The Power of Smallᵀᴹ

C-Bag

Ned Ludd's bro
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To understand a bit better were we are coming from, perhaps you'd be interested to see 2 short videos where Wayne Conrad (our chief scientist) talks at Ignite event where young enterpreneurs were given awards for their innovations:
Enabling Local Distributed Manufacturing
Knowledge economy and core manufacturing

We (Omachron) are working hard to make sure that all this is not just popular sound bites, but that there is an actual very affordable equipment available to people, this equipment can be installed in their garage. In 2019 we will be introducing small injection molding, plastic extrusion and small CNC equipment. It is going to be a long path, but hopefully worth it.

Watched them both and they were still very general and had some great sound bites. But if this is mostly about selling new equipment I'm going to be disappointed. I was hoping the first step was going to start laying out the vision of distributed manufacturing through seeing who on this site can or want to make parts for the machines in the affordable equipment you want to do the process with. There are literally 1,000's of members with all kinds of machines and levels of experience and varying expertise. I've always seen this as an unharnessed potential just waiting for an open source local distributed manufacturing opportunity. Not everybody will be able or want to participate but it would be an interesting way to utilize those who want to. As long as it doesn't turn into some kind of Uber race to the bottom with people undercutting each other.

This way of manufacturing is in no way new. Lots of big manufacturers like GM, Ford, Chrysler etc had small companies making parts for them. Toyota early on had small shops that contracted for certain things. I was fascinated by how the Allies couldn't knock out the manufacture of the FW 190 in WWII because Kurt Tank, the engineer, designed it to be made in small shops by craftsmen like cabinet shops, auto plants, metal shops etc then assembled elsewhere. Unlike Messerschmitt which was made in centralized plants which the bombers were able find and bomb easily.

This is an exciting thing in concept. It's all going to be about the execution.
 

MarkM

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I ll throw this out there. I would love to be a Guinea Pig. I am small trying to find my way back in the trade. Have some ideas that need to be developed. I have a four year plan and it s been over a year. The Machining Industry has accelerated out of control in my opinion. Every one wants or needs the answer but the people who can take a problem and solve it are becoming rare. The power of small isn t just about equipment. I think this is where the true craftsman will be that can solve problems without aids and computer help. Don t get me wrong there are brilliant minds out there but were losing are true understanding of what is happening.
When I started out I had an old Mentor from Scotland teach me. He made me stand and watch the machines for three months. It was a Screw Machine Shop. I could not move even to sweep the floor. After some time I was able to see the crashes and tooling deteriate. I Thought it was crazy but today I know why. He took me aside and gave me projects that did not make sense and I struggled with. He did not care about my wasted time. He was preparing me so he could leave the shop and I could step in and solve issues and have the understanding to work around tooling and our equipment. I don t know if this exists today and the small shops have to be crafty to exist. Machinery costs are out of this world. I would love to see doors open for the small shop to be able to compete amd attain machinery where one wouldn t have to risk it all financially to dive in as alot of us just don t have that kind of money. I ve already have roughly thirty grand into it and know I am still mickey mouse but its a long process and getting closer to be a full rounded shop. The problem in our trade is we are always in need of something. It is just so vast.
 

7milesup

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Interested in watching this thread.
 

mmcmdl

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Machining will take you broke if you let it , better off doing it as a hobby only and make a buck at it when you can . When cnc houses count their scrap on the floor as profit , you know it's a competitive business . I told my children to learn how to fix things , learn what makes thins work , learn how to troubleshoot equipmet etc , but for god's sake , don't do this for a living . Why in the world would someone shell out half a mil , rent a place , deal with the headaches of owning a shop? I knew people who bid jobs and didn't make $2 bucks an hour on them :rolleyes: they won the job alright . Wonder how much they spent to make that $2 bucks an hour ? :)
 

mmcmdl

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No rant was intended above :big grin: , but that is the gawds honest truth with tis trade . You always need to be faster , bigger , smaller , lighter , better , cheaper than the next guy . I run equipment no longer , I saw this coming years ago . I now fix the equipment . If my company could buy parts from China cheaper than having them manufactured here , you can bet your arse they would . Unfortunately , they can't pack up there lines and move there so easily . We chase cheap labor all the time , our manufacturing plant closed and they moved it to Nebraska in the mddle of awheat field . Now they can't find skilled people . Heck , I can't hire skilled people here in Md .:big grin:
 

