The Future of Machining

The Future of Machining

Bruce Vernyi

On the cover of this issue is a photo of one of the seven regional champions for the 36th annual NTMA/NIMS National Apprentice Competition, and we have a full feature on the winners of that competition on beginning on Page 70.

The cover photo is of Lucas Starch, of Mahuta Tool Corp., who came in second at the competition. We used his photo because a comparable photo of Andrew Sears, of Six Sigma, wasn’t available.

Sears is this year’s National Champion in the Apprentice Competition.

More importantly, Sears and Starch and the five other regional champions represent the future of machining. Each one of them is a winner, and each is to be congratulated not only for reaching the national competition, but for attaining the high level of knowledge they have about their craft that got them there.

In addition to congratulating those champions, the companies they represent have to be applauded for investing in and carrying out apprenticeship programs that put their people in leading positions in the industry. Too often, we hear complaints about the lack of qualified employees and the lack of skills in the people who work in shops.

Rather than complain, the seven shops that these champions represent have taken steps to fix those problems.

I know they are not alone. There are many shops throughout the United States that have fine apprentice programs and that work with local educational institutions to address the many issues that lead to the lack of skilled workers.

But I’m also aware that there are many good and profitable shops that are not involved, and are not helping to solve the problem.

While Andrew Sears and Lucas Starch and the other regional champions represent the new faces of machining in the United States, you and your shop should be supporting them and the annual Apprentice Competition to ensure they have a future that is healthy and prosperous.

And, in doing that, you’ll also help to ensure that your shop gets good, talented people who are well-trained.

A meeting of minds
We are excited this month to have put the logo of the National Tooling & Machining Association on our contents page. That logo represents a new joint marketing partnership between this magazine and the NTMA.

This agreement represents the fact that this magazine and the NTMA have been talking with each other, have come to respect each other’s position in the industry and see opportunities to work together as content and research partners.

The agreement has American Machinist becoming an associate member of the NTMA, participating in NTMA events and providing the NTMA with opportunities to seek new members from American Machinist’s readership. It ensures that all NTMA members will receive copies of American Machinist, and that the NTMA will sponsor American Machinist’s annual Machine Shop Workshop event for the second consecutive year.

In addition, our organizations will cooperate on promotion, event participation and ongoing content development, and we’re looking forward to working together. Bruce Vernyi Editor-in-Chief [email protected]

Second annual American Machinist Workshop
• The American Machinist 2008 Machine Shop Workshop will be held November 12 through 14, 2008 in Oak Brook, Ill.

This is the only industry event focused on the business of running a job shop.

The two-day event features peer presentations, best-practices and an emphasis on solving your real-world problems.

You can register for this workshop at www.MachineShopWorkshop.com.

CLARIFICATION
• HyperMILL (www.openmind-tech.com) was not included in the CAM software vendor table that appeared in the April issue of American Machinist because of an error by a senior editor.

Open Mind has an average growth rate of 30 percent per year since 2004 and the hyperMILL software should be considered a highperformance option in the CAM marketplace.

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