Nine years ago, I traveled to Sweden to see some old Wickman multi-spindle screw machines for sale at one of the country’s largest automotive suppliers. The machines were ok, but we decided not to buy them.
Josh Hacko is a fourth generation watchmaker. He says he was born into his vocation, but in reality his work is truly his own.
Josh is Technical Director of two sister companies, NH Micro and Nicholas Hacko Watchmaker, which manufactures high-end wrist watches in Sydney, Australia, that can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
This podcast has been going for five years now, and those people who listen to it frequently might be tired of the Graff-Pinkert ad at the beginning of the show. I was tired of it, so I finally created a new ad.
For people who are listening to this show for the first time, I’m a used machine tool dealer with a family business called Graff-Pinkert. We specialize in selling equipment for the precision machining industry.
Editor’s Note: This podcast was recorded in Spring of 2022. Tyler has now been retired for over 2 years, and Noah is the proud father of a 1 year old.
In early 2022, Tyler Jarosz sent me an email to ask if Graff-Pinkert would be interested in a used little parts washer he no longer needed in his machine shop. He found out about Graff-Pinkert from listening to Swarfcast, which I’m proud to say is the only podcast he has ever listened to.
Seems like right now every podcast is doing an interview centered around artificial intelligence.
But I waited until I found the right story, one that was truly relevant to our audience in the machining world.
Today’s guest on the podcast, George Konidaris, is the cofounder of the startup, Realtime Robotics. He is also a professor of Computer Science and the director of the Intelligent Robot Lab at Brown University.
Last week, I heard a story about an old customer of Graff-Pinkert who lost three key machinists because a shop down the street was paying more. It led me to make a post on Linkedin, asking if machinists and setup people were paid enough to attract young people to the machining field. On the whole, commenters vented that they were not compensated what they felt they deserved working in the machining industry. The post has 53 comments so far (I’m usually lucky to get one).
In November of 2015, our used machine tool company, Graff-Pinkert, bought a Schütte S32PC, mfd. 2002, in Cologne, Germany, from a dealer we didn’t know. It was a nice looking machine. A big 32mm CNC Multi-Spindle, painted red and cream because it came out of a Mercedes factory. We were excited to bring the machine to the US until the seller allowed it to get wet when he put it outside in a rainstorm.
On this podcast I spoke with James Persenaire, a district manager at FANUC America Corporation. James gave insight into the strengths and weaknesses of collaborative robots and how Fanuc’s collaborative robots differ from competitors such as Universal Robot. He also addressed misconceptions about traditional robots that they are expensive and dangerous. He emphasized that the integration of the robot is the primary factor in both its cost and safety.
The question seems as obvious as the sun in the sky. Our company can make more money if we can find skilled workers to run our machines. Where are they?
What if that is the wrong question?
What if there were a dozen questions and the simple, straightforward one was leading you into a brick wall?
What if a better question was how much will it cost to hire the skilled workers I need?