-based company initially focused on the manufacturing of tooling and accessories for Davenport screw machines.PMPA StaffFebruary 2018
How Do We Make Training WorkCreating cohesive training that is both relevant and significant is a challenge that everyone in the training and development world faces.Sterling Gill IIIFebruary 2018
Indicators that Drive Your Shop's PerformanceThere are indicators that drive what gets managed in our business. What indicators do you follow to drive your company’s performance? Are they the correct indicators for what you are trying to achieve?Miles Free IIIDecember 2017
PMPA Member Smith & Richardson Manufacturing Finds Success in Employee Training and Equipment InvestmentEstablished in 1921, Smith & Richardson Manufacturing didn’t make its mark as a global supplier of precision machined parts until it
bought a small screw machine shop in 1986.
PMPA StaffDecember 2017
The Need for Professional DevelopmentProfessional development and staff training are important to the success of every shop.Sterling Gill IIIDecember 2017
PMPA 2018 Management Update Conference - Concrete and Implementable TakeawaysPMPA’s Management Update Conference will be held Thursday-Saturday, March 8-10, 2018, at the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina in San Diego, California.PMPA StaffDecember 2017
PMPA Membership ValuePMPA member value can be broken down into four core buckets: benchmarking, networking, savings and training.Monte GuitarNovember 2017
PMPA Member Laurel Steel Finds Success in Quality Products and Workplace SafetyIn 1967, Milton E. Harris, owner of J. Harris and Sons, was approached by a salesman from a small steel products shop outside of Orangeville, Ontario, Canada, who convinced Mr. Harris to buy the company and adopt its name, Laurel Steel Products.PMPA StaffNovember 2017
Thinking About New Employee Outreach from the Shops PerspectiveWe are all definitely faced with a challenge regarding today’s new workforce.Scott WiltsieNovember 2017
Secure Your Company’s Future with PMPA-MFGThe game-changing Manufacturing for Future Generations (MFG) training resource from PMPA-MFG is available exclusively to PMPA member companies.Sterling Gill IIIOctober 2017
PMPA Member Montague Tool and Manufacturing Finds Success in Workholding Innovation and CreativityBefore it was a 60-employee, full-service milling company capable of high-volume production across a number of different industries,PMPA StaffOctober 2017
What Machinability Means Depends on Where You AreI am often asked my opinion about a material’s machinability,
and I have found that I have to assess the person’s motivation, job title and location before I can answer the question.
Miles Free IIISeptember 2017
PMPA Member Swissline Precision Finds Success in Equipment Investment and Employee TrainingIn 1985, Dave Chenevert started Swissline Precision in a small garage in Millbury, Massachusetts, with little more than six mechanical cam-driven Swiss machines.PMPA StaffSeptember 2017
How do you Feel about Online ProgramsEducation and training have undergone many changes. What types of changes? How do these changes affect the quality of educational programming?Sterling Gill IIISeptember 2017
Technology or PeopleTechnology or people. Which is your focus? It is not a defective question. It does not have a simple answer.Miles Free IIIAugust 2017
PMPA Technical Member ZPS America Finds Success in Delivering Cost-Effective Solutions and Leading Customer ServiceAfter forming ZPS America in 2008, the company is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is the only remaining multi-spindle screw machine manufacturer that produces both newly designed CAM and CNC multispindle machines in mass production.PMPA StaffAugust 2017
Training Through German Eyes - Not What You ExpectHow do we grow? How can we compete? How do we identify our needs?Sterling Gill IIIAugust 2017
Precision Machining Industry Outlook - You Should Be Bullish TooWhat are the indicators we use to guide our outlook, planning and investment?Miles Free IIIJuly 2017
PMPA Technical Member Stainless and Aluminum Inc. Finds Success in Quality Materials and Customized DistributionYears before he started his own business from scratch, John Collins sold steel for some of the biggest metal companies in the world and had worked in mills and warehouses since 1971.PMPA StaffJuly 2017
What a Difference a Student Day Can MakeRecruiting the future workforce is at the forefront of the minds leading
our shops today.
Sterling Gill IIIJuly 2017
Expand Your Focus from Products to ServiceYour purpose is more than making products, so why isn’t your focus?Miles Free IIIJune 2017
Aneesa Muthana Receives PMPA STEP AwardPMPA member Aneesa Muthana, president and owner of Pioneer Service Inc., was one of only 100 women in manufacturing honored by The Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Awards for excellence in manufacturing in April this year.PMPA StaffJune 2017
How We Can Open Our DoorsThere is a movement growing. This movement is about opening doors.Sterling Gill IIIJune 2017
What You Need to Change to Thrive in Great TimesAll of us likely earned a Ph.D. in how to muddle through the bad times in our businesses with cost cutting, hunker down attitudes and reining in all of those “nice to have” ideas so we can stay focused on what “we need to have.”Miles Free IIIMay 2017
PMPA Member Lusk Quality Machine Products Finds Success in Superior Technology and Customer DedicationMr. Lusk was introduced to the industry through working for his brother-in-law, who owned a product line shop.PMPA StaffMay 2017
Process Content and Flexible Training ConsiderationsIf the number one challenge today facing our workforce is finding
skilled talent, then what is number two?
Sterling Gill IIIMay 2017
Transitioning to Unleaded Brass - Impacts on Precision Machined Products IndustryIn many precision machining shops, brass materials account for probably 20 to 25 percent of the base material machined.Miles Free IIIApril 2017
PMPA Member Hannes Precision Finds Success in Flexibility and Top Customer ServiceWhile Hannes Precision was established in Norwalk, Connecticut, in 1973, the company’s roots go back to the 1940s in a small town of 7,000 people in Switzerland.PMPA StaffApril 2017
Future Workforce CanadaPrecision machining experts Core Powered, Peel School District and
PMPA collaborated to sponsor a “Future of Manufacturing Technology and Talent” event for ninth to 12th grade students at the Hansen School of Technology in Mississauga, Ontario.
Sterling Gill IIIApril 2017
Titan Gilroy - Finding Your Career and Yourself Through Precision MachiningTitan Gilroy will be joining attendees at PMPA’s National Technical Conference in Columbus, Ohio, April 23-25.PMPA StaffMarch 2017
PMPA Member Mueller Brass Co. Finds Success in Capital Investment and Product DiversificationAt the turn of the century, Oscar Mueller followed in his father’s entrepreneurial footsteps and convinced his brothers to build a factory in Port Huron, Michigan.PMPA StaffMarch 2017
Kata Practice for Scientific-Thinking Skill and MindsetJoin best-selling author Mike Rother and Lean Champion Dan Vermeesch of Micron Manufacturing Co. at PMPA’s April National Technical Conference.Tyson Ortiz & Jeffrey LikerMarch 2017
Precision Plus and Gateway Technical College Forge New PartnershipLike many technical education machining and manufacturing programs, Gateway faced a difficult challenge in 2014.Bryan AlbrechtFebruary 2017
PMPA Member Eaton Steel Bar Co. Finds Success in its Longevity and Large InventoryWhen it was founded in 1953 by Albert “Al” Goodman, the headquarters of Eaton Steel Bar Co. (ESBC) was not much more than a few overturned orange crates in the warehouse of his father’s sporting goods store in Detroit, Michigan.PMPA StaffFebruary 2017
Network in NashvilleManagement Update is an important component of the multi-faceted value package PMPA offers our members. In addition to the numerous opportunities for technical networking, regulatory assistance,Bernie NagleFebruary 2017
Doug Coster to Serve as PMPA PresidentPMPA announced Doug Coster as its new president for the upcoming term.PMPA StaffDecember 2016
Using Standard Work to Best Serve CustomersIf our shop’s mission is the creation, protection and provision of goods and services to customers, what are the means that we use to do this?Miles Free IIIDecember 2016
PMPA Welcomes Sterling E. Gill III as New Workforce Development ManagerPMPA is happy to announce Sterling E. Gill, III, as its new workforce development manager.Bernie NagleDecember 2016
Recycling in the Precision Machining IndustryEnvironmental responsibility has been part of the machining industry for so long that it is difficult to recognize that our systems have always been focused on recycling and closing the loop on raw materials and scrap between our shops and our suppliers.Miles Free IIINovember 2016
PMPA Member Swissturn-USA Finds Success in Customer InvestmentSince he was 10 years old, Kenneth Mandile has been immersed in the world of screw machining.PMPA StaffNovember 2016
What Did You Do for Manufacturing Day this YearThis year’s Manufacturing Day is officially behind us, but it’s never too early to start the conversation on how to make next year’s even better.Miles Free IIINovember 2016
Is it Supply or Demand that Drives Our BusinessAs an aspiring MBA student, my one key question for my economics professors was whether it was supply or demand that was the most important factor for an organization’s business success.Miles Free IIIOctober 2016
PMPA Member Huron Automatic Screw Co. Finds Success in Strategic Planning and ReliabilityIn 1931, while the country was in the throes of the Great Depression, starting a business from scratch was the last thing on any American’s mind.PMPA StaffOctober 2016
Trends in Advanced Industries - Brookings InstituteAdvanced industries matter to you because they represent both an economic foundation and led the post-recession recovery.Miles Free IIIOctober 2016
Economic Outlook—Annual Meeting Sneak PeekSome say a recession is imminent. Some say the stock market is about to come crashing down. Either way,
there is a greater than normal amount of conflicting views about where the U.S. economy is heading.
