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just a little better each day than the day before, and movin

admin. - 2015-12-04 14:14 -–  Moving forward, regardless of how little, is still moving forward. A positive result, regardless of how small, is still a positive result. A gain in

the economy, regardless of how negligible, is still a gain in the economy. Even if you take three steps ahead, but fall two steps back, you’re still

farther along than when you started. And that’s going in the right direction. Much of the economic news these days, however, seems to be focused not

on the fact that things are going in the right direction, but rather on the fact that things are not going in the right direction fast enough. The

reality is that it’s going to take time. But we will get there – by being just a little better each day than the day before, and moving forward.

For this issue, we visited shops in both the U.S. and Europe that are making things better every day – for themselves and their customers.

For our cover story, we visited Works Racing in the UK, which manufactures performance engines and parts for vintage Norton Manx motorcycles. Patrick

Walker runs the company out of a “shed” next to his home, and uses modern CAD/CAM and CNC technology to produce parts that are better than the

originals. By designing the engine in 3D, says Walker, he can optimize the design of the parts, and use the CAD models for finite element, stress, and

thermal analysis. “Analyzing the designs,” he explains, “has allowed me to make lots of very subtle tweaks to improve durability and performance.”

Designing things is a way of life for Steve Kille, president and CEO of DesignWerkes in Amesbury, MA. Although he began his career as a plain-paper

designer of electro-mechanical products for the automotive industry, it wasn’t long before he was designing the equipment to test those products, and

then building the products themselves. Today, the company offers service few others can match. “We design things,” Kille explains, “but we also know

all the engineering processes. You can’t be a good design engineer if you don’t understand how the products go together.”

Italian company Chiappa Firearms clearly understands how its products go together. Chiappa manufactures replica handguns and rifles that are highly

sought after by historic weapon enthusiasts, collectors, reenactment societies, and film production companies. Each component in a new Chiappa creation

is designed using CAD/CAM before being assembled on-screen using 3D simulation. “There are many factors that differentiate us from our competitors,”

says Managing Director Rino Chiappa, “but our lead-time and constant innovation of new and improved models are particularly important. Plus, our

price-to-quality ratio is unbeatable.”

For New Jersey-based Phillips Precision Medicraft (PPM), quality is critical. The company manufactures medical implants for the knee, hip, elbow,

shoulder, and spine, as well as the instruments cnc bending machine and tools necessary to install such devices in the body. PPM has invested heavily in modern CNC

equipment, quality systems, procedures, and control plans to meet ISO 13485 standards. “After all,” says John Phillips, president of operations,

“the key to our success – the most important thing we build – is not for sale: our reputation.”

Wilmington, Massachusetts-based Tecomet has been building its reputation for 40 years. The company supplies precision manufacturing and medical

technology to the medical implant, aerospace, defense, and specialty commercial and industrial markets. Recently, Tecomet decided it wanted a piece of

the spinal implant industry – and invested in seven BMC DT-1 Drill/Tap Centers before they knew how they were going to use them. Now that’s moving


For our education story this issue, we visited Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The school has developed a new program called

Right Skills Now that provides students with a shorter path to employment as a CNC bus bar bending machine operator than the traditional 2- or 4-year degree.

If that’s not enough, there’s a short piece from our friends at Midaco extolling the virtues of automatic pallet changers, as well as industry news

in Cycle Time, and useful programming and application information in the Answer Man. So sit back, relax, and enjoy! Take it a step at a time, and keep

moving forward.

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