Back in the day, we had one coil to bar machine working a couple of weeks each month making carburetor shaft stock to sell to screw machine shops like yours… and so did most of our competitors.
And another running a few days a month making the hex steel for the fuel line nut that attached the fuel line to the carburetor.
With the advent of the computer chip, it seems like a lot of screw machine products disappeared, like parts for mechanical calculators, adding machines and cash registers.
With the upgrading of automotive technology, it seems that a lot of those fuel system parts also went “Bye-Bye”- throttle and butterfly shafts, linkage parts, and fuel nuts come to my mind. Goodbye carburetors, hello fuel injection. Hello anti-lock brakes. Hello airbag parts…
The claims of these changes killing the machined parts industry have been proven to be wrong. We’re making higher precision, higher complexity components to make up for those lost parts.
But when my son and I visited a local street rod show over the weekend, I saw a lot of nice looking carburetion systems under a lot of very nice hoods.
I remembered knowing what the tricks were to make the steel remain straight even after the flats for the choke plate were milled in to it. (Hint it had nothing to do with the straightener.)
Then I asked myself, “Who is making today’s street rod, aftermarket and high performance carburetor parts?”
I sure saw a lot at the street rod show. And I know a lot of very talented machinists out there…
Is going “Back to the future” a viable way of mining your capabilities inlight of today’s very fragmented markets and lower volumes?
I’m thinking it is a profitable idea to consider.