Brian BeaulieuSeptember 2016
PMPA Member PRAB Finds Success in Diverse Product Offerings and Zero OutsourcingFollowing World War II, Peter Ruppe and Alan Bodycomb saw the need to improve manufacturing methods, specifically the removal of scrap metal, which was shoveled away by hand.PMPA StaffSeptember 2016
Manufacturing Day 2016 - Bridging the Skills GapThe skills gap is real. It is something that concerns each and every one of us.Mari KirchenbauerSeptember 2016
We Have Met the Enemy and He is UsWhy we shouldn’t blame the millennials for their lack of success at work.Miles Free IIISeptember 2016
Careers College Dollars and STEMAccording to the U.S. Labor Department, job openings have trended upward since their series low in July 2009 during the recession.Miles Free IIIAugust 2016
PMPA Member Avanti Engineering Finds Success in Quality Assurance Customer DiversityIn the early 1950s, a young Joseph Bratta and his family immigrated to the United States from Bari, Italy, in search of opportunity.PMPA StaffAugust 2016
PMPA and Manufacturing DayManufacturing Day was designed to coordinate and amplify the voice of individual manufacturers into a collective chorus of sharing opportunities, common concerns and challenges.Monte GuitarAugust 2016
A Contract Review is Your Best Assurance PolicyWe manufacture critical components for a number of advanced technologies where human safety is in the balance.Miles Free IIIJuly 2016
MecWash Systems Finds Success in High-Quality Cleaning Standards Environmental ConservationFor customers who demand the highest levels of cleanliness for their components, few companies are more sought after than MecWash Systems.PMPA StaffJuly 2016
Machining a Great Career Choice–Matt Schowalter of Machiningcareer.comMatthew Schowalter is a machining professional doing what he can to promote careers in manufacturing.Matthew SchowalterJuly 2016
PMPA Political Action Whats at Stake for your BusinessThe PMPA is active on a number of issues in Washington that can have a major impact on your shop.Miles Free IIIJune 2016
PMPA Member Astra Precision Finds Success in Diverse Product Capabilities and Strong Customer SupportIn 1995, Sal and Louise Trichilo purchased Astra Precision, a small mom-and-pop screw machine shop in Toronto, with a strong ambition to raise the company to new heights and position itself as an industry leader in a number of global markets.PMPA StaffJune 2016
PMPA’s National Technical Conference Recongnizing Major SuccessThis past April, top industry talent from North America converged in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to enjoy a conference that turned out to be one of the highest-rated in the history of the 55-year-old event.PMPA StaffJune 2016
Unknown Knowns - Rumsfeld Missed One – Will YouWhat are unknown knowns? For the purposes of this article, I want to consider unknown knowns as capabilities and process knowledge in our shops that we currently have, but could become unknown to us over the course of time.Miles Free IIIMay 2016
PMPA Technical Member PartMaker Inc. Finds Success through Pioneering CAM Software
and Excellence in Applications Support
For almost 25 years, PartMaker Inc., a subsidiary of Autodesk’s Delcam unit, has worked tirelessly to stay on the cutting edge of CAD/CAM software solutions—even when the CNC industry was still catching up to it.PMPA StaffMay 2016
PMPA Offers Comprehensive Listing for Training Opportunities in the Precision Machining IndustryPMPA’s list of training opportunities in the precision machining industry provides comprehensive resources for employers and prospective talent.PMPA StaffMay 2016
Stable Process, Stable ProfitsThe commercial demands of keeping our shops busy, machines up and running and employees working means that many of us spend just enough time to get the job to the floor, but no more.Miles Free IIIApril 2016
PMPA Member Buell Automatics Finds Success Through Employee Longevity and Creative Internal SolutionsIn July 1966, two engineers, Richard Lawton and Ernie Corts, with over 50 years combined experience working in the screw machine industry, partnered to start Buell Automatics Inc.PMPA StaffApril 2016
The Value Vocational Education Brings to ManufacturersZach came to work for NEM in January 2015, as part of a co-operative position that was developed to have a junior and senior employee share a full-time machinist position.PMPA StaffApril 2016
Manufacturing - Don’t Take it for GrantedManufactured goods are an integral part of our life at home and work.PMPA StaffApril 2016
Lean Your Customer List Part 2Customers are quick to scold and point out perceived waste in our plant operations, but when was the last time you evaluated your customers to see how much waste and lost revenue your customers create for your companies?Miles Free IIIMarch 2016
PMPA Member North Easton Machine Company Finds Success in Providing Niche Solutions Across a Variety of MarketsIn 1964, Donald Holbrook took two Brown & Sharpe cam screw machines he purchased from a dissolved machine shop and set them up in a bay of the garage of his family home in North Easton, Massachusetts, to create what would become North Easton Machine Company (NEM).PMPA StaffMarch 2016
Students - Prepare for the World of Advanced ManufacturingAmericans today still believe that manufacturing is the foundation of a strong economy.Miles Free IIIMarch 2016
PMPA Member Fischer Special Tooling Wins at Problem Solving and PerformanceIn 1957, Howard H. Fischer founded what would become Fischer Special Tooling, a machining shop which at the time was one of the few in the Cleveland area that dealt with tungsten carbide.PMPA StaffFebruary 2016
Playing the Long Game in the Halls of CongressIn coordination with our advocacy team in Washington, The Franklin Partnership and PMPA members recently spent two hectic days thrashing shoe leather in the halls of the House and Senate office buildings in D.C.Bernie NagleFebruary 2016
Lean Your Customer List–Part 1When was the last time you evaluated your customer list to see how much waste and lost revenue your customers create for your companies?Miles Free IIIFebruary 2016
PMPA Elects Harry Eighmy PresidentHarry Eighmy is PMPA’s new president for the upcoming term.PMPA StaffDecember 2015
Report from the TeamAs we near the end of the calendar year, we thought you might want to know a little bit more about what we’ve accomplished for our members at PMPA this year.Miles Free IIIDecember 2015
Technical School Aims to Spark Interest in Female Students Pursuing STEM CareersAs concerns regarding the lack of interest in manufacturing careers for the upcoming high school graduates
rise, one school is reaching out to a demographic often neglected in the recruitment process for STEM careers: female students.
