What Are Machine Shops


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Learn what a modern machine shop consists of and what it takes to grow and expand.

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What Are Machine Shops

  1. 1. What are MACHINE SHOPS?<br />So just what is a machine shop?<br />
  2. 2. Basics:<br />A machine shop is defined as "workshop where metals are cut and are shaped by machine tools". These machine tools are used in repairing and production of machine parts or complete machines. Machine shops are primarily engaged in creating metal parts on an order or job basis.<br />The establishment of machine shops has increased the overall production of tools which would mass produce other tools. Tools like lathes and automatic screw machines are produced in a machine shop.<br />
  3. 3. Machines can be used for drilling;<br />Enlarging a hole and boring.<br />Cutting threads in a hole and tapping.<br />Cutting; cutting threads on a bolt<br />Threading and removing metal from surfaces.<br />Milling and grinding which is a usual finishing operations are all produced in machine shops.<br />
  4. 4. These machines are often expensive and are computer-controlled.<br />During the early days, tools in a machine shop were manually controlled by levers or hand wheels. Some were automated.<br />
  5. 5. Modern Tools:<br />Nowadays, tools in a machine shop can be operated with computer numerical controls (CNC) or numerical controls (NC). Numerical control tools automate the machine through direct input of data in form of letters, numbers, symbols, words or a combination of these forms. It was during the 1940's to the 1950's that the first NC tools were built. On the other hand, CNC tools altered the used of NC tools. It was during the 70's that CNC tools became popular.<br />
  6. 6. These are tools that enable machines to adapt to different jobs through the alteration of a computer program or software.<br />Compared to NC tools, CNC tools are easily operated and even more versatile. The programming is very simple. Thus, rapid tests of tools are done in a speedier manner.<br />
  7. 7. Leaders in the Machine Shop Industry:<br />Major machine tool makers include American, Japanese, German or Swiss companies. Dozens of these automated tools are being used in machine shops. Despite the automation, these tools in a machine shop require to be operated by a group of skilled workers and technicians still. They are the ones who will operate the machine and will move the semi-finished tools and parts from one station to the next. Running a machine shop is labor-intensive. The yearly average revenue of a machine shop worker is about 120,000 USD.<br />
  8. 8. In a machine shop, there are four major operating procedures;<br />These include pre-production, the machine set up, actual production and quality control. The most time-consuming of these steps is the machine set up. This activity affects the production costs hugely. Quality control, on the other hand, is the most important for this operating activity will determine the shop's sale.<br />
  9. 9. In the US, there is no single company that can actually dominate the machine shop business for the industry itself is highly fragmented.<br />Fifteen percent of the revenue is generated by the first 50 biggest machine shops in the industry. <br />There is no doubt on this report, for larger machine shops have the ability to purchase modern machine tools and invest on advanced machinery production. <br />Smaller machine shops can compete as well. To effectively do this, these shops must provide specialized services or serve engineering services. <br />These unending demands for machining services will let these machine shops continue to exist.<br />
  10. 10. About the Author<br />Whitney is a expert machinist that loves to share his knowledge of the field.<br />