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Told we didn't make any money.

I'm told to make tooling last, because it's expensive. That takes more time. Then I'm slower than I already was. I'm so worried about wrecking a tool or the inserts. It feels like I'm hauling ass with the tool, pushing it to it's limits, either about the destroy the tool or rip the part out of the vise. The inserted cutter is worn at the tips and are also tapered about .002". (If it's a indexable cutter, it's messed up) I say that's messing with the finish of the part, particularly the more worn corner leaving a .007" step at the bottom of the cut. But apparently I was worrying about it too much.

Cheaping out on tooling is often one of the most obvious indicators of a poorly run shop.

There are plenty of ways to save money on tooling. Using busted inserts is not one of them.
 
Cheaping out on tooling is often one of the most obvious indicators of a poorly run shop.

There are plenty of ways to save money on tooling. Using busted inserts is not one of them.
I'm a little tiny shop, you run a larger production facility, in both instances have you ever not made more money buying tooling?
I have never seen someone not make more money buying newer, better, correct tooling.
Shows a companies lack of practical knowledge in that particular area IMHO.
 
I'm a little tiny shop, you run a larger production facility, in both instances have you ever not made more money buying tooling?
I don't think it's that easy. Or more accurately, you can't just decide a tool is "better" because it costs more.

Here's my favorite example, because it actually happened : I was a sandvik fanboy. Before that a carboloy fanboy, but never kennametal. Carboloy 516 is the shnitz !

Anyhoo, the sandvik sales guy was really good, knew his stuff, big help, "here, try this" and all that so I became an idolator. And then one day ran out of inserts and was in a rush so I snagged some Penn Tool or other cheap import junk cnmg's to get me through the next couple days. Need parts now, bla bla.

The $2 inserts lasted almost as long as the $10 inserts (this was a while back). In fact it was close enough time-wise that over a week's use, I was saving about $50 a day. That's $250 a week or $1,000 a month.

I still kept a box of the Grade A Double-Whammy Triple Throwdown Expensive sandviks around for special occasions. And kept using knux'es and laydown threading inserts and other high-price sandvik products for where it really made a difference. But no more cnmg's for roughing steel.

The lesson for me was, you can't judge by price. You have to take it on a case by case basis and do actual testing. But I never again went on the premise that most expensive = most economical.
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This shop is probably cooked. No money for tools, running on old repeat jobs, work slowing down, too many employees, office staff heavy, skill gap, leaving the deburr guy to program new work... that's game over. Where is the owner in all of this?

My advice to the OP is to find a new job, preferably in a different industry. Want to make double what you're making now? Have you ever operated a backhoe?
I've definitely thought about other jobs. But I'm in Central Texas and every trade I've looked at pays low $20's a hour. I've never operated a backhoe. Doing that or a wheel loader, or excavator sounds fun. I've been thinking about getting my CDL if it comes to it. Or testing out being a CNA and then pursue becoming a RN. I'm not sure if all these fields would require Spanish, but I don't speak it.

There were at least a couple replies talking about the 7hr quote taking 4 days. The 2nd part was just a slight variation of that part. 1 different hole and another hole was moved. Programs were copy and pasted and just slight edits. Machine was 90% setup still. It still took about 2.5 days. I mentioned that basically any mill work I get, the time quote is not realistic. I'm doing so much more than what the time quote says.

There are parts where they want you to clean them, on the job's time card, but no where to actually clock that in. So you just add it to the mill op, that is already over time. Some parts we have to tumble them, I'll do that, while I'm still milling the last op. I do 50 at a time. I stay clocked in on the mill op for the last tumbling batches. Tumbling takes 30~ minutes per 50 parts. Other people mill it all, clock off. Then tumble parts. We have a major job time tracking/expectation issue. It's been like that since I've worked there. Supposedly its been like this since some guy has been there, some 20 years.
 
Also I asked the one co-worker if we made any money this time and he said he would go check and I never head back from him. I'm leaning towards, no.
 
I don't think it's that easy. Or more accurately, you can't just decide a tool is "better" because it costs more.

Here's my favorite example, because it actually happened : I was a sandvik fanboy. Before that a carboloy fanboy, but never kennametal. Carboloy 516 is the shnitz !

Anyhoo, the sandvik sales guy was really good, knew his stuff, big help, "here, try this" and all that so I became an idolator. And then one day ran out of inserts and was in a rush so I snagged some Penn Tool or other cheap import junk cnmg's to get me through the next couple days. Need parts now, bla bla.