PMPA StaffDecember 2015
PMPA Names Bernie Nagle Executive DirectorBernie Nagle has been named PMPA’s new executive director.PMPA StaffNovember 2015
PMPA Member Teton Machining Solutions Builds Success through Employee Ownership,
Diverse Product Line
Before it was a 40-employee operation serving the aerospace, medical and other major industries, Teton Machining Solutions was a small tool and die shop in the basement of a home in Jackson, Wyoming, near the mountains from which it takes its name.PMPA StaffNovember 2015
Energy in Your Shop - It’s More Than Just UtilitiesThe existing power plant carbon emissions rule is said to only raise your electricity bill by 6 to 12 percent, according to the EPA. Energy bills are only 2.5 to 3.0 percent of sales in our industry. So, what’s the big deal?Miles Free IIINovember 2015
Business Success - Sustainability Not Lowest PriceThe U.S. dollar is one of the strongest currencies in the world, and the Chinese have just devalued the yuan to pursue their preferred mercantilist interests exporting cheap goods to the world. Steel is cheaper than cabbage in China.Miles Free IIIOctober 2015
PMPA Member Enoch Precision Machining Owes Longevity to Wise Investments, Product DiversityPortland, Oregon-based Enoch Precision Machining’s humble beginnings date back to 1949 in the home of founder, Seth Young.PMPA StaffOctober 2015
Stark State College Increases Students Employment Prospects through Building
Industry-Recognized Credentials
Since its inception in 1960, Stark State College in North Canton, Ohio, has maintained its mission of providing regional manufacturers with students prepared with skills in the engineering technology industry.PMPA StaffOctober 2015
Not Labor Day Process Owner DayLabor Day was originally held in New York City on September 5, 1882, to show, “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations,” of the community and to host a festival for the workers and their families.Miles Free IIISeptember 2015
Henning Software Finds Longtime Success Through Cost-Effective Software SolutionsFrom the early DOS days of desktop computing to Microsoft Windows 10, Henning Software in Hudson, Ohio, has been a leader in providing solutions for small and medium manufacturing shops for more than 25 years.PMPA StaffSeptember 2015
Manufacturing Day 2015 - Bridging the Skills GapThe skills gap is real. It is something that concerns each and every one of us.Mari KirchenbauerSeptember 2015
The Real Truth About the Skilled Workforce Issue“The workforce and finding skilled people are our shop’s biggest problems.” I hear this line from almost every shop I visit. I hear it in Minnesota, Illinois, California and right at home in Ohio.Miles FreeAugust 2015
Member Kerr Lakeside Owes Longtime Success to Membership Insights and Market AnticipationNow in its third generation of ownership, Kerr Lakeside has been a staple in the Cleveland screw manufacturing industry since 1948.PMPA StaffAugust 2015
Training Your Apprentices - A Project to Prove their MettleAt the recent Horn Technology Days, I spent some time hanging out with the apprentices.Miles Free IIIAugust 2015
Problem Solving or Waiting for RescueAre your operators competent problem solvers?Miles Free IIIJuly 2015
Champion Screw Machine Engineering Focuses on Leadership in Job Training and Service NeedsChampion Screw Machine Engineering was founded in Detroit, Michigan, in 1945 by brothers John and B.J. Mascow.PMPA StaffJuly 2015
NIMS and Gene Haas Foundation Announce ScholarshipsThe 2015 GHF-NIMS-SkillsUSA Scholarship Program awarded more than $200,000 in scholarship funds to students who competed in three manufacturing events at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) in Louisville, Kentucky,PMPA StaffJuly 2015
Technically Speaking – Positive OutlookPMPA’s 54th annual National Technical Conference held in Columbus, Ohio, this past April was one of the highest rated events the association has ever conducted.PMPA StaffJuly 2015
I Can’t Imagine Being in this Industry and Not ...During the recently concluded Precision Machining Technology Show and Technology Conference, we got a chance to speak with current members about the benefits they get from their PMPA membership.Miles Free IIIJune 2015
PMPA Member Imperial Credits Product Diversity for LongevitySince it was founded by the Ver Wys family, Imperial Metal Products has been a staple in the Michigan manufacturing industry for more than a century.PMPA StaffJune 2015
Boston Centerless and Micron Present New Ways to Integrate Millennials into the WorkforceAt this year’s PMPA National Technical Conference, members Micron and Boston Centerless gave insight into their new and innovative hiring and training processes aimed to appeal to millennials entering the workforce.PMPA StaffJune 2015
Prosperity in 2015 - If You Dare2015 and 2016 are poised to be very profitable years for our shops, employees and industry, if we have the courage to manage our businesses, rather than just avoid the challenges. How will you meet the challenges?Miles Free IIIMay 2015
Fordsells JourneyFounded in 1946, Fordsell Machine Products began as a supplier of single-spindle, screw-machine parts.PMPA StaffMay 2015
PMPA Education Foundation Awards Grant to Thaddeus Stevens CollegeMichael Gammache, from Machined Products Company in Lancaster, Penn., and a 1974 Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology Graduate, delivered an $8,500 gift from the Precision Machined Products Association.PMPA StaffMay 2015
PMPA Government Advocacy What is at Stake in Washington?The federal government affects every aspect of your business.Miles Free IIIMay 2015
Regulatory Burden - Real Numbers Real ProblemThe Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy estimates the cost to comply with federal regulations amounts to $7,775 per employee for large companies, and $10,585 per employee for small businesses.Miles Free IIIApril 2015
Technical Member Hydromat - Committed to Innovative and Flexible SolutionsHydromat, in its 36th year of U.S. operations, is a well known name in the precision machining industry.PMPA StaffApril 2015
NIMS Credentials Issues Hit New Record High in 2014NIMS issued 18,947 credentials to more than 8,000 individuals in 2014 according to Jim Wall, executive director of
PMPA StaffApril 2015
Dont Tell me your Vision. Tell Me Your Values.I really don’t care about your vision. I want to know your values.Miles Free IIIMarch 2015
C&M Screw Machine Products Embraces Change to be a Better PartnerIn 1981, at age 24, Victor DaCruz and a business partner bought a small machine shop and started C&M Screw Machine Products, Inc. to primarily serve the Jacob’s Chuck Manufacturing Company where Mr. DaCruz had apprenticedPMPA StaffMarch 2015
Polygon Presents Engineering Awards at Lee Virtual SchoolMany wonder how young people today can be positively influenced to pursue engineering careers and fill the skills gap in manufacturing.PMPA StaffMarch 2015
Three Ideas to Thrive in 2015If the pundits are right and 2015 is going to be a strong year for manufacturing, what can you do to optimize your
chances for success?
Miles Free IIIFebruary 2015
Somma Tool Values Collaboration Among PMPA MembersSomma Tool Inc recently celebrated its 75th year of service in the precision machined products industry and is the leading manufacturer in the United States to offer a full line of tooling for screw machines.PMPA StaffFebruary 2015
Mini-Conference SuccessPMPA recently produced two successful regional mini-technical conferences for precision machining companies.PMPA StaffFebruary 2015

PMPA Articles from Production Machining Magazine 2010 - 2014

TitleSummaryAuthorPublish Date
Reporting of Injuries and Illnesses On-the-Job Obligation, Not a "Right"Reporting of injuries and illnesses is not a right. It is an obligation of the employee to report; and a responsibility of the employer to record, investigate and take appropriate remedial actions to retrain as necessary and to remove any hazards identified.Miles Free IIIDecember 2014
Tom Bernstein Announced as PMPA PresidentTom Bernstein, president of TORIN Products, was installed as PMPA president at the association’s annual meeting in October.PMPA StaffDecember 2014
Vision, Mission ... PurposeVision and mission statements have become about as commonplace as letters to Santa in December.Miles Free IIINovember 2014
Growing PMPA Member Kalkaska Screw Products Values Active InvolvementKalkaska Screw Products Inc. (KSP) was a machining division of an automotive filter manufacturing company until 1996 when the company decided to eliminate the division. Tedd Stewart, KSP’s founder and member of the company’s board, purchased the division.PMPA StaffNovember 2014
What is Expected of the PartAs a former steel mill metallurgist, helping customers determine the best grade of steel to use for a part was one of my favorite parts of the job.Miles Free IIIOctober 2014
Core Powered Fills Needs for Customers PMPA and VeteransCore Powered Inc., founded in 2004, serves tooling needs for companies in the United States, Canada, Europe and around the globe.PMPA StaffOctober 2014
It Takes a Factory to Make a ManufacturerPMPA helps our members intelligently manage regulatory risk by paying attention to proposals in Washington D.C. that could have a harmful effect on manufacturing and their businesses.Miles Free IIISeptember 2014
Kenneth Gronbach Presents Business Session at PMPA Annual MeetingKenneth W. Gronbach, president of KGC Direct, LLC and author of the best-selling book, “The Age Curve: How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Storm,” will present the business session of the 2014 PMPA Annual Meeting.PMPA StaffSeptember 2014
Southwest Florida Awaits: Join PMPA
at the 2014 Annual Meeting
PMPA heads to the Naples – Fort Myers area for its 2014 Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa, October 17-21.PMPA StaffSeptember 2014
Inside a Successful Manufacturing Day - Finding TalentAlbert and David Thuro, of Thuro Metal Products, are more at ease today than they were last fall, when it comes to filling the skills gap in their shop.Rachel Kerstetter,August 2014
Metal Seal Precision Invests in GrowthMetal Seal Precision Ltd. is a full-service manufacturer of precision metal components and subassemblies, located in Mentor, Ohio.PMPA StaffAugust 2014
Don’t Tell Them. Show ThemPrecision manufacturing today is far different from the dirty factories that most people remember from the days of black and white television.Miles Free IIIJuly 2014
Index Celebrates 100 Years in BusinessTogether with its subsidiary company, Traub, Index Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of CNC turning machines.PMPA StaffJuly 2014
Precision Machining Industry - Rebuilding Our BenchOur management teams are effectively associating to solve the skills gap issue in their shopsMiles Free IIIJune 2014
