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Thread: Are commercial machine shops a thing of the past?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    76
    I think a lot of one-offs are done on a cnc nowadays. I make a drawing for everything on the computer, transfer it over, push the button. Unless it's a couple of holes or lathe work, then I still do the drawing but use a manual machine. The thought of doing something like a slot by hand gives me hives. Used to love turning handles, but there's a limit to everything.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Ogden, UT
    Posts
    111
    I think there are plenty of machine shops, they're just not the type the op walked into.

    I work in oil and gas. We sub stuff to machine shops all the time.

    It's like most industries, change with the times or you'll probably not be necessary. As someone else posted, who is getting their brakes turned or valve heads machined anymore?

    I listened to a podcast of someone who owns a circuit board manufacturing company. You install his software onto your cad of choice. When you finish your design, you apparently click go and his machines just start manufacturing your design. The software programs it's own software to run the machines. Pretty neat. But less people are needed.

    The future for blue collar is scary. Hopefully careers will be found within the new technologies OR a major policy change will need to happen.

    Imo of course

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    1,159
    I agree that blue collar manufacturing is in decline in most of the Western economies. However, in our region servicing is on the rise. An example I came across today - a ship on our slip for a full refit and repaint. Based on condition, it looked like it was in for it's last patch up before scrapping but no, it is less than 5 years old. Built by a large neighbour to the north. Great for our economy. Not so great for the ship owners. Cheers

  4. #19
    We have a bunch ,but it's still hard to get anything done. When you call them they seem annoyed and say that they mainly just do work for the tobacco companies. Seem genuinely surprised to get calls

  5. #20
    We have a local machinist and use him all the time. I do do some machining on my own when I can do it simply on a manual mill, but for CNC stuff, we send it out. We (my company) does a lot of prototype work, so we might be the exception. I have been thinking about a little CNC for work but need to look into it more. That would reduce our use of outsourcing.

  6. We still have a lot of Tool and Die as well as prototype and general machine and assembly shops in and around Detroit. WAAAY down from the 70'sand 80's but still busy. And picking up. Hard to find CNC, lathe hands, millwrights, and even CAD designers.

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