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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    I hope they at least hauled it off for that $95.

    I remember a time many years ago during a slump that a chum of mine had the yard come pick up his 12 yard hopper and they sent him a bill - as the trucking cost more than the value of the materials.


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    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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  3. #22
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    We make custom tooling and gages for medical, defense, communications, nuclear, and very small amount of automotive. Really busy and hiring. Shops I know of in the area are busy except those concentrating on automotive, and they are sick of 90 - 120 day terms. I put my few automotive accounts on credit card or COD terms. Too busy with good paying customers to fool with it.

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  5. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    I remember a time many years ago during a slump that a chum of mine had the yard come pick up his 12 yard hopper and they sent him a bill - as the trucking cost more than the value of the materials.


    -----------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox
    I feel his pain. I basically joined PM trying to give away a couple mid 80's Southbend Magnaturns that turned into money pits when I was living in So Cal. They weighed about 5k each. They were already out of the shop sitting on concrete in front of a row of horse stalls open to the outside. Easy to snatch up and haul away. The best price I got at the time was $660, that was paying $660 to have them hauled off.

  6. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJT View Post
    We make custom tooling and gages for medical, defense, communications, nuclear, and very small amount of automotive. Really busy and hiring. Shops I know of in the area are busy except those concentrating on automotive, and they are sick of 90 - 120 day terms. I put my few automotive accounts on credit card or COD terms. Too busy with good paying customers to fool with it.
    I feel their pain with the payment terms. I am trying to get away from automotive work. The only problem is thats pretty much all there is around here.

  7. #25
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    Work has been pretty steady for me this year. YTD we are a few percent behind 2018 which was a very good year, so I can't complain.

    We're a job shop. We don't do much work for automotive. Anyone who I've talked to at tool and die shops say they are slow. I've been hearing the same thing from the metals salesmen: Job shops are doing OK; Tool and die shops are very slow.

    I just got a flier for a bank auction for the assets of Die Tech in Walker (near Grand Rapids for those not from the area). You're not the only one who's business is slow.

  8. #26
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    Thats No Good. Vicount Industries in Farmington Hills also just folded up, though I missed the auction unfortunately.

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    Been trying to retire for a few years now, and the work just keeps rolling in the door.....

  10. #28
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    Energy sector, job shop.

    The last quarter of '18, and the 1st quarter of '19 were great!
    April 1st, the workflow DIED!
    It has been crickets since.
    We have a few PO's in, and some ~should~ be received soon, but I am REALLY glad it is vacation time for my guys. There is only so much preventative maintenance, etc we can do before a change would have to be made.

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  12. #29
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    Ive been doing less and less Tool & Die work of late. Some used to be automotive etc.

    One company that was a regular customer has been bought and sold 3 times in the last few years. Current management is doing their damndest to run it into the ground in a hurry. A friend builds most of their dies, and I often machined components for him. They brought him in recently and asked him lots of questions about the dies, he explained they precision tools. Their maintenance guy tried to adjust a hardened backing plate with a bench grinder.

    So they started taking their tooling to a shop up the road, which has molested and mutilated the tooling to the point it won't make parts that the customer accepts.

    So they call my friend back out.

    I have just about given up on NE Ohio manufacturing... it is doing its best to destroy itself. I decided several years ago I need to be able to support myself without the tool & die work. Working on it...

  13. #30
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    Default How Busy (Or Slow) Are you currently - Midwest Tool and Die / Automotive

    A whole lot of mid-level and higher managers in larger manufacturing firms are basically educated (or not) idiots.

    They get in these positions with impressive resumes, but lack the vital combinations of relevant experience, common sense, and mechanical aptitude/understanding to properly manage any kind of manufacturing.

    And they all have the dumb shit accounting mentality of bottom-line costs are all that matters...if it looks good on paper then it has to be good for the business.

    It’s why bad decisions are made way too often in manufacturing companies: the people in place that are making the decisions are just fancy-dressing, smooth- talking, boneheaded, pretender idiots.