CSI Group Partners for Political Advocacy and Business SuccessCSI Group is a highly specialized group of companies offering unique manufacturing processes for mechanical components.PMPA StaffJune 2014
Enough of Those Txts Find Out Whats Coming NextStep away from the world of 24/7 text messages, emails, Facebook posts, tweets, voicemail and so on, and set aside a few days to reconnect with your peers. Take advantage of all that the PMPA Annual Meeting has to offer.Rob KienerJune 2014
Difficulty Machining - Shop or Office Problem?Machining difficult materials is a challenge that shops are increasingly facing these days as traditional free machining materials are not being selected for the higher performance, higher-engineered applications in technology today.Miles Free IIIMay 2014
Global Precision Parts Appreciates Knowledge Sharing Among Industry LeadersGlobal Precision Parts, Inc. was formed from a series of strategic acquisitions and incorporated under the new name Global Precision Parts in 2006.PMPA StaffMay 2014
Optional Respirators - You Need a ProgramAn employer may provide respirators and dust masks at the request of employees, even when they are not required.Miles Free IIIApril 2014
PMPA Member Chase Brass Focuses on Common Interests and Big Picture Strategies Chase Brass and Copper Company, LLC, a subsidiary of Global Brass and Copper, Inc., was founded in 1837 and is recognized today as one of the most efficient brass rod mills in North America.PMPA StaffApril 2014
Transfer Knowledge and Implement LessonsThere are so many things that people have learned through experience that are not in books or databases,” Diane Thielfoldt, cofounder of The Learning Café and PMPA National Technical Conference speaker, says.PMPA StaffMarch 2014
Four PMPA Members Honored by STEP AwardsFour PMPA members were honored by the Manufacturing Institute’s second STEP Awards for excellence in manufacturing.Miles Free IIIMarch 2014
Deal Differently with Certainty Risk and UncertaintyMaking decisions when there is uncertainty is a different process than when you know the outcomes (certainty) or the expected range of outcomes (risk) for your machining business.Miles Free IIIFebruary 2014
Technical Training for Employees Factors into Company SuccessGriffith Training provides in-plant training and consulting for quality, productivity and improvement for manufacturers.PMPA StaffFebruary 2014
Why You Shouldnt Predict Firm Metals Pricing for the Year AheadThis is the time of year when purchasing agents and buyers try to get us to agree to and commit to longterm, fixed pricing for parts, which are largely produced from various metals. Here are four reasons why you should not plan on an accurate pricing forecast for metals this
Miles Free IIIJanuary 2014
Workshops for Warriors Helps Fill the Skills GapWorkshops for Warriors, a San Diego nonprofit organization that is dedicated to providing job training to veterans at no cost to them, is the only accredited 501(c) (3) nonprofit that trains, certifies and places veterans and wounded warriors into manufacturing careers.PMPA StaffJanuary 2014
Mike Duffin Looks Back at 11 Years as PMPA Executive DirectorAfter 11 years as PMPA executive director, Michael Duffin formally retires on December 31, 2013.PMPA StaffDecember 2013
Business Development How to win bigger contractsAt the PMPA Management Update Conference, February 21-23 in Las Vegas, John Wirtz will present a business development session on winning larger contracts, or “whale hunting,” for precision machined parts manufacturers.PMPA StaffDecember 2013
Continuous Improvement - Shadow BoardsThe lean gurus talk about standardizing and setting in place, but who really has time to do that?Tom BernsteinDecember 2013
Why You Should Consider a Career in ManufacturingPart time employment in a low-paying field does not have to be your destiny. Mortgaging your future to enormous student loan debt, that may or may not assure you a job capable of paying off the loans, does not have to be your destiny either.Miles Free IIINovember 2013
Darlene Miller Brings Can-Do Attitude and Optimism to PMPA PresidencyDarlene Miller, the new PMPA president as well as the president and CEO of Permac Industries, has worked toward her dreams by following the path of opportunities that has so far lead her to owning a manufacturing company, founding Right Skills Now and becoming the first female president in the 80-year history of PMPA.PMPA StaffNovember 2013
Meet the New PMPA Executive DirectorFollowing an extensive search process, the board of directors of PMPA selected Michael T. Kobylka II as the new executive director of the association. Mr. Kobylka formally started his new role on August 1, 2013.PMPA StaffOctober 2013
PMPA Membership Provides Countless Benefits to AMT Machine SystemsLaurel Steel Limited, founded in 1967, is a member of the Harris Steel Group, a division of Nucor Corporation, and supplies cold-finish bar to a variety of customers, primarily in the precision machine industry.PMPA StaffOctober 2013
Measuring Productivity in the WorkplaceThere are thousands of ways to measure productivity. Determining the best method is the dilemma many companies face.Jeff WiltsieSeptember 2013
Small Parts Manufacturing Sees PMPA Membership Benefits from the Work Floor to the White HouseSmall Parts Manufacturing, in business since 1946, is committed to providing its customers with quality machined parts.PMPA StaffSeptember 2013
Manufacturing Day is Friday October 4thThis could be the day that sets someone on the path to a great career in precision machining. What are you doing to promote manufacturing in your area?PMPA StaffSeptember 2013
PMPA to Offer Continuing Education Units to Bring Added Value to Learning ExperiencesThe Precision Machined Products Association will be awarding Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to individuals who take part in the association’s various learning opportunities.PMPA StaffAugust 2013
Ned Hill Presents on MFG FutureEdward W. (Ned) Hill, dean and professor of economic development at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University, is a renowned speaker on manufacturing policy and economics and will present at the PMPA Annual Meeting, October 18-22.PMPA StaffAugust 2013
PMPA Will Make History in a Historic SettingThis fall, the Precision Machined Products Association celebrates 80 years of continuous operation as the industry’s trade association.PMPA StaffAugust 2013
Are our Customers the Conflict in Conflict FreeWe thought that we were in the business to make parts, with zero defects and 100 percent on time. What do you mean I have to certify that they are conflict free? How would I know?”Miles Free IIIJuly 2013
John Halladay of Vectron Finds the Right PathsJohn Halladay, sales manager at Vectron, Inc. in Elyria, Ohio, will compete in the National Senior Olympics at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio this July.PMPA StaffJuly 2013
What is the Best Indicator for Managing Your ShopWhat is the best indicator for measuring your shop’s performance?Miles Free IIIJuly 2013
Finding Skilled Talent - One Size Doesn’t Fit AllThe shortage of skilled workers in the machining trade is undeniable.Miles Free IIIJune 2013
Long-Time Member Fairchild, Examines PMPA Benefits from Local to International LevelsFairchild Auto-Mated Parts Inc., founded in 1944, crafts precision machined parts for North American companies.PMPA StaffJune 2013
PMPA Member Embraces Community EngagementPMPA Member Company Precision Plus, and CEO Mike Reader, in Elkhorn, Wis., is showing manufacturers how to engage effectively to get the word out about skills needed in manufacturing.Miles Free IIIMay 2013
Milwaukee Area Technical College Fills the GapMilwaukee Area Technical College, known as MATC, is a comprehensive technical college that offers educational and training opportunities and services to its diverse community through collaboration with partners to advance the lives of its students.PMPA StaffMay 2013
Choosing the Right Fire Suppression SystemVirtually all modern CNC machines are designed with safety in mind. However...David WilhiteMay 2013
PMPA: Business AssuranceManaging a business today demands intelligently managing a lot of risk: market risk, regulatory risk, and performance risk.Miles Free IIIApril 2013
How VIBCO Achieved LeanVIBCO is committed to quality, innovation and producing a complete product portfolio that is 100 percent made in the USA.PMPA StaffApril 2013
What Gives Your Shop TractionIt is winter, and for those of us in the northern part of the continent, issues of traction (vehicular and personal) are a daily focus.Miles Free IIIMarch 2013
Mastercam software is driven with PMPA Member needs in mindMastercam®, developed by CNC Software, Inc., is the most widely used CAD/CAM software in the world.PMPA StaffMarch 2013
Maintain to ImproveContinuous improvement begins with understanding and maintaining the capabilities of what we have.Miles Free IIIFebruary 2013
PMPA Member Solves Precision Machining ProblemsTsugami REM Sales, LLC, a division of Morris Group, Inc., was formed in 1978 and is the exclusive North American importer of Precision Tsugami machine tools.PMPA StaffFebruary 2013
Three Critical Issues for the Year AheadAnticipation is the key aspect of managerial success. Intelligent management of risk is the real job of management.Miles Free IIIJanuary 2013
PMPA Membership Provides Countless Benefits to AMT Machine SystemsAMT Machine Systems, Ltd. provides innovative, modular motion control components and systems to the automation industry.PMPA StaffJanuary 2013
A Shop Owner's List to Change the PerceptionThere are many good reasons to improve our shop housekeeping and aesthetics. Improved safety of our employees springs immediately to mind.Miles Free IIIDecember 2012
Skilled Workforce - Our Industrys Greatest ChallengeThe greatest challenge facing the precision machining industry is the lack of skilled workers,” said Mike Duffin, Executive Director of the Precision Machined Products Association.PMPA StaffDecember 2012
The Most Important ChallengeI just returned from two and a half days at IMTS, the metalworking industry’s biggest gathering in North America.Miles Free IIINovember 2012
A Look at Precision Machining by PMPA President Rob BracalenteNew PMPA President Ron Bracalente looks forward to watching the precision machining industry grow stronger and relationships form among members as well as around the association.PMPA StaffNovember 2012
First Deadline 1 Year Away for Revised OSHA Hazard Communcation StandardThere’s nothing wrong with doing the prep work now to make your shop’s hazcom training and systems more robust, and with improving documentation to establish that training has occurred.Miles Free IIINovember 2012
