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The MAKING CHIPS Podcast for Manufacturing Leaders with Jason Zenger & Jim Carr

Welcome to MakingChips - We believe that manufacturing is challenging, but if you are connected to a community of leaders, you can elevate your skills, solve your problems and grow your business. Making Chips is a weekly podcast that will EQUIP and INSPIRE MANUFACTURING LEADERS to succeed in the challenging world of manufacturing. Our mission is for the METALWORKING NATION to Think Differently About Manufacturing In Order to Elevate their Game. Your hosts, Jason Zenger & Jim Carr, own manufacturing businesses and interview other leaders in the metalworking, machining, fabrication, tooling and machine tool industries. We have interviewed successful manufacturing CEOs you may have not heard of and also the biggest names in manufacturing like Titan Gilroy from Titans of CNC, John Saunders from NYC CNC, Mark Terryberry from Haas Automation and others from MakerCast, Sandvik Coromant, Autocrib and more. Think of us as your virtual community of manufacturing peers to help solve your toughest problems and grow your business. "Making Chips has provided a transparent approach to sharing within the manufacturing community and a modern platform to do so. Thank you both for taking the lead on moving our industry segment forward!" Patricia Miller - CEO & Visionary (Matrix IV) I really think what you guys are doing is a great, great thing for manufacturing. I have learned so much already from many of your episodes, and am so thrilled to have met people that get as revved up about manufacturing as I do! Cassandra Haupers – Vice President of Operations (Swiss Precision Machining) I love being able to experience what manufacturers are doing to promote culture and engage their team members and community. All of us are smarter than one of us. That is why I am part of the Making Chips tribe. Barry E. Walter, Jr. – Chief Operating Officer (Barry E. Walter, Sr. Co.) Finally, relevant manufacturing media that is actually entertaining! Dietmar Goellner – Chief Executive Officer (Advanced Machine & Engineering / Hennig) The more manufacturing companies we can get to think this way, the stronger our industry will be. Thank you for sharing! Jess Giudici – Manager, Talent and Culture I’m thankful to you for creating MakingChips for the Metalworking Nation so that Owners / Employees can strengthen their companies. Phil Sponsler – President (ORBITFORM) I love the podcast! It really serves to fill a void in the manufacturing world. I will admit I always feel a little more inspired. Jason Falk – Senior Application Engineer, CMTSE (HURCO) Thanks to all the great info on your podcasts and the website. Dave Lechleitner – Director of Solutions and Product Marketing (KEYEDIN) I really love what you guys are doing to advance the mfg industry in a way that really reaches the right audiences. Jeff Rizzie – Senior Manager-Business Development (Sandvik Coromant)
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Jul 20, 2018

This week on MakingChips, Jason asks Jim whether or not you really need a 5-axis machine. Every manufacturing company owner has to determine the right time to add a new piece of machinery to his or her shop. That decision isn’t always easy. More often than not, there are multiple good options that leave the leader with the daunting task of determining the best choice. Jim explains to Jason his rationale for a recent purchase making decision for Carr Tool and Machine and gives advice for making a big purchasing. Hear all that and more on this episode of MakingChips.

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2 main factors that can help you make decisions about machinery

When considering a big purchase of machinery for your shop, the decision largely depends on two factors. The first factor is what you currently make. Know your current customer demand and your ability to meet that demand. If you are having trouble with turn-around or customers are continually leaving your business because you can’t meet their demand, it might be time to upgrade to a new piece of machinery. The second factor is how will your company grow in the future. Considering what technology you need to integrate into your company to allow for growth and expansion will help you make a wise purchase.

Buying a 5-axis machine should be a need-based purchase

After originally planning to buy a 5-axis machine last summer, Jim recently purchased a 4-axis Mazak 500mm twin table horizontal machining center with full fourth axis machining capability. He explains that while he was unable to complete the deal on the 5-axis machine the 4-axis machine has served him well. He has been able to meet customer needs with the 4-axis horizontal machine. Jim also expressed that he hasn’t had the need for a 5-axis machine. When considering a machine tool purchase, Jim advises letting need be a key determining factor. Buying a piece of equipment that you already have a need for ensures that you get an immediate return on your investment.

How to make a good purchasing decision

It is difficult to balance the tendency to resist change with moving forward too quickly. The danger is that you purchase a piece of machinery that won’t give you a quick return on investment. It is wise to introduce technology incrementally. Jim encourages leaders to utilize the wisdom and experience of your team to help make educated decisions for your company. He also suggests reaching out to your customers to see if they need the kind of work that would justify purchasing a 5-axis machine.

Will a 5-axis machine make or break your company?

Not having a 5-axis machine will not keep Carr Machine and Tool from being competitive in the long run. While Jim chose not to buy the 5-axis machine yet, he will definitely be looking to purchase one in the near future. Knowing the plan for future growth and expansion gives Jim a head start in finding the skilled labor or training current employees so that they can run the machine effectively. Jim and Jason would love to hear from you. Have you purchased a 5-axis machine? If so why?

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • It is better to have a well placed fan than having an oscillating fan
  • Buying new technology requires you to balance risk and reward
  • JIm shares his excitement about a new relationship with an aerospace customer
  • Manufacturing News: Machine Metrics shares shocking machine utilization numbers
  • Jim shares his reasons for deciding not to buy a 5-axis machine
  • Though it wasn’t a 5-axis Carr Machine and Tool did add a new piece of equipment in the shop
  • Buying a machine should be based on the production needs you currently have
  • Jim shares the impact of 5-axis machines could have for his company
  • Jason and Jim ask for your feedback about 5-axis machines

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