  14. #31
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    just sent off 5k lb of brass chips 1.55 pr lb down from 1.80 3 months ago

  15. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnctoolcat View Post
    And they all have the dumb shit accounting mentality of bottom-line costs are all that matters...if it looks good on paper then it has to be good for the business.

    It’s why bad decisions are made way too often in manufacturing companies: the people in place that are making the decisions are just fancy-dressing, smooth- talking, boneheaded, pretender idiots.
    Spoken like a truly ignorant fool. Everyone on this board constantly complains about "business" people or management in some mis-directed lashing out. Not everyone in management is useless.

    Maybe if some of you applied some good management principles and practices your businesses would be doing better and you'd have less time to tilt at windmills.

  16. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnctoolcat View Post
    A whole lot of mid-level and higher managers in larger manufacturing firms are basically educated (or not) idiots.

    They get in these positions with impressive resumes, but lack the vital combinations of relevant experience, common sense, and mechanical aptitude/understanding to properly manage any kind of manufacturing.

    And they all have the dumb shit accounting mentality of bottom-line costs are all that matters...if it looks good on paper then it has to be good for the business.

    It’s why bad decisions are made way too often in manufacturing companies: the people in place that are making the decisions are just fancy-dressing, smooth- talking, boneheaded, pretender idiots.
    I wish I could have pressed the like button 100 times for this post, spot on. Decades ago I worked for the man in a large connector manufacturing company. I was the working lead in contact primary and was more like a supervisor. I was in a heated battle with a new engineer over a new product of his that was designed poorly with extremely ridiculous tolerances. He refused to make changes that would have made the part easier to make, turning the part and it's mate into gravy jobs you didn't have to babysit to one of those one man one machine inspecting every part jobs. The last straw was when he pointed to his engineering diploma and told me he knows way more than I do and to shut up and have his parts ran.

    Unfortunately for him I was in good with the director of operations who I met as one of the employees who was vocally anti-union when a group of people tried to get the plant unionized. I was considered direct labor and still hourly. Anyway, knowing the words "save the company money" draws attention I went back to my office and wrote up a cost analysis showing the time and money saving on my proposed design changes and had a meeting with the director.

    A couple days later Mr Engineer comes by, apologizes and says we need to work together and he will consult me from now on concerning any possible manufacturing issues of his designs. I told him to get out of my face and told him I have now become his worst nightmare. I treated that guy like crap for my remaining time there which might of been another year. Some people do not deserve a second chance.

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  18. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by RC Mech View Post
    Spoken like a truly ignorant fool. Everyone on this board constantly complains about "business" people or management in some mis-directed lashing out. Not everyone in management is useless.

    Maybe if some of you applied some good management principles and practices your businesses would be doing better and you'd have less time to tilt at windmills.
    You're loc says Canada. How much do you know about American business? You realize it is common here to pay CEO's tens, if not hundreds, of millions per year to "run" the show? Managers of course aren't in quite that bracket, but far and above the average joes (or ya know, us stupid machinist types)

    I think toolcat is right on!

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  20. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    You're loc says Canada. How much do you know about American business? You realize it is common here to pay CEO's tens, if not hundreds, of millions per year to "run" the show? Managers of course aren't in quite that bracket, but far and above the average joes (or ya know, us stupid machinist types)

    I think toolcat is right on!

    I guess it's fitting that you are clear down there, and maybe a bit oblivious, but had you voted for Bernie last go'round, you wouldn't be able to tell where we stop and they start.

    On the plus side - if that were the case, then maybe I wouldn't even hafta stop at the chicken coupes when crossing the St. Marie's? (mostly return)



    -----------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

  21. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by RC Mech View Post
    Not everyone in management is useless.
    Absolutely.

    However in regards to the woman I mentioned. She doesn’t know a punch from a stripper from a die shoe. Her boss, who is a VP who is even more ignorant, put her in charge. The VP who doesn’t know anything about manufacturing is making the call when and how to maintain the dies.

    So is cnctoolcat truly ignorant? In my experience, no.

    Many companies are run by accountants and managements decisions are dictated by those accountants. It is often impossible to explain investing in best quality giving the longest duration.