The $2 inserts lasted almost as long as the $10 inserts (this was a while back). In fact it was close enough time-wise that over a week's use, I was saving about $50 a day. That's $250 a week or $1,000 a month.

I still kept a box of the Grade A Double-Whammy Triple Throwdown Expensive sandviks around for special occasions. And kept using knux'es and laydown threading inserts and other high-price sandvik products for where it really made a difference. But no more cnmg's for roughing steel.

The lesson for me was, you can't judge by price. You have to take it on a case by case basis and do actual testing. But I never again went on the premise that most expensive = most economical.
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I didn't say more expensive tooling, I said buying tooling period. ie better than old broken shit with chipped inserts.

I have a bunch of cheap Chinese ZCC tooling, inexpensive Korloy tooling. Tegara holders, Taiwanese holders, collets.

Point is I've always made more money buying tooling compared to skimping, not buying, using old broken shit.
 
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I've definitely thought about other jobs. But I'm in Central Texas and every trade I've looked at pays low $20's a hour. I've never operated a backhoe. Doing that or a wheel loader, or excavator sounds fun. I've been thinking about getting my CDL if it comes to it. Or testing out being a CNA and then pursue becoming a RN. I'm not sure if all these fields would require Spanish, but I don't speak it.

There were at least a couple replies talking about the 7hr quote taking 4 days. The 2nd part was just a slight variation of that part. 1 different hole and another hole was moved. Programs were copy and pasted and just slight edits. Machine was 90% setup still. It still took about 2.5 days. I mentioned that basically any mill work I get, the time quote is not realistic. I'm doing so much more than what the time quote says.

There are parts where they want you to clean them, on the job's time card, but no where to actually clock that in. So you just add it to the mill op, that is already over time. Some parts we have to tumble them, I'll do that, while I'm still milling the last op. I do 50 at a time. I stay clocked in on the mill op for the last tumbling batches. Tumbling takes 30~ minutes per 50 parts. Other people mill it all, clock off. Then tumble parts. We have a major job time tracking/expectation issue. It's been like that since I've worked there. Supposedly its been like this since some guy has been there, some 20 years.
Construction pays good money here in California. $50/hr or more for a lot of jobs. I have a friend who works as a civil engineer for the city and works in a road crew at night as a laborer. He makes more with the road crew gig. Nurse is a shit job (literally) in my opinion. CDL can be whatever you make of it.

Machining is a highly skill dependent job where individual skill can create enormous differences. What takes one person 4 days might take another 4 hours. The market price might be profitable at 1 day, meaning that the 4 day guy is losing his shirt and the 4 hour guy is making great money. Most other jobs are not like this. Truck driver A can't deliver the good 10x as fast as truck driver B for example. If you don't have what it takes to be the best, then pick a job where it doesn't matter.
 
I wouldnt worry too much about the finances of the company ...........simple fact is make no money ,pay no tax .....I ran like this for years ,and so do millions of small businesses ............the owners probably cant quit because of personal guarantees given over financial products ................Fact is you can drive a nice car,live in a nice house ,kids in a private school ,without being profitable. ...........your accountant will tell you how to do it.
 
I've definitely thought about other jobs. But I'm in Central Texas and every trade I've looked at pays low $20's a hour. I've never operated a backhoe. Doing that or a wheel loader, or excavator sounds fun. I've been thinking about getting my CDL if it comes to it. Or testing out being a CNA and then pursue becoming a RN.
If you want to try healthcare, consider respiratory therapy or x-ray tech. Both are two year programs at a community college. With a little care, it's possible to do it while working, particularly if the employer is understanding.
When I went back to school for respiratory care, there wasn't any machining in the region that paid (didn't help that I had a great spot in a palace), so simply switching employers was a nonstarter. Today, an RRT will make about $35/hr. Travellers sign up for 13 week commitments and are pulling down 2-2.5K/ week. X-ray techs make more, especially if certed for CT or MRI.
If you want to go further, either perfusionist (runs a heart-lung machine) or PA (physician assistant) does over 100K. Needs a lot more schooling, though, most health systems have good education assistance. Good luck.
By the way, you've the right attitude. Attention to duty is something valued when doing patient care, and you seem to have it.
 
