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May 27, 2020

5 Things to Keep in Mind for Starting Your Own Machine Shop

Recently, Firetrace International had a panel discussion with two entrepreneurial machinists – Adam Demuth of Demuth Tool, and Dan Rudolph of Rudolph LLC, where we discussed how they got started with their own machine shops and advice they had for others looking to do the same. We took that discussion to compile a list of some of the most important things to consider if you’re also looking to start your own shop.

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May 15, 2020

What Is Aerosol Fire Suppression?

After halons were phased out of fire suppression systems back in the 1990s, it created a need for alternatives. The challenge was that halons were very effective in extinguishing most types of fires, electrically non-conductive, safe for limited human exposure, and leave no residue. The disadvantage of halons and why there was a ban placed on them is due to their strong ozone depletion potential. Over the past several decades, several fire suppression agents and technologies have emerged. In this post, we will explore aerosol fire suppression systems.

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May 4, 2020

5 Machine Shop Efficiency Tips for Immediate Cost Savings

Unlike one-time cost savings like a staff reduction or cutting advertising spend, increasing efficiency delivers cost savings over the long term. That makes efficiency gains an attractive option for many shops looking to cut costs during COVID-19.

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April 15, 2020

How will CV19 change global sourcing of precision machined components?

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have been grappling with supply chain disruption. There's been a lot of speculation that as a result, American companies are going to bring more of their supply chains on shore or near shore to North America. We analyze possible outcomes in this Q&A with Cullen Morrison.

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March 25, 2020

5 Technologies Disrupting Manufacturing

Rapid advancements and changes in technology are challenging how machine shops run. Maintaining the status quo and not adapting and embracing these new developments, will leave you behind. In this era of what has been coined as Industry 4.0, there is a fundamental shift towards digital industrial technology. The ability to gather and analyze mass amounts of data across machines is transforming machining processes and operations to become faster, more efficient, and flexible.

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March 24, 2020

How Can Suppliers Help Medical Device Manufacturers Ramp for COVID-19?

Coronavirus is here. And while our doctors and nurses fight the virus on the front lines, many of us are wondering what we can do to help.

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March 16, 2020

What is Hybrid Manufacturing?

Hybrid manufacturing is a combination of additive manufacturing (AM) and subtractive manufacturing within the same machine. Both processes on their own have remarkable capabilities, but when combined, it opens up a whole new level of design and manufacturing. The machines allow you to make and finish the part in a single setup, reducing error because the AM part does not have to leave one machine to be reset on a second machine.

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March 16, 2020

Understanding the Benefits and Challenges for Hybrid Manufacturing

The purpose of Hybrid manufacturing is to combine the strengths of additive manufacturing (AM) and subtractive machining. Using a single machine, it creates the ability to produce finished parts in the same machine using both processes. Hybrid manufacturing joins the best features of traditional subtractive machining with additive manufacturing.

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February 5, 2020

Five Ways to Reduce Labor Shortages at Your Shop

Most machine shops have, at some point, felt the pains from the labor shortage. In July 2019, nearly a half of million manufacturing jobs were left unfilled. Skilled manufacturing and machining jobs are becoming increasingly more challenging to fill, and the skills gap is widening. According to a recent study conducted by Deloitte & The MFG Institute​ by 2028, we could see 2.4M open positions in the U.S. manufacturing industry due to talent shortage.

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January 24, 2020

Understanding the Seven Types of Additive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, builds parts through a CAD generated 3D model by adding single layers of material and fusing the layers together. AM first emerged in 1987 and has been steadily growing ever since, with more leaps and bounds in recent years. We identify the seven AM processes and their advantages and disadvantages.

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January 7, 2020

Selecting the Right CNC Machining Materials for the Part

The key to having an optimal finished part starts with choosing the right material. By narrowing down the types of machining materials that are best suited for the part will lead to the selection of the most appropriate and cost-effective material. Here are a few things to consider when selecting materials.

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December 31, 2019

Seven Tips for Machine Shops Considering Running Lights Out

More and more machine shops are moving to unattended or lights out machining to stay competitive. Having more production hours means higher output and additional revenue. At the Top Shops Conference, we learned that the top 25 percent of machine shops are running 14 hours a day, while the bottom 25 percent are only running 8 hours a day. On average, profit margins in machine shops running lights out were 3 percent higher than those who were not.

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