    My wife is middle management at a Fortune 500 company. She has spent the last 6 months on software development to improve the system they currently use, which is from the mid 90’s. She met daily with development teams, her vp, several directors, and software companies. The project was budgeted to cost $60m over the next 18 mo. To this point they have spent $16m of the $60m and they were all prepped for the project to begin when the whole project was canceled. To say she was pissed was an understatement. She wasted 6 months working to improve her departments system. The new system they were developing has already been shown to pay for itself in time saving efficiencies.

    So no, you are correct, not everyone in management is useless. But from the small company to the Fortune 500, there seems to be a lot of useless idiots who pinch pennies to their own detriment, but are too stupid to see it.

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  23. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    But from the small company to the Fortune 500, there seems to be a lot of useless idiots who pinch pennies to their own detriment, but are too stupid to see it.
    We used to call it walking over the dollar to pick up that shiny nickel. Still happens here a LOT.

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  25. #38
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    A manager doesn't need to be able to do every job of the people he manages, but it is best to have a little hands on ability. Unless a guy or gal can read people like a book they can easily fall victims to masters of shop politics and BSers, plus their own idiosyncrasies.

    I once worked for a shop owner whose shop was all CNCs, a lot of the lathes with multi bar loaders and the machining centers with pallet systems. I was in charge of the lathe department. He was always impressed with people who were constantly working, one guy to the point he would almost run from one machine to the next. The guy who impressed him the most, had B-level skills and was in a constant state of panic and in a hurry to the point of often making preventable mistakes, he led the department in machine crashes as he never turned the rapids down, feeds down or used single block on unproven programs. Also he slopped together his set-ups so they did not run long before needing attention.

    This was a shop where often a person was assigned the same 3 machines. Some of the jobs ran for weeks at a time. My favorite guy was constantly leaning or sitting at his work bench doing nothing. The boss hated him and I constantly had to defend him. The reason why he looked like a wooden Indian in front of a cigar shop, was he set-up the machines quickly, and with fresh tooling, everything was dialed in for a long run without much attention, not a slop set-up where it needs adjustments or tool replacements after 5 parts.

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  27. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    I guess it's fitting that you are clear down there, and maybe a bit oblivious, but had you voted for Bernie last go'round, you wouldn't be able to tell where we stop and they start.

    On the plus side - if that were the case, then maybe I wouldn't even hafta stop at the chicken coupes when crossing the St. Marie's? (mostly return)



    -----------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox
    Not sure what you mean..? I spent most of my life in northern IN, in manufacturing (cnc, tool&die, etc) so I am not a stranger to "up north".... Anywho

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    A manager doesn't need to be able to do every job of the people he manages, but it is best to have a little hands on ability. Unless a guy or gal can read people like a book they can easily fall victims to masters of shop politics and BSers, plus their own idiosyncrasies.

    I once worked for a shop owner whose shop was all CNCs, a lot of the lathes with multi bar loaders and the machining centers with pallet systems. I was in charge of the lathe department. He was always impressed with people who were constantly working, one guy to the point he would almost run from one machine to the next. The guy who impressed him the most, had B-level skills and was in a constant state of panic and in a hurry to the point of often making preventable mistakes, he led the department in machine crashes as he never turned the rapids down, feeds down or used single block on unproven programs. Also he slopped together his set-ups so they did not run long before needing attention.

    This was a shop where often a person was assigned the same 3 machines. Some of the jobs ran for weeks at a time. My favorite guy was constantly leaning or sitting at his work bench doing nothing. The boss hated him and I constantly had to defend him. The reason why he looked like a wooden Indian in front of a cigar shop, was he set-up the machines quickly, and with fresh tooling, everything was dialed in for a long run without much attention, not a slop set-up where it needs adjustments or tool replacements after 5 parts.
    Been there done that! I worked with a guy that was the biggest slob who did the worst (cosmetically anyhow) work but was the bosses wet dream. He 'busted his ass' alright, but a good percent of that was fixing his own screw ups/shoddy workmanship.


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