Couple thoughts; you need to figure out how to play the time card/data game. What thing are they measuring you on that they will harass you about? Move the time around on the card so that it fulfills that main metric they are looking for, the rest of it plays out wherever it fits. If you have people in management that are just looking for a certain number in a certain box, then give it to them and move on. Do the job so it gets done, but make the paperwork look like they want it to. If they aren't collecting and looking at all the data, then they aren't doing it properly anyway, so they don't really care what reality is, they just want a certain number to show to someone that makes them look good.

I will second doing your homework and using this place to get better for yourself. As mentioned, being able to program your own jobs and getting better and better is for yourself, not necessarily for the company. If you want to stay in manufacturing, then I'd work towards this route and use this place to learn on their machines and tools so that you can make a step up or two at a different place.

If this place is a few weeks or months from closing, then bail asap, be the first one looking for job, not the last.

I'd also advise if you don't have a love for a desire to make things, then there isn't much reason to stay in the industry, it is hard on your body and hard to make as much as other professions.
 
I get the feeling you want to learn and do better. Work on you and what you can do and at the same time look for a better shop. That place is a dead end going nowhere company.
 
You don't say where in central Texas you are located. I can think of several shops I've done business with over the years in central Texas that would be good shops to work in if they are still in business. One place that comes to mind is in Taylor.
My home office is in Burelson, south of FtWorth, right there on the main drag, IH-35W. They are always looking for warm bodies to push buttons and do some programming when needed. Benifits arn't that great, the pay is decent. If interested, PM me.
 
I worked at a shop where we were always way over on the quoted times. The owner would tell us we were inefficient because we didn't meet the quoted time.

One night I ran into our guy who did all the quoting at the bar. We got to talking and I started busting his chops about his quotes not being realistic. I'll never forget his reply...

"Paul takes my quotes and chops the time by 25% across the board." Needless to say Paul was a scumbag owner.

Someday I'm going to start a thread about that now out of business shop. I run into a "survivor" occasionally and always thought it would be interesting to track down some of us. A lot of very good machinists went through the doors of that skunks shop.
 
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When I worked in the Toyota toolroom they were always getting estimates wrong. Standard practice for the planning and estimation guys was to book the time against another job or use apprentices/slaves where time was booked to training. Eventually a die landed on the floor and there was no time left on the job. Everyone got called into a meeting and got told they would need to work weekends for free. Read my lips "Fuck off".
Sounds just like the automotive tool room I worked in...
 
Payroll costs more than tooling. It's a good sign of mismanagement if they're seriously cutting corners on the tooling, which is different from simply not buying shiny tools you don't need.

That said, a lot of the time when the quoted time to real time are drastically different, there's something fishy going on. Sometimes (best case) the company actually is profitable, but they refuse to quote times based off of reality. Example: they can float their expenses and win bids on making $100/hr of actual work. But, some doofus up top decided that "we're a $200/hr company", and bids everything off that number and incorrectly assumes they can make the parts in half the time you actually can. It kind of ends up working out- shop expenses are covered, jobs are still competitively priced, but there are hidden numbers on the reality of profit. These shops are almost always sloppy and disorganized on the books too.

What's more than likely though is if you're lucky they're making money elsewhere (one gravy job that makes up for all the losses or some grant or leftover donor money), or they're just flat out leaking money left and right and this thing is eventually going under.

Then -and this is the important bit- when they do go under, the broke owner will make an account on practicalmachinist.com and complain about how impossible this industry is and if you want to make money you should go buy a hotdog stand instead.
 
Lucky ..back in the 60s,if you worked for Toyota and f****d up,you would have to stand on a street corner semi naked and shout out all your faults to passers by.
Actually this culture has always permeated Japanese manufacturing. Not as dramatic per-se, but workers feel great societal pressure to not screw up at work, and to do their job well.

No wonder the Japanese kicked the world's hind-end pretty good in manufacturing....

ToolCat
 
That shop is not worth wasting your time at.
As another said - red flags everywhere.
I also agree with those that encourage you to learn all you can.
To be successful in this trade and business you must constantly think outside the box, find ways to hold parts to machine multiple features to reduce setups. As others have said- tools are incredibly important to the bottom line. We recently switched out a ball endmill that reduced our cycle time 15 minutes per PART!
This is important not only for the cost of the part manufacturing- but it frees up spindle time for more work.
It can be a rewarding career in the feeling of personal achievement, however across the industry for the vital role it plays in our society as a whole - wages and profits at most shops are definitely not on the same scale as other trades with far less demanding knowledge.
 








 
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