MarkM

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mmcmdl I kind of agree with you in a sense but your last comment about not finding skilled people is where it changes. People want stuff for nothing when it comes to a production level but when you get a call from the mill and your told were losing 25 000$ an hr. As we had to shutt the line down and we don t care what it costs. Fix it. There is gravy there! In no way could one compete in a production setting with multi million dollar outfits. Repair maintenance is what I am interested in along with coming up with my own products. It all depends on what your doing. Take on site line boring for an example. Pays good money and this type of work now is done by few people. Just the big ones like say Caterpillar for example are called and charge an unbelievable amount of money for this service. So a skilled guy can do well at this. The problem I find today is even that farmer has stopped thnking about machinist as everything seems to get thrown out and they don t know that the skilled machinist is around anymore. For me anyways a big part of it has been to educate people that equipment can still be fixed and improved upon. I ll knock on doors amd they are like really you can do that.
I will admit though this is a scary endeavor for me at my age of fifty. I lost some people in my life a few years ago and it changed everything for me. I want to fill my soul and it s machining is what I want to do. Tired of the crap working for people. I still have to for now and it even harder trying to do both. I have to choose wisely what I buy and what I turn my shop into. Machining is done along a sharpening business for something steady and to be honest I have concentrated more on that knowing the machine aspect of it isn t there yet. Yes I ll admit it. I may be crazy!
I have contemplated about starting a thread about my journey.
 
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7milesup

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Wall Street is more to blame than anything/anyone. The desire/pressure to return earnings to stockholders is what drives virtually all corporate decisions today. Wall Street has done more to destroy the manufacturing segment of this country than probably all other factors combined.
We've gotten a little off track on this thread. I will say one more thing, and I would not have said this 10 years ago... If you want to make money, or want your kids to make money, be a professional pilot. There is getting to be a huge shortage of qualified pilots. If I was still working I would be at or above the $200k mark plus incredible benefit packages. That being said, there is a lot more to life than money though.
 

Plastiblocks

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I look forward to seeing your IM equipment.
I often make hundreds of parts from extruded plastic materials (noun) because the quantity is to low to make a mold an economical choice.

Also if you can produce a PET product that is not terrible to machine I would be very thankful.
I have turned Ensinger's TECAPET which they consider "modified for improved machining", I hope to never turn the unimproved version.

We didn't work with PET yet, but could definitely give it a try. What size of blocks/rods were you looking for if they were available? We receive many requests and try to respond/accommodate as many as possible. Let me know what you are looking for and we'll see if we can or cannot help!
 

Plastiblocks

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I really appreciate the input everybody has to this thread.
I hope you can find this next article interesting and will be able to contribute to it.
Some of you might still find it to generic, but trust me, there is an equipment backing it up and enabling every single thing we are talking about.
We will be posting more technical information soon.

Here is the article (I hope you share it with more people and ask them to participate in the conversation):

The Next Industrial Revolution


This equipment can mold parts that are larger than itself.

molder1.jpg
 
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P. Waller

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We didn't work with PET yet, but could definitely give it a try. What size of blocks/rods were you looking for if they were available? We receive many requests and try to respond/accommodate as many as possible. Let me know what you are looking for and we'll see if we can or cannot help!
Mostly rounds <2" turned for product contact rollers for the food processing industry and less often bar milled for product contact guides, the milling is very easy but the turning and drilling is often a mess, I do however suspect that the turning problems are tool,feed and speed related, dedicated tooling may vastly decrease the chip control problems. This is in something that I will try the next time a part in this material comes along.
 
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