Machine Tool Manufacturing is Moving Back to the US
Since the recession began in 2007, there has been a quiet revolution in the machining business and its supply chain. Take off shoring. Most U.S. machine shops that went overseas in recent decades are now be reshored, or moving back to the U.S. High transportation costs and rising overseas labor are contributing to reshoring, but so is the poor quality of overseas tools. No one makes a machine tool like an American worker.
What type of machine tools are made here? A machine tool, like a collet or boring head, is used to either guide or hold a workpiece. Each has several parts, and needs correct assembly for error free production?
What machine tools are there? There are collets, one of the most important tools. Collets form a collar around the workpiece, and exert a clamping force to hold it in place. Collets are similar to tool holders, which are for high velocity applications with a wide range of projections.
Boring tools, like collets, are also essential to machining, particularly backboring. Backboring involves reaching through a hole that has already been drilled, and then refining the hole using single point cutting inserts. Making a backbore improves the precision of a machine, and is something an American machinist understands better than many overseas producers.
Tools like collets that are made in the U.S. are often of a higher quality, and are actually cheaper to produce. That should be a source of pride for Americans. As machining becomes more advanced, companies can always rely on the American worker to produce better quality, more durable tools for all to use.