Why You Should Reconsider College as an Investment - Part 2While many of the recent college graduates (over 25 %) are unemployed and heavily in debt for degrees that did not assure their employment, young people with solid high school math ability can get immediate employment in precision machining.Miles Free IIIOctober 2012
Metric Machining Refocuses for Improved PerformanceMetric Machining, Inc. manufactures precision machined parts for various applications in the aerospace, automotive, commercial, irrigation, trucking and HVAC markets.PMPA StaffOctober 2012
Succession Planning - Three 15-Minute Activities to Start Preparing for TomorrowSuccession planning is planning for the future success of your business.Heather HaasOctober 2012
Why You Should Reconsider College as an Investment - Part 1College as an Investment…Really?Miles Free IIISeptember 2012
Galion LLC Looks “Outside the Box” to
Find the Next Generation of Machinists
Galion LLC is a manufacturer of precision-machined parts made primarily for the automotive, commercial and defense industries.PMPA StaffSeptember 2012
Precision Machining Industry - NAICS 332721 Fast FactsIn Washington, D.C., this industry is known as NAICS 332721: Precision Machining.Miles Free IIISeptember 2012
Back-To-School List for EmployersI remember the excitement of back-to-school when I was a child—new clothes, new shoes, maybe a new notebook and new school supplies.Miles Free IIIAugust 2012
Quality – Same or Separate Team?Is there an ISO requirement that states that the Quality Manager cannot report to the Director of Manufacturing?Monte GuitarAugust 2012
Hardinge, Inc.The company originally known as Hardinge Brothers was founded in 1890 by Canadians, Henry and Franklin Hardinge.PMPA StaffAugust 2012
Adapting the Deming Cycle to the Management ProcessThe Deming Cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act) is a staple of management in the manufacturing world.Miles Free IIIJuly 2012
Clippard Instrument Laboratory IncIn 1941, William Leonard Clippard, Jr. founded a company that sold electrical test equipment, magnetic windings and radio frequency coils.PMPA StaffJuly 2012
Why Your Expert is Your Worst TrainerA s a plant and division manager, as a worker and as a itechnician, I have always been intrigued by episodes of training that worked, or that failed spectacularly.Miles Free IIIJune 2012
State of the Industry — A Look at Precision Machining by PMPA President W. Richard HosterSince being named PMPA president, W. Richard Hoster has traveled the country, visiting association members with PMPA executive director, Michael Duffin.Richard HosterJune 2012
Is There an Editor in Your Shop?Precision machinists already know how to add value by subtraction.Miles Free IIIJune 2012
Why Material Performance Can Be DifferentDifferences in material machining performance is probably the number one issue that skilled operators face on the job.Miles Free IIIMay 2012
Polygon Solutions, Inc.Polygon Solutions, Inc. designs, manufactures and distributes precision rotary (wobble) broaching tools and tool holders.PMPA StaffMay 2012
SAE and F1 in Schools Making a Difference“F1 in Schools” is the Formula One Technology Challenge presented to middle school and high school students.Miles Free IIIMay 2012
The Importance of Recognizing and Addressing GapsIn business, as in life, some gaps are inconsequential while others are world-altering.Heather Haas,May 2012
What's The Right Strategy?What’s the right strategy? What is Strategy anyway?Miles Free IIIApril 2012
American Turned ProductsAmerican Turned Products (ATP) is a high-volume, contract manufacturer specializing in precision turning and assembly of complex components.PMPA StaffApril 2012
Skills Development for Precision MachninistsThe precision machining industry relies on the best and the brightest people in manufacturing to produce safety-critical parts for numerous applications.Monte GuitarMarch 2012
Lester Detterbeck Enterprises LtdIn the precision machining industry, the Detterbeck name goes back to the days of overhead belt-drive screw machines.PMPA StaffMarch 2012
Ditch The BookDitch the book. Which book? That “big honkin’ binder” out in the shop with all of your Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs).Miles Free IIIMarch 2012
Setup Reduction - One Discipline You Must MasterSetup reduction is the gold standard for continuous improvement.Jeff WiltsieFebruary 2012
Speaker Profile - Art Turock“Competence is Not an Option” and “Developing Good Managers into Great Leaders” are the two presentations that Art Turock will make at the 2012 PMPA Management Update Conference.PMPA StaffFebruary 2012
How Do You Calibrate Your BusinessEvery precision machining shop has a calibration system to assure that its products are dimensionally compliant and meet the expectations of its customers.Miles Free IIIFebruary 2012
Reducing Variation - The Only Way to Reduce CostHidden variation is what increases your costs.Miles Free IIIJanuary 2012
Great Lakes Automation Services, Inc.Great Lakes Automation Services, Inc. (GLASi) was established just ten years ago, but its roots go back much farther.PMPA StaffJanuary 2012
Keeping Your New Years ResolutionEvery year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, stop smoking, spend more time with family… and the list goes on.Rob KienerJanuary 2012
Right Skills Now Provides Fast-Track training for Skilled Manufacturing JobsAccording to a Skills Gap study by the Manufacturing Institute, more than 80 percent of U.S. manufacturers can’t find qualified people for the nearly 600,000 skilled production jobs that are currently unfilled.Miles Free IIIDecember 2011
The Economy - Where Do We Go From HereFebruary’s PMPA Management Update Conference in San Diego will feature Howard C. Fletcher III as the keynote speaker.Rob KienerDecember 2011
For Minor Servicing and Maintenance Lockout is Not MandatoryPMPA member companies are engaged in making parts that require precision machining. This necessitates multiple, routine adjustments throughout a shift.Julie O’KeefeDecember 2011
LinkedIn - Are You Missing a Golden Opportunity to NetworkIf you’re not on LinkedIn, you should be. And if you are, when was the last time you updated your page?Miles Free IIIDecember 2011
Five Keys to Success for the Precision Machining IndustryThe precision machining industry has several unique characteristics that make it a relatively steady performer in the North American economy.Miles Free IIINovember 2011
PMPA Member Profile - Corey Steel CompanyCorey Steel Company is a leading manufacturer of cold-finished steel bar.PMPA StaffNovember 2011
Training and Technology - Time Money QualityWhen I was a student, I really liked when an equation just made sense.Miles Free IIINovember 2011
Indicators Looking Windshield or Rear View MirrorIn recent months, we have seen wild swings in equity markets — government deals that fail to meaningfully address the fundamental problems of runaway spending, downgrade of Federal debt and global debt crises.Miles Free IIIOctober 2011
Why ISO?Are you considering registering your quality system?Monte GuitarOctober 2011
Pedestal Grinders OSHA and YouOSHA cited an Ohio company for 15 safety violations and fined that company $159,600 after a pedestal grinder operator was killed.Miles Free IIIOctober 2011
Lyn-Tron Inc.Lyn-Tron, Inc. provides precision-engineered electronic and connector hardware to the computer and electronics industries, as well as custom-machined parts to a variety of markets.PMPA StaffOctober 2011
Investing in AnticipationI was intrigued by a recent discussion on the PMPA’s Manufacturing Listserve. It involved whether programming for machines is best handled by operators on the shop floor or “from the office” by the engineers or programmers.Miles Free IIISeptember 2011
PMPA Tools for Industry - Leading ShopsThe Precision Machined Products Association’s brand promise is offering “Tools You Can Use” to its more than 450 member companies.PMPA StaffSeptember 2011
PMPA Member Profile - Marubeni Citizen-CincomMarubeni Citizen-Cincom (MCC) was founded in 1984 to market and service the company’s line of Swisstype turning centers.PMPA StaffSeptember 2011
The Importance Of Documenting Employee Safety ViolationsThe burden is on the employer to prove enforcement of the rules. Simply showing that the employer provided training is not enough.Miles Free IIIAugust 2011
How the PI Helps Vanamatic Develop and Retain the Best EmployeesPMPA members are often faced with the problems of finding and retaining skilled machinists.PMPA StaffAugust 2011
Economist William Strauss to Look at 2012 Economy at Annual MeetingJust how will the economy expand in 2012? William A. Strauss will shed some light on that question and others with his presentation “2012 Economic Outlook.”PMPA StaffAugust 2011
Apprentices - Sustaining Our IndustryThere is a lot of doom-andgloom being bandied about concerning manufacturing, particularly here in North America.Miles Free IIIJuly 2011
Magic Bullets in Precision MachiningAs a supplier of steel bars to machinists for more than 30 years of my professional career, I was often invited to help shops troubleshoot or problem-solve.Miles Free IIIJuly 2011
Where Skills and Talent Come FromRecently, I had a chance to see the future of our craft when I was asked to serve as a judge of the Pennsylvania State Championship of the Formula OneTM Technology ChallengeMiles Free IIIJune 2011
PMPA Member Profile - Prince Industries Inc.Prince Industries, Inc. is a globally recognized premier manufacturer of precision machined and sheet metal fabricated components.PMPA StaffJune 2011
Three Commitments for Sustainable SuccessWe have all learned that the capability to make things is not what drives the market for our products.Miles Free IIIMay 2011
PMPA Member Profile - Horn USA Inc.Horn USA, Inc. is the United States representative of Hartmetall-Werkzeugfabrik Paul Horn GmbH, which was founded in Germany in 1969.PMPA StaffMay 2011
Three Reasons Why Mechanical Properties of Cold-Drawn Steel Can VaryWhy do the mechanical properties on different shipments of the same size and grade of steel vary so much?Miles Free IIIMay 2011
Strategy. Execution. High Performing Teams.The Corps Group is excited to be a part of the 2011 Precision Machined Products Association’s (PMPA) National Technical Conference.PMPA StaffApril 2011
PMPA - What's In It For You?Ask PMPA members what they value about their PMPA membership and the first thing they are likely to tell you about is “Networking.”Miles Free IIIApril 2011
OSHA Noise Reinterpretation Follow-upIn the January issue of Production Machining, the PMPA section began with an article explaining the OSHA proposed reinterpretation of the definition of “feasible” in the Noise regulations.Miles Free IIIApril 2011
50th Annual PMPA National Technical ConferenceGrow the skills of your technical,
quality and management personnel.
