Machine Shops

On Any Given Day In U.S. Manufacturing

William Krueger / March 19, 2015

6-axis robots, Google Glass and machines that make your SUV look like a matchbox car aren’t part of everyone’s daily routine, but then again, not everyone gets to work at a tech company that specializes in CNC machining production. As an Account Director with MakeTime, I sometimes visit manufacturers on our platform. Those visits grant me a pretty amazing behind-the-scenes look at how the stuff that makes up our world gets made.

A World Machined

Consider these implications: Everything around you that isn’t part of the natural world was made by someone, somewhere. Take Kentucky Fried Chicken for example. You can find KFCs in China. When I recently visited MakeTime manufacturer Winston Industries, I learned that every single piece of fried chicken ever fried at a KFC anywhere in the world was fried in a chicken fryer made in a Winston Industries facility. Every single piece.

Drura Parrish at DEMO

MakeTime CEO, Drura Parrish, speaks at DEMO in a Colonel Sanders string tie.

There’s more.

Another manufacturer we work with, Indiana-based ITAMCO, develops manufacturing applications for Google Glass and also made the world’s first industrial bluetooth transmitter. MTConnect, a manufacturing standard designed to “facilitate the organized retrieval of process information from numerically controlled machine tools,” has an ITAMCO-partnered service for Google Glass and — like us — is working to make sure U.S. manufacturing’s embrace of IoT and IIoT is smooth, streamlined and successful.

Mitsu 6 Axis

Mitsubishi 6-Axis Robot at MB Controls. Photo copyright GLINTstudios.

Machines Machined

Then there are the machines. People are designing and building the things that make all these things. MB Controls, another MakeTime manufacturer that also happens to be Kentucky’s only authorized Mitsubishi integrator, specializes in machine build and system integration solutions. On my last visit there, I met a 6-axis Mitsubishi Electric MELFA Industrial Robot. This particular robot has class-leading speed and precision, intelligent options like 3D vision, force sensing and seamless PLC integration.

Translation: Not Chappie, but still super-impressive.

Mitsu 6 Axis

MakeTime Manufacturer MB Controls’ 6-Axis Mitsubishi Robot has class-leading speed and precision, intelligent options like 3D vision, force sensing and seamless PLC integration. Photo copyright GLINTstudios.

While at MB Controls, I also got to see the world’s fastest and most accurate CNC plasma cutter. Not only is it massive, but it can turn out CNC machined parts and components as easily and quickly as John Calipari turns out NBA superstars.

MB Controls CNC Plasma

MakeTime Manufacturer MB Controls’ CNC plasma cutter. Photo copyright GLINTstudios.

Touring MakeTime manufacturing facilities is exhilarating. Part science fiction, part American Dream, it’s an adventure filled with endless capabilities, amazing shops and interesting people.

I just hope my next tour is with an automotive OEM on a day they’re giving away free samples.

Find out more about how MakeTime can help you get your CNC machined parts here.

(This post was originally posted March 15, 2015. It was reposted December 5, 2016.)