Have you ever wondered what manufacturing is left in the U.S? Much has been outsourced to low cost nations, mainly in Asia and Eastern Europe. At least, that was the story of the past few decades. Recently, there has been a move back to the U.S, especially in machining. Below are a description of some CNC machining products made in the U.S, such as tap adapters and centers, boring tools, and others that machine tool manufacturers make.
First off, what is a machining tool? For those unfamiliar, a machining tool, like a tap adapter. shapes a workpiece of metal or another rigid material, either through milling, boring, grinding or cutting. Most are used in the manufacture of custom made products or very large machinery, and have a number of industrial and consumer applications.
Boring tools are some of the most common machining tools. Using tap adapters, horizontal and vertical boring drills a hole into very hard workpieces. Large workpieces are machine bored, whereas smaller workpieces can be bored on the lathe. Boring techniques, like gun drilling and cannon boring, were developed to make firearms, but have many uses outside weaponry.
Tool presetters are way more sophisticated than tap adapters or any boring equipment. Presetters use a form tool for a new part, including for tap adapters, and then use a probe to measure cuts with great accuracy. These can help make custom parts, such as tap adapters, in any production run.
So why are these tools, like tap adapters, being made in the U.S. again? That is partly because labor costs overseas are starting to rise. Another reason is higher fuel costs, making transoceanic shipment more expensive. Most importantly, nothing beats the quality of an American worker. Tools made in the U.S. have much higher quality than anywhere else, and should be a source of pride for us all.
CNC machine tools like tap adapters are making a resurgence in U.S. shops. So the next time you visit a machine shop or manufacturer, know that many of the tools were made right here in the U.S. As time goes on and more goods move here, you can take pride that American manufacturing is coming back, and America is rising again.