MAY 2017

Techspex provides metalworkers free research and analysis tools to help them find the right machine for their job.

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A C O L L E C T I O N O F P R O D U C T S F R O M O U R P A R T N E R S 2 Jedd Cole Assistant Editor, Modern Machine Shop 6915 Valley Avenue Cincinnati, OH 45244 PH: 513.527.8800 FX: 513.527.8801 Chairman & CEO Rick Kline Sr. Director of Custom Content Tom Beard Director of Market Intelligence Steve Kline Jr. President Rick Kline Jr. Group Publisher Travis Egan Director of Marketing & Events Dave Necessary COO Melissa Kline Skavlem Treasurer Ernie Brubaker Director of Editorial Operations Kate Hand Three Truths about Machine Tool Research The story of one engineer reveals how Techspex saves time as a centralized apparatus for preliminary research capital equipment acquisition. I was recently talking with an engineer working in the oil and energy sector. Back in the 1990s, he was working for a machine tool manufacturer as part of a small team in charge of purchasing capital goods. Their task? Decide whether to replace or rebuild a large CNC horizontal turret lathe (HTL). To offer a purchase proposal, the team needed to appraise their options, which entailed comparing between the specs of comparable machines from various manufacturers. As a matter of course for working at a machine- tool OEM, he had a database of machine specs from international machine builders already available. "As a young engineer, it was an asset to me to be able to quickly see what other manufacturers made," he says. (I am leaving him unidentified, since he spoke to me off the record.) Ultimately, they decided they'd be better off rebuilding the lathe. Once he moved on to work for different companies, such a database was no longer ready at hand. Sometime in the 2000s, he found Techspex, which proved to be the closest thing to what he'd had working for an OEM. He's been using it ever since to quickly identify builders of any particular machine he's looking for. The story of the HTL decision reveals a few important truths about research. First: access to thousands of machine specs for comparison doesn't always lead to a decision to buy one of them. Nevertheless, a decision for or against acquisition (and of exactly which machine) will always profit from having as much data in hand as possible. Second: data can be hard to get ahold of. Before he found Techspex, the engineer had no other option than to browse individual OEM websites and trade journals—hardly a systematic process! Third: time is a complicating factor of critical importance during the research process. This is why Techspex is so valuable to the engineer: "It allows me to quickly sort specs in order to make a short list of potential machines to evaluate for my projects." Besides its automation of the data organization process, he appreciates that Techspex simplifies requests for information and quotes. "Techspex provides a lot of information with minimal effort, allowing more time to focus on the process and finalize the scope of the project."

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