Modern Machine Shop

JUN 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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Page 116 of 204

MMS JUNE 2018 114 The View Ahead: How Far Will Digital Advances Go? And now we come to 2018. Since the decade of the 2010s isn't done, it is too soon to know what part of our experience now will catch the future's attention. One defining feature of this decade can be found in the way the decade began: with effects still being felt from the preceding decade's trials. The Great Recession left machine shops struggling to return to their previous levels of success, and as of 2010, many were still on that upward climb. But then at a certain point in this decade a threshold was crossed. Shops regained their previous levels and kept going. Now how are those shops changing and where are they headed? This year, we saw a clue. The cover stories of each of the first three issues of this year (including the one seen above) all reported on shops making significant investments toward bringing their equipment and capabilities together into unified digital systems. The repetition of this digital theme was not our intent. For our first cover stor y of the year, we aimed to report on a shop's success with transitioning to machining parts from solid as a replacement for starting with castings. But committing to a system of digitally monitoring machine-tool perfor- mance and responding to the data proved vital to this shop's aim to become more reliant on CNC machining. As for where this development of digital integration might go, I think we can see clues in other industries. In retail, for example, a third- party provider might seamlessly fulfill an order placed through Amazon; we are already accus- tomed to this. If manufacturers' internal digital PETER ZELINSKI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF FEBRUARY 2018 1928-2018

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