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Manufacturing

A look back

By Russ Olexa

April 2010- At one time, the United States was a premier manufacturer of machine tools. In 1965, manufacturers produced 28 percent of the total worldwide production.

Today, the United States manufactures just 5 percent.

Facts like these are found in Albert Albrecht's new book, "The American Machine Tool Industry: Its History, Growth and Decline," which chronicles the rise and fall of this business.

For instance, what happened to the well-known machine tool manufacturing companies, such as Jones & Lamson Machine Co., Kearny & Trecker, R. K. LeBlond Machine Tool Co., Cincinnati Milacron and many others.

Albrecht has reviewed the history of the machine tool industry as an insider. He is an engineer, former vice president of Textron's machine tool division and retired co-owner of NATCO Inc., Richmond, Ind., a builder of transfer- and rotary-dial metal-cutting machines.

His first chapters start off with the development of the first machine tools. Then he writes about how the manufacturing of rifles changed the industry, causing accelerated growth.

Albrecht mentions the American Precision Museum in Vermont, which offers an extensive history and collection of machine tool equipment.

He also reviews the early trade journals that reported on the industry, and he covers the golden years of machine tool production in the 20th century.

Additionally, Albrecht examines mass-production equipment, such as transfer machines, automatics and screw machines.

He reports on how carbide cutting tools increased the productivity of this equipment, along with the history of the second industrial revolution: the development of the numerical-control system for machine tools.

Numerical control changed the world for both machine tools and anything that relied on automatic-axis control, such as plastic injection-molding equipment.

Albrecht also writes about the beginnings of the Machine Tool Builders Association and the International Machine Tool Show, which is now called the International Manufacturing Technology Show. The name was changed to bring in new exhibitors of manufacturing equipment, such as metalforming machines, as machine tool manufacturers declined.

Next, Albrecht reviews where the industry is today, and finally how it all but died in the United States because of a massive amount of imports taking over the market.

Even though this book is not about metalforming, it does have some information on the history of metal-forming companies. But because the majority of metalforming companies have at least a manual lathe and mill--and often CNC metal-cutting equipment--they have people who might find this book interesting. FFJ

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Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

IRONWORKERS

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Trilogy Machinery Inc. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters

LASER TECHNOLOGY

PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC. Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

Mazak Optonics Corp.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. MC Machinery Systems Inc. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC Murata Machinery, USA, Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SigmaTEK Systems LLC

BEVELING

TRUMPF Inc. Davi Inc. Striker Systems
Steelmax Tools LLC

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Trilogy Machinery Inc.

STAMPING/PRESSES

COIL PROCESSING

MTS Sensors

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

AIDA-America Corp.
Bradbury Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

Mate Precision Tooling

STEEL

Burghardt + Schmidt Group Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc. Rolleri USA Alliance Steel
Butech Bliss UFP Industrial

PRESS BRAKES

TUBE & PIPE

Red Bud Industries

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

AMADA AMERICA, INC. BLM Group
Tishken Advanced Gauging Technologies Automec Inc. Prudential Stainless & Alloys

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

MC Machinery Systems Inc.

WATERJET

Mayfran International Cincinnati Inc. SafanDarley Barton International

DEBURRING/FINISHING

LVD Strippit

PUNCHING

Flow International Corporation
ATI Industrial Automation Scotchman Industries Inc. Hougen Manufacturing Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
Lissmac Corp. Trilogy Machinery Inc.

SAWING

WELDING

Osborn

METAL FORMING

Behringer Saws Inc. American Weldquip
SuperMax Tools FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. Cosen Saws Strong Hand Tools
Timesavers MetalForming Inc. DoALL Sawing T. J. Snow Company

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

HE&M Saw

 

Beckwood Press Co. Titan Tool Supply Inc. Savage Saws

 

Triform

 

 

 


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