Do you like watching “How It’s Made” on the Discovery Channel?

If you are a machine and technology geek like we are at Rentapen?  Then you would have loved the week of factory tours we just experienced in late April, 2013.

George Straley, the founder of Rentapen, and I traveled from Alabama to Michigan visiting manufacturers along the way.  We were able to visit six different manufacturers.  Some with machines from the 1930′s and some with the latest high-tech automation and Kaizen methods for tracking efficiency.  Almost everyone was busy or getting busier.

From furniture to fork-lifts, machine tool makers to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), we got to see where Americans work.

I put together a slide show and video of some of the images we saw so that I could share with you a little of the excitement and innovation.

Manufacturers tours from Rentapen Inc

It was fun meeting the people we work with via the phone and internet.  It was good to see our weld and assembly fixtures being used.  Since we only design for a portion of the production of the final end product, it was fun to see the final products rolling off the assembly floor and onto the trucks.

They complimented us on the Rentapen team,  products and services.  They gave us valuable feedback that will help us in our continuous effort to be even better.  They showed us where they have used RAPid Shims and RAPid Blocks in their fixtures.

We would like to thank those who took the time out of their very busy and demanding schedules.  They showed us through their factories, explained their challenges and triumphs.  Many of them wish to remain anonymous, so I haven’t named any of them.  Some you may recognize.
SHIMS
A shim pack consists of several thin metal shims of the same shape but can have the same or different thicknesses.

A shim pack consists of several thin metal shims of the same shape but can have the same or different thicknesses.

If you use precision steel shims in your machine tooling designs, you will be interested in our price comparison test we recently conducted.  We pitted our shims and shim packs against those of Misumi and Douglas.  Whether you use die-sharpening shims, NAAMS shims, or custom or standard steel shims…
You can create your own standard shim pack on Rentapen’s weld fixture components site.
’til next time,
The Queen

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