PMPA’s Technical Program Committee has designed a program that will continue the world-class training opportunities of five decades of technical conferences.
PMPA StaffMarch 2011
PMPA Retains ITR to Provide Members with Critical Trend DataThe Precision Machined Products Association recently retained the services of the Institute for Trend Research (ITR).PMPA StaffMarch 2011
Adding Value, Creating ValueAdding value is the goal of all of us in a business.Miles Free IIIMarch 2011
OSHA Noise Reinterpretation Issues - Time For FactsYour data is needed by PMPA to help us provide facts regarding the impact of a proposed change for the precision machining industry.Miles Free IIIFebruary 2011
Strive to be OrdinaryIn a world where “ordinary suppliers are 100 percent on time and provide Zero Defects,” how can your precision machining shop become extraordinary?Miles Free IIIFebruary 2011
Be a Part of the Magic – PMPA's Management UpdatePMPA prides itself on offering “Tools You Can Use,” which is exactly what you’ll receive when you attend the Management Update Conference later this month.Rob KienerFebruary 2011
Three Choices for the Year AheadHow will you face 2011?Miles Free IIIJanuary 2011
Predictive Index - Learn How to Make Better Hiring Decisions and Develop High Performance Sales TeamIn November, PMPA began partnering with PI Worldwide to help solve the problem of finding and retaining skilled machinists.PMPA StaffJanuary 2011
2011 — The Year AheadWhat will success look like for the North American Precision Machining Industry in 2011?Miles Free IIIDecember 2010
Bring Your Set of Ears to Orlando and Return Home with Plenty of MagicThe PMPA Management Update Conference returns to the Walt Disney World Contemporary Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., February 25-27, 2011.Rob KienerDecember 2010
Four Common Mistakes When Making Process ChangesEngineering and process changes are a fact of life in our precision machining shops.Miles Free IIINovember 2010
A Few Words From New PMPA President – Jeff OhlemacherJeff Ohlemacher was named the new president of PMPA at last month’s Annual Meeting.PMPA StaffNovember 2010
PMPA Adds New Safety Tolls You Can Use - ASH, Inc.PMPA is proud to announce the addition of American Safety and Health Management Consultants, Inc.Miles Free IIIOctober 2010
PMPA Member Profile - Chase Brass Copper Co. LLCChase Brass & Copper Company traces its origins to a business established in 1837 in Waterbury, Connecticut.PMPA StaffOctober 2010
PMPA Government Affairs Committee Chairan Urges Members to VotePlease go to the polls next month and vote. That is the message from Roger Bassett, chairman of the PMPA Government Affairs Committee.PMPA StaffOctober 2010
PMPAs Social Networking—A Tool You Can UseIn just one year, we can document more than 65,000 page views on PMPA’s blog, SpeakingOfPrecision.com.Miles Free IIISeptember 2010
Corrective vs. Preventive - What IS the Difference?When thinking about implementation of requirements, do not think about compliance, but about usefulness.Monte GuitarSeptember 2010
The Franklin Partnership – PMPAs "Boots on the Ground" in Washington D.CThe Precision Machined Products Association has a long history of advocacy in Washington, D.C.PMPA StaffAugust 2010
The Only QuestionThere are a lot of questions that we need to answer every day.Miles Free IIIJuly 2020
PMPA Member Profile - Chicago Extruded Metals CoChicago Extruded Metals Company (CXM) is a leading manufacturer of extruded brass shapes in rod, bar and wire.PMPA StaffJuly 2020
How are PMPA Members Promoting Workers SafetyRegardless of the size of an operation, every business owner knows that promoting workplace safety is not only the right thing to do, but it’s an absolute must, according to the Department of Labor.Nate OlandJuly 2020
Our Year In The GymThe worst memories of my adolescence were of nearly failing gym class.Miles Free IIIMay 2010
PMPA Member Profile - W. H. Bagshaw CompanyThis year marks the 140th anniversary of the W. H. Bagshaw Company, America’s oldest manufacturer of textile pins.PMPA StaffMay 2010
PMPA Offers 600 Trial Membership – Come Kick The TiresSo you’ve asked yourself the following questions for months – maybe years: Why should I join a trade association?Laura CapronMay 2010
Safety and the Precision Machining IndustryThe precision machining industry provides leading safety technology that makes a difference in our everyday lives.Miles Free IIIApril 2010
PMPA Member Profile - Hangsterfer’s LaboratoriesHangsterfer’s Laboratories offers a wide array of metalworking fluids for manufacturers—more than 200 different products.PMPA StaffApril 2010
President Obama Visits EMC Precision MachiningEMC Precision Machining, a longtime PMPA member, was a stop on President Barack Obama’s tour of Northeast Ohio on January 22nd.Miles Free IIIMarch 2010
A Time for Action - Members Answer The CallOver the past nine months, when called upon, PMPA members have responded in record numbers by using the association’s on-line Action Alert system.Rob KienerMarch 2010
Effective Associating Delivers Tools You Can UseThere are many issues that confront our businesses these days.Miles Free IIIFebruary 2010
Three Resolutions We MUST Keep This YearIt’s January; the time when most of us resolve to do things better in the coming year.Miles Free IIIJanuary 2010
Longtime PMPA member Bob Brinkman retires from Brinkman International GroupBob Brinkman, chairman of Brinkman International Group, has announced his retirement from the company that bears his name.PMPA StaffJanuary 2010

PMPA Articles from Production Machining Magazine 2006 - 2009

TitleSummaryAuthorPublish Date
Micron Celebrates Receipt of Nobel Prize of ManufacturingMicron Manufacturing Company of Walker, Mich. recently celebrated its receipt of the 2009 Shingo Silver Medallion for Operational Excellence.PMPA StaffDecember 2009
2009 – Precision Machining Industry Shoots the RapidsThe year 2009 will be remembered by many of us as a teacher— a cruel teacher, perhaps—but a teacher, nevertheless.Miles Free IIIDecember 2009
Managing Change, Changing ManagementThere is nothing like business as usual to nurture a…well, let’s call it a “business as usual” managerial role.Miles Free IIINovember 2009
PMPA Member Profile - Enoch Manufacturing CompanyEnoch Manufacturing Company is one of the largest custom precision machining manufacturers on America’s west coast.PMPA StaffNovember 2009
Four Steps For Documentation ImprovementQuality documentation can be improved.Monte GuitarOctober 2009
PMPA Member Profile - Henning Industrial SoftwareHenning Industrial Software, Inc. was founded in January 1990 by Billie J. and Richard G. Henning.PMPA StaffOctober 2009
Sustainable BusinessesBeneath the din of bad economic news on TV and in the business pages, if you listen carefully, you’ll hear another theme: sustainability.Miles Free IIISeptember 2009
Al Horner to Discuss Business Strategy and Profitability at PMPA Annual Meeting“Improving profits” will be the focus of Al Horner’s presentation at the PMPA Annual Meeting in Savannah, Georgia.PMPA StaffSeptember 2009
The New DomesticsThe automotive market is an important sector served by the precision machining industryMiles Free IIIAugust 2009
PMPA Member Profile - Northwest Oil CompanyNorthwest Oil Company is a supplier of industrial lubricants and specialty fluids, including cutting oils, water-based coolants, grinding fluids, cleaners, degreasers and corrosion inhibitors.PMPA StaffAugust 2009
"Mission" CONTROL“Controls restrict, restrain, limit and regulate...” Proper use of controls provides a safe operating environment in many aspects of our daily lives.Jeff WiltsieAugust 2009
The Art Of ManagementOne of the best lessons learned from my MBA experience was that there are three value disciplines that a company can embody.Miles Free IIIJuly 2009
PMPA Member Profile - EMC Precision MachiningIn 1925, EMC Precision Machining was started by Mr. Ohlemacher’s great grandfather and a small group of men who aspired to make a product.PMPA StaffJuly 2009
The One Thing I Know For SureHaving been through some incredible down cycles during my time in the steel business, I offer four compass points to guide you to a useful strategic plan.Miles Free IIIJune 2009
PMPA Member Profile - 2L Technologies2L Technologies is one of the newest members of the PMPA, having been founded in 2008.PMPA StaffJune 2009
The Innovation AdventureI am all about an adventure. I crave the thrill of discovery and the excitement of exploration.Deena EbbertApril 2009
New Business Intelligence Service from PMPAThe Precision Machined Products Association announces a new business intelligence service for members.Michael B. DuffinApril 2009
PMPA Member Profile - Tsugami-Rem Sales LLCIn 1957, Robert E. Morris founded what is now Tsugami-Rem Sales.PMPA StaffApril 2009
2009 National Technical Conference - Rediscover North American ManufacturingPMPA’s Technical Program Committee has developed new and exciting programming targeted for your technical, quality and management personnel.Monte GuitarMarch 2009
PMPA Member Profile - Watkins Manufacturing IncWatkins Manufacturing has been doing business in the Cincinnati area since the late 1800s.PMPA StaffMarch 2009
My Favorite PhotographHere’s my favorite photo. I took it in Chicago’s Millennium Park a couple of years ago during a break from a conference.Miles Free IIIMarch 2009
Safety Courses Designed For This IndustryAs a business owner, you want to provide your employees with a safe work environment.Rob KienerMarch 2009
Family Firms – Not To Be IgnoredWhen I grew up—way back in the mid-20th century—everyone aspired to have a job with a major national publicly traded company.Miles Free IIIJanuary 2009
Create A Road Map For 2009 At PMPAs Management UpdateAs we know all too well, 2008 was one of the most challenging years in recent memory, not only professionally, but also personally.Rob KienerJanuary 2009
The One Item You Underestimated In This Years Budgetthe new, out with the old. Change. Isn’t that the deal we were promised? Change?Miles Free IIIJanuary 2009
PMPA Works To Assure Sustainability In Metalworking FluidsIn September, PMPA members learned about the proposed Rule 1144 for the four-county Los Angeles/Southern California Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).Miles Free IIIDecember 2008
PMPA Member Profile - Boston CenterlessAs a PMPA technical member, Boston Centerless supplies precision ground bar materials and grinding services to precision machining companies.PMPA StaffDecember 2008
PMPA Members Get New Financial Benchmarking ToolAs I write this in early October, the stock market has lost more than 30 percent.Miles Free IIIDecember 2008
Employee Handbook - Empowering Employee SuccessWe believe our greatest assets are our Employees. And, we
behave as if that is true.
