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  • Worthwhile Watching

    Posted by David Foster on September 4th, 2016 (All posts by )

    …especially for Labor Day weekend

    There probably aren’t too many TV series centered around a CNC machine shop…but there’s at least one, and it’s called Titans of CNC.  The producer and central figure, Titan Gilroy–yes, that’s his real name–grew up in rough circumstances, spent some time in prison, and eventually learned machine-tool operation and CNC programming. With these skills in hand, he built a pretty substantial business, Titan America, which is focused on precision machining, mainly producing components of products being made by larger companies.

    The program is about the challenges involved in the operation of Titan America and a portrait of some of its employees and customers.  It is also a passionate argument for the importance of manufacturing in America.  Sponsors include Autodesk, IMCO Carbide Tools, Haas Automation and GoEngineer.

    The series was made for a cable channel called MATV, which is owned by Lucas Oil Products and is targeted towards car people.  It’s available on Amazon streaming, which is where I’ve been watching it.

    There’s an interview with Titan in Manufacturing & Technology News.

     

    11 Responses to “Worthwhile Watching”

    1. Bill Brandt Says:

      I have a nephew who works with his hands using “PDR” – paintless Dent Removal – and he said that many people look down on him for that. But he makes a very good living at it.

      I guess those people would rather be unemployed history and sociology majors with 6 figure loans.

      The market is crying out for trades people. I wonder, though, in my state, California, would the regulatory environment make it difficult to set up a machine shop?

      Maybe I would set one up across the border in Nevada…

    2. David Foster Says:

      Titan’s shop is in California, and the reg environment doesn’t seem to stop him.

      A foundry, now, that would be another matter….

    3. David Foster Says:

      One of the programs in the series covers Titan’s visit to Haas Automation, the builder of most of their machine tools. This is also a California factory. The plant is pretty big and on an 85-acre site. There are a lot of castings out in the yard, waiting to be turned into machine tool parts…they obviously came from somewhere else, the program didn’t say where that was, though.

    4. Bill Brandt Says:

      One would think David that if there was big money to be had becoming a machinist, droves of people would flood in. But there are so few left that where would you go to become an apprentice?

      Machine shops are the basis for all manufacturing.

    5. Grurray Says:

      A couple weeks ago Mike Pence did an interview on Fox from a machine shop. He was seated in front of a milling machine. A bunch of liberal news people went berserk about it

      https://twitter.com/KeithOlbermann/status/768650268619763712

      having no idea what the contraption could possibly be or why Pence wanted to be near it. Very troubling but not surprising.

      I was at a manufacturing show awhile back here in Chicago and saw a lot of those machining centers. The biggest multi-axis ones milling large engine blocks were a thing of beauty.

    6. Name Name Says:

      Well THANKS!!!!

      This is just the sort of thing I like to watch. Where else would I see a recommendation like this except for this blog?

    7. David Foster Says:

      Grurray…oh, that is hilarious! No idea what a milling machine is…but experts on all aspects of the economy!

    8. Mike K Says:

      One would think David that if there was big money to be had becoming a machinist, droves of people would flood in

      The problem is that it requires manual skills, math and a willingness to get dirty.

      I have previously commented on Jill’s son and her grandson who is working with his uncle rebuilding antique Porsches at his company Emery Motor Sports

      This Porsche they finished in time for the Pebble Beach Concours, d’Elegance. It is worth millions.

      Their clients are people like Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfled who hang around their shop while they are working.

    9. Mike K Says:

      Whoops. Try this one

    10. Ginny Says:

      One of my husband’s cousins (more our kids’ age) had a cult following as an Austin musician, but now he does the dent removal thing, has contracts with rental companies, a steady income, and a wife and two kids. I should know (but don’t pay enough attention to family matters) but am not sure he’s given up the niche he had – but he had also found a real fulfillment as daddy and husband. The same can not be said for some of the more humanities oriented cousins.

    11. Grurray Says:

      I got to drive around a restored ’51 jaguar xk120 a few years back at a classic car show. It had recently been restored (again) by the owner after he crashed it banking a turn too fast at a local race track. Walking with a noticeable limp, his wife was making him sell it. At the time it came out it was the world’s fastest car. I was ready to buy it on the spot, but unfortunately it cost about half year’s salary. I thought it was worth it, but then my wife nixed the whole deal. Women, right. O hwell, just as well, I suppose I would’ve ended up splayed out on that track too sooner or later.

      When I think of the Porsche 356 I think of Kelly McGillis speeding off after Maverick. I think she was driving a flashier mid 60s model. Those early 50s sports cars were all about spare styling and speed. The brass tacks need for speed, to lift that famous line.