Category archives for: Editorial

Marketing for Machine Shops: Part 3 – Internet Domain Names

So often, shops have no company website. Moreover, their email address is from any number of generic sources; machineshopperson@att.net, anothershop@yahoo.com, i-need-a-website@hotmail.com. There’s really nothing wrong with having such an address, but using an email that includes your company’s name is much more professional. In today’s information age, the necessity of having a company website cannot [...]

Don’t Put Off Your Own Recovery

Some small businesses are delaying capital purchases in hopes of the bill’s passage. Actually, this “wait-for-the-break” purchasing strategy is unnecessary for most small businesses since they can currently expense 100% of machinery purchases up to $250,000 per year or opt to depreciate the amount over seven years… a policy the Bush administration put in place.

Taxes Keep Unemployment High

One of the basic tenants of a successful horror movie is to never let the audience get too good a look at the monster. People always imagine something worse than can be displayed on the screen. Take the original version of “The Thing from Outer Space.” It isn’t until the heroic humans fry the Thing [...]

So Long, Dream Babies

The saying used to be that “the sun never sets on the British Empire.” That meant that somewhere around the globe the sun was shining on one of Great Britain’s colonies. The sun set on the British Empire about the time it became the United Kingdom. England used to be the world leader in manufacturing, [...]

Machining’s Golden Age

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I read science fiction. Not exclusively, but I do enjoy the techie stories of authors like Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven, and Robert Heinlein. They blend stories about people and technology with an optimistic outlook about what’s in store for us. The characters that populate their stories are [...]

The “C” Word

Yeah, I’m a codger — not yet by definition “old” since I don’t yell at kids to get off my lawn, but I’m getting codger qualified. I can tell because I like some things that have changed, but shouldn’t have, like the nickname of what was once America’s best-selling car. This all began soon after [...]

Marketing for Machine Shops: Part 2 – Brochures

As an owner of a company that buys a lot of machined parts I often receive solicitations in the form of brochures.  I appreciate the time fellow business people take in putting together marketing materials to pursue sales, but correctly pursuing a customer starts well before the stamp hits the envelope.  I received a brochure [...]

Obama’s Small Business Rescue Plan will Fail

In President Obama’s recent State of the Union address he introduced a plan for $30 billion of TARP money to be lent to small businesses through the banking network.  This shot in the arm is exactly what small business needs to regain working capital for new investments and expansion.  Too bad the average small business [...]

Pete Nofel: Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Two more industrial business-to-business magazines have bitten the dust. Penton Media’s venerable American Machinist and Welding Design & Fabrication have ceased print publication. For me, both were within that six-degrees-of-separation. My first editor-in-chief gig was as head honcho of Gases & Welding Distributor, a sister publication of Welding Design & Fabrication. In fact, the WDF’s [...]

Dust Collection Systems

Dust is such a dirty thing! But when it comes to machining graphite, dust can be a machine killer. The use of graphite in EDM machining is very common in the US, and is increasingly used in Europe and Asia. It is easy to machine, has excellent wear resistance, and performs well in most EDM [...]


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