Patricia LewisNovember 2008
PMPA Member Profile - Rable Machine IncEstablished in 1946 by Frank Rebel (pronounced Rable), the company was founded to provide machined components to the growing number of appliance manufacturers in the area.PMPA StaffNovember 2008
Baldrige - And The Sharing Of Best PracticesMany of today’s quality or business standards provide a framework that allows you the flexibility to define what is most effective for your organization.Monte GuitarSeptember 2008
PMPA Member Profile - Cox Manufacturing CompanyCox Manufacturing Company specializes in custom, screw machine products, as well as CNC turning and machining services.PMPA StaffSeptember 2008
Labor Day Or Talent DayOne thing about holidays is that once they become official, they hang around.Miles Free IIISeptember 2008
The Evolution Of Your Trade Association - PMPA Marks 75 Years of Service To The Precision Machined Products IndustryThis year, the Precision Machined Products Association is celebrating its 75th anniversary.Rob KienerAugust 2008
WorkmanshipWorkmanship is an important term that’s often relied upon as the final arbiter in acceptance of our products.Miles Free IIIJuly 2008
Fathers Day – RevisitedI can remember the first manufacturing job I had after graduating high school.Miles Free IIIJuly 2008
The Big Meeting On The Big IslandThe “Big Meeting” is the PMPA’s annual meeting, celebrating the association’s 75th anniversary.Rob KienerJuly 2008
Keeping Jobs In North AmericaWhenever I’ve been asked to go to a trade show or conference, I have always kept one thought in mind: “What will I learn that will help keep manufacturing jobs thriving here in North America?”Miles Free IIIJuly 2008
China Shipping - A Midwesterners ViewIn the Midwest, we see the China trade issue pretty simply.Miles Free IIIJune 2008
Report From The Executive DirectorAs we near the end of another fiscal and program year, I want to be sure readers know about the PMPA staff, association finances and our volunteer leaders.Michael B. DuffinJune 2008
Is Incremental Improvement Enough?incremental improvement enough for our industry’s long term survival?Miles Free III, Jeff WiltsieJune 2008
The Business Case for Business TravelAs the president of Permac Industries, I find the time to participate in a number of trips sponsored by the PMPA.Darlene MillerMay 2008
2008 PMPA Annual Meeting Featured Speaker - Hugh HewittThe PMPA is known for highquality meeting content, including keynote speakers that address issues of concern to the precision machined products industry.Rob KienerMay 2008
PMPA Member Profile - Peterson Tool CompanyPeterson Tool Company is the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of inserted form toolsPMPA StaffMay 2008
Value Added—A Closer LookBefore tackling the points brought up by readers, let’s review what I mean by “value added.”Miles Free IIIMay 2008
Personal Protection Equipment And The Precision Machining IndustryEmployers are required to determine if PPE should be used to protect their workers.Miles Free IIIApril 2008
PMPA Member Profile - Smith & Richardson Inc.Smith & Richardson Inc. is a provider of chaplets for the metal casting industry and a manufacturer of precision
machined parts.
PMPA StaffApril 2008
Insights Into Vision SystemsCan you assemble an inexpensive vision system for use on precision machine products?Paul KlonowskiMarch 2008
PMPA Member Profile - Schmolz+BickenbachThe supplier of specialty steels is now Schmolz+Bickenbach USA. Its parent company, Schmolz+Bickenbach AG, was founded in 1919.PMPA StaffMarch 2008
Value Added — The Key To Profitability“Value Added” is one of those terms that almost everyone seems to use, but means different things to different people.Miles Free IIIMarch 2008
Quality’s Role In MarketingI’d just love to tell you about the importance of quality in marketing. Unfortunately, I can’t.Miles Free IIIJanuary 2008
Training Grants Available From The PMPA Education FoundationIf your company’s machinists or salespeople need training in precision machining equipment, there could be a grant available to cover part of the cost of that training.PMPA StaffJanuary 2008
Dont Miss PMPAs Management Jambalaya Of Profitability Business Growth Trends Politics and WellnessThe PMPA Management Update Committee has your recipe for success in 2008.Rob KienerJanuary 2008
Looking Back - Lessons We Learned From 2007The beginning of a new year is a time to anticipate.Miles Free IIIDecember 2007
PMPA Member Profile - Tornos TechnologiesTornos Technologies is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of Swiss machine tools and automatic lathes.PMPA StaffDecember 2007
5 Reasons To Think About ExportingLet’s look at some of the reasons why we need to look at exports as part of our business plan.Miles Free IIIDecember 2007
Critical SparesPlanning for necessary raw materials and tooling is critical for meeting production schedules in our shops.Miles Free IIINovember 2007
Meet The New PMPA President Jim HemingwayThe PMPA installed its new president last month at the PMPA annual meeting held in Tucson, Arizona.PMPA StaffNovember 2007
Consistent Communications, Clear SignalsIf there is anything more critical to organizational success than clear, consistent communications, I don’t know what that might be.Miles Free IIIOctober 2007
Is VOIP Right For Your Business?The global competitiveness of our industry is completely changing the way we do business.Gayle BayerOctober 2007
PMPA Member Profile - Accu-Swiss IncAccu-Swiss, Inc. is a custom manufacturer of precision, CNC-machined products, as well as a provider of fabrication and engineering services.PMPA StaffOctober 2007
The Art And Etiquette Of E-Mail - Making a ConnectionE-mail is the heart and soul of all communication these days.Gayle BayerSeptember 2007
PMPA Member Profile - Gosiger ImportGosiger Import, a division of Gosiger Inc., markets precision machining equipment to manufacturers throughout the United States.PMPA StaffSeptember 2007
Can I Do It With LessThere is one indisputable lesson that applies to us in manufacturing: We must get more and more functionality out of less and less material.Miles Free IIISeptember 2007
Promoting Communication Sales Operations and Your CustomerSolidifying communication between operations, sales and the customer is a huge step to take in the quest for total process improvement.Monte GuitarAugust 2007
PMPA Member Profile - Automatic Products CorporationAutomatic Products Corporation (APC) is a leading provider of precision-machined parts produced on automatic screw machines and CNC equipment.PMPA StaffAugust 2007
Empowerment – How Do They KnowThe trend to flatter organizations has made it necessary for people throughout our companies to make decisions and take immediate action.Miles Free IIIAugust 2007
Should You Upgrade To Windows VistaBeing on the PMPA IT Committee, I am often asked about my opinion on emerging technologies.Gayle BayerJuly 2007
PMPA Member Profile - New Dimension Metals CorpNew Dimension Metals Corp. (NDM) is a supplier of coldfinished carbon and alloy steel bar products.PMPA StaffJuly 2007
Why Is This HereWhy is this here? Will I use it this minute? Will I use it this hour? Will I use it this shift? Will I use it today? Why is this here?Miles Free IIIJuly 2007
Energy Trends In ManufacturingThis week, I received
a Manufacturing Sector Report from the Environmental Protection Agency covering motor vehicle parts manufacturing.
Miles Free IIIJune 2007
PMPA Member Profile - Ray Industries, IncRay Industries, Inc. specializes in
precision thread rolling, as well as precision machining of ballscrews, lead screws, mechanical actuators, worms and threaded fasteners.
