Advanced Precision Machining

APM Reflects on a Great Year, While Improving Economic Indicators Have Us Looking Forward to 2014

[January 7, 2014] With the holidays now in our rear view mirror, and a new year upon us, the staff at APM's CNC machining center would like to use this forum as an opportunity to reflect on a successful year, and share with you some optimism as we head into 2014. The economy, and the precision manufacturing sector in particular, continued its steady improvement throughout the course of the past year. As a result of capital expenditures, short and long-term growth initiatives, dedicated CNC machinists, and of course, a loyal customer base, 2013 was one for the books at our Colorado CNC milling and machining center. Let's take a look at some quick highlights, then see what's on the horizon in 2014 for Advanced Precision Machining.

As demand for our CNC milling services increased at the start of the year, we expanded our machine shop floor to make room for some recently acquired equipment, and to increase capacity. In January, APM took delivery of a big ticket item, a Zeiss Spectrum II Coordinate Measuring Machine, or CMM, one of the best in the industry. CMM's take precise 3-D measurements of a part, and this purchase allowed us to land more contracts with larger companies requiring CMM inspection reports and material certifications. Later in the year, we acquired and implemented Exact JobBOSS shop management software. This quoting, tracking, and price review package has allowed us to streamline our milling and machining schedules, and we've been better able to automate many of our manual, outdated processes shortening our lead times. In addition last year, we doubled our efforts into finding a larger building as demand grew, and we purchased a state-of-the-art Kaeser USA air compressor. There is a lot on the wish list for 2014, so stay tuned!

Most importantly in 2013, APM's CNC machine shop instituted a number of growth initiatives that had long been on the table. As demand increased for precision machine work, our shop and the industry faced an unfamiliar reality; a lack of qualified CNC machinists entering the workforce. Company co-founder Kirk Tuesburg discovered an opportunity. In a partnership with Front Range Community College (FRCC), Kirk accepted an instructor position training new CNC machine operators. The non-credit CNC machine shop training classes are aimed at delivering qualified talent to the workforce, and were designed by FRCC with input from industry experts, including Kirk. Also in 2013, APM initiated full ISO-9001:2008 and ITAR certification and compliance procedures specific to the milling and machining industry. These standards define, establish, and maintain a quality assurance system, and will allow APM to fulfill orders from customers seeking these specific quality requirements in 2014.

As we look forward to the new year, we have a lot on our wish list, and early economic indicators are pointing toward a year of continued improvement across the precision manufacturing sector. In addition to our continuing expansion efforts, and our search for a new building, we are in the market for a new 5-axis CNC milling machine, a new forklift, a new horizontal saw, and 3D printing technology for prototype development. According to a December 2013 Business Conditions Report released by the Precision Metalforming Association, 2014 is shaping up to be a great year. CNC machining operations expect to see an upswing in business conditions during the first quarter, and many predict that 2014 will outperform previous years in terms of various economic indicators, we can only hope so.

Your go-to Colorado CNC machine shop feels strongly about the quality of work we bring to the table, and this year we aim to build upon a successful 2013. Your continued patronage speaks volumes, as last year was a strong and memorable one for us, and we want to thank you. We look forward to meeting and exceeding your precision machining needs in 2014 and beyond!

Need help with an upcoming project? We're here to help and are happy to discuss your machining needs. Call us at at 303.776.1910 or send us an email.

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About the Author

Gerry Dillon is a co-founder, current owner and certified CNC machinist at Advanced Precision Machining (APM), a full-service machine shop located in Longmont, Colorado. Before making his home in the United States in 2000, Gerry was born and raised on the emerald isle of Ireland and took an interest in milling and machining from an early age, ranking #1 in the Irish National Apprenticeship Program. In 2005, he partnered with his friend and colleague, Kirk Tuesburg, currently APM’s machine shop manager, together launching what’s grown into a leading Colorado machine shop. Gerry brings over 30 years of machining experience to the shop floor, and is certified in all aspects of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing.

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