PMPA StaffJune 2007
PMPAs National Technical Conference Tracks To SuccessMore than 420 people attended the 2007 PMPA National Technical Conference, held in Columbus, Ohio, in conjunction with the Precision Machining Technology Show from April 22 to 24.Miles Free IIIJune 2007
Walt Disney World - A Model For Precision ManufacturingWhat can a manufacturing person learn from Walt Disney World to help with his manufacturing business?Miles Free IIIMay 2007
Is Your Order Book Telling You To Consider Activity-Based CostingActivity-Based Costing (ABC) is often mentioned in conversations between shop owners, but it seems to be an idea that most shops never get around to fully investigating.Miles Free IIIMay 2007
PMPA Member Profile - Brinkman International Group IncPrecision machining runs in the Brinkman family.PMPA StaffMay 2007
Dear Industry ShrinkA Letter addressing phenomenons in the precision machining industry Miles Free IIIMay 2007
Work On Your StrideEveryone knows that the pace of life has changed in recent years.Brad OhlemacherApril 2007
Assuring The Payback Of Technology InvestmentsThis is the second of a two-part article on technology payback. The first part, “Answers ‘Why?’” appeared in the March 2007 PMPA insert.Miles Free III April 2007
PMPA Member Profile - Axian Technology, IncAxian Technology, Inc. is a privately held, precision machining company that was founded in 1959 in Phoenix, Arizona.PMPA StaffApril 2007
Material Impacts The Precision Machining Industry 2007Major appliance manufacturer
Whirlpool recently told investors
that the company expected its business to be impacted by about $400 million in 2007 by the increased costs of materials needed to make its products
Miles Free IIIApril 2007
Implementing World Class Techniques & TechnologyThe Precision Machined Products Association is pleased to present its 46th annual National Technical Conference, April 22-24, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio.Monte GuitarMarch 2007
PMPA Member Profile - Allied Machined ProductsAllied Machined Products is a family-owned-and-operated manufacturer of precision machined parts.PMPA StaffMarch 2007
Assuring The Payback Of Technology InvestmentsThis is the first of a two-part article on technology payback. Part 2, entitled “Answers: How?” will appear in the April issue.Miles Free IIIMarch 2007
PMPA Education FoundationIn 1999, the PMPA Board of
Trustees established the PMPA Education Foundation to “ensure the future success of our industry by supporting educational research and related projects.”
PMPA StaffMarch 2007
Want to turn all those quotes into new business - Come to PMPA Management Update 2007Are you satisfied with your company’s success in converting quotes to orders?Rob KienerJanuary 2007
Organizational Effectiveness–Many LensesOne of the paradoxes of team sports that I struggle with has been watching a team with high-caliber players lose to a team with less talented players.Miles Free IIIJanuary 2007
PMPA Member Profile - Chase Brass & Copper CompanyChase Brass & Copper Company’s commitment to its customers is evident based on its long history dating back to 1837, when it was originally called Hitchcock Button Manufacturing Company.PMPA StaffJanuary 2007
A Baker’s Dozen of OSHA Moneymakers - SIC 3451 for 2006The safety of our employees,
precision and quality workmanship have always been guiding principles in the precision machining industry.
Miles Free IIIJanuary 2007
A Problem Solving Approach One Size Foes Not Fit AllEach day, organizations face challenges to become lean within their shops.Monte GuitarDecember 2006
PMPA Management Update 2007 - A World of OpportunityAre you satisfied with your current business model?Rob KienerDecember 2006
Sentinel Events - Recognize, Respond, RevisitEvery day, we face numerous challenges. Urgent demands from others, unexpected events, system breakdowns, equipment malfunctions, and failed communications are “all in a day’s work,” for most of us.Miles Free IIIDecember 2006
PMPA Member Profile - Fordsell Machine Products CoIn 2006, Fordsell Machine Products Co. reached a business milestone.PMPA StaffDecember 2006
Trends In Copper And BrassCopper is selling for $3.70 per pound at the time that I am writing this in mid-September.Miles Free IIINovember 2006
PMPA Member Profile - FISCHER Special Tooling CorpWhen the Howard H. Fischer Company was founded in 1957, carbide tooling was still relatively unknown.PMPA StaffNovember 2006
Reduce Nonconformances With Automated InspectionAre you tired of receiving phone calls from your customers requiring you to have a third-party sort?Ron HerreraNovember 2006
The 5 Organizational Foundations Of Just-In-TimeHaving worked with and supplied a number of Japanese transplant manufacturing companies, I was always impressed with the depth of their systems and planning that made just-in-time work for them.Miles Free IIIAugust 2006
White House Correspondent Bill Sammon To Speak At PMPA Annual MeetingBill Sammon, the senior White House correspondent for the Washington Examiner, will speak at the PMPA Annual Meeting during the Business Session to be held on Tuesday, October 3, 2006.PMPA StaffAugust 2006
PMPA Members Pitch In To Buy CNC Lathe For Vo-Tech SchoolWhen a vocational school in Mount Joy,
Pennsylvania, recently found itself without a CNC lathe, a number of PMPA members and non-members came to the rescue.
PMPA StaffAugust 2006
PMPA Corporate Listserve - Facilitating Member SuccessYou have a new customer located in Germany who is not experienced in the logistics of importing from the United States.Miles Free IIIAugust 2006
How Should Tools FailTwo incidents early in my career started me on the path to learning all that I could about how tools fail.Miles Free IIIJuly 2006
Dr. Michael Economides To Discuss Energy Geopolitics At The PMPA Annual Meeting“Energy is the most strategic factor in global geopolitics,” states Dr. Michael Economides, one of the speakers at the upcoming PMPA Annual Meeting.PMPA StaffJuly 2006
PMPA Member Profile - High Tech Research IncHigh Tech Research, Inc. (HTR) develops software and turnkey systems for manufacturing plants.PMPA StaffJuly 2006
Five Ideas For Continuous Improvement“Continuous Improvement (CI) of the people and processes under my authority” is the fourth point of my internal compass.Miles Free IIIJuly 2006
Forget About Parts–We’re Really in The Satisfaction BusinessSeveral times this year, I have presented a “Cost of Quality” talk to local meetings of PMPA districts or chapters around the country.Miles Free IIIJune 2006
PMPA Member Profile - Permac IndustriesFounded in 1966, Permac Industries started out as a small screw machine shop with a few Brown & Sharpe machines.PMPA StaffJune 2006
Leadership, Mid-Term Elections, The Economy And Networking Dominate The 2006 Annual Meeting AgendaThe 73rd Annual Meeting will be held September 30 to October 4 at the Ritz Carlton in Amelia Island, Florida.Rob KienerJune 2006
Training–Perform, Document, Manage EffectivenessThe need for training in our shops and businesses is indisputable.Miles Free IIIJune 2006
Turning Customer Complaints into Customer LoyaltyIn a 2000 National League playoff game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves, Cardinal southpaw Rick Ankiel tossed five wild pitches to the backstop in one inning.Monte GuitarApril 2006
Where Is Your Backup Datahave a friend who owns a small business in southern Florida. He was lucky when Hurricane Wilma hit the state last yearMiles Free IIIApril 2006
Critical Skills For Effectiveness In Todays New Work - Part 4There are four trends that define the differences between yesterday’s way of maximizing effectiveness and today’s. - Part 4Miles Free IIIApril 2006
PMPA Member Profile - Prime Screw Machine ProductsPrime Screw Machine Products began operations in 1967 by manufacturing military hardware and various commercial componentsPMPA StaffApril 2006
Best Practices Driving Change - 2006 PMPA NTCAmerican sporting legend Ted Nugent will deliver the keynote address with his personal firebrand version of “Best Practice.”Monte GuitarMarch 2006
What Isn’t Going To Happen In 2006The beginning of a new year is typically the time for predicting what is to come in the year ahead, making New Year’s resolutions and renewing commitments to the important things in our livesMiles Free IIIMarch 2006
PMPA Member Profile - Reynolda Manufacturing SolutionsReynolda Manufacturing Solutions was established in 2002 when Reynolda Cutting Tools (RCT) and Component Manufacturing & Machine (CM&M) joined forces.PMPA StaffMarch 2006
Critical Skills For Effectiveness In Today’s New World - Part 3There are four trends that define the differences between yesterday’s way of maximizing effectiveness and today’s. - Part 3Miles Free IIIMarch 2006
Precision Machining Industry Transforms To Serve Population DynamicsDemand for medical implants in the United States is expected to grow by 11 percent annually through 2007.Miles Free IIIJanuary 2006
Critical Skills For Effectiveness In Today’s New World - Part 2There are four trends that define the differences between yesterday’s way of maximizing effectiveness and today’s. - Part 2 Miles Free IIIJanuary 2006
Kim Korth To Deliver Keynote Speech At Management Update ConferenceMs. Kim Korth, management consultant and founder of IRN, Inc., will present the keynote speech at the PMPA Management Update Conference.PMPA StaffJanuary 2006
PMPA Member Profile - Index CorporationThe Index Group, located in Esslingen, Germany, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of precision turning and multitask machine tools.PMPA StaffJanuary 2006