Ancient Orichalucum Metal Ingots Recovered from Shipwreck off Sicily

January 8, 2015
2600 years later, we have samples to analyze...

2600 years later, we have samples to analyze…

According to Discovery News  this week, “Gleaming cast metal called orichalucum, which was said by Ancient Greeks to be found in Atlantis, has been recovered from a ship that sunk 2,600 years ago off the coast of Sicily…the 39 ingots found on the sandy sea floor represent a unique finding.”

“Today most scholars agree orichalucum is a brass-like alloy, which was made in antiquity by cementation. This process was achieved with the reaction of zinc ore, charcoal and copper metal in a crucible.

Analyzed with X-ray fluorescence by Dario Panetta, of TQ – Tecnologies for Quality, the 39 ingots turned to be an alloy made with 75-80 percent copper, 15-20 percent zinc and small percentages of nickel, lead and iron.”

Ancient Origins  reports “The name orichalucum derives from the Greek word oreikhalkos, meaning literally “mountain copper” or “copper mountain”. According to Plato’s 5th century BC Critias dialogue, orichalucum was considered second only to gold in value, and was found and mined in many parts of the legendary Atlantis in ancient times.

Maybe the greenhouse gasses emitted by Atlantis’ cementation industries producing orichalucum caused the seas to rise, covering Atlantis…


Capturing the Holiday Spirit

December 24, 2014
No telling on what the State troopers busted this jolly old elf for, but we bailed him out with donations to the local food bank...

No telling on what the State troopers busted this jolly old elf for, but we bailed him out with donations to the local food bank…

We are fortunate to have our trade, our businesses, our ability to produce highly engineered components that make a difference in peoples lives by making technology operate safely and as expected.

I call the satisfaction from my work the “existential joy of engineering,” though that phrase is not original to me.

The holidays are a great reminder of the blessings that we have, and the fact that we are more fortunate than others.

I hope that your celebration of the holidays remind you of what is right in your world, and of your opportunity to help others as you see fit.

And like the Medina Post of the Ohio State Patrol,  I hope that you too get to “capture” a bit of the holiday spirit (or elf) to share with your family and friends.

Thanks to the Medina Post of the Ohio State Patrol for their part in the “Can the Cruiser” food drive.

And our best wishes  and gratitude to you, the men and women of the precision machining industry, our world is safer and more reliable because you do what you do.



Thanksgiving- A Time to Recalibrate

November 26, 2014

We have many blessings in our lives, the love of family, friends chief among them.

Thanksgiving is a time to share with family and friends.

Thanksgiving is a time to share with family and friends.

Most of us enjoy an unparalleled material well-being, and a lifestyle of modern convenience that is the envy of the world.

Thanksgiving provides us the chance to recognize and thank the engineers, machinists, and entrepreneurs who have designed and built these modern technologies that keep us safe, comfortable, and make our modern lifestyle possible.

Precision machined components enable almost all modern technologies to function safely and efficiently.  It makes me smile to understand where all this behind the scenes technological  “magic” is sourced.

Thanks to the machinists who make them, the engineers that design them, and the investors who tool up their shops to be able to produce them.

Thanksgiving is also about recognizing how our loved ones contribute to our ability to produce our highly engineered components. How they help us keep in mind what “Safety Critical” really means.  How they make sure we have what we need when we arrive on the job. And have a reason to return home, all body parts intact. Now is a great time to recognize the contributions of our loved ones to our success.

I am thankful for the blessings of my family and friends.

I am grateful to live in a time where technology makes my life more about the joy of my family’s company than about battling forces to merely survive. Technology works, thanks to machinists.

In our shops, we have calibration routines to help us assure that our output is to spec and acceptable.

We have calibration routines at work; how do we calibrate our lives at home?

We have calibration routines at work; how do we calibrate our lives at home?

Thanksgiving is a day for us to recalibrate and reflect on the blessings that collectively we share.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Vintage Thanksgiving Dinner photo credit

Calibration photo credit

Fun Fact Friday- Why Do Dead Alkaline Batteries Bounce?

September 5, 2014

If you know how a dead blow hammer works, you can answer this question. Enjoy!

We found this originally  on Lifehacker.


Micron Manufacturing -Lean Demolition

July 8, 2014

Why I love manufacturing: we get to do cool stuff!

PMPA member company Micron Manufacturing is getting a new Mori Seiki.

The new machine will need some space- so they have to demolish a wall.

How do  Lean Business Expert / Shigeo Shingo Silver award-winning precision machinists demolish a wall?

With Lean Precision and Style of course!

Enjoy the time-lapse video:

Lean Lessons Learned:

  1. Mess is not mandatory for demolition work when you have a plan;
  2. The power of a plan is evident here.
  3. Lean demolition shall now be appended to your ISO scope.
  4. You can see the Culture of Lean in Micron’s work.



Precision Manufacturing Then and Now- Precision Plus Blog

June 25, 2014

PMPA member company Precision Plus President Mike Reader posted two great videos on his blog last week.

Mike-Reader2Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, we thought we’d “flatter” Mike for his awesome taste in videos:

That was a view of precision manufacturing back then.

And here is a view of what is new in precision manufacturing these days:

It’s still about the craftsmanship.

It’s just that our technology today moves our “craft” to the right a few decimal places.



Do take a moment to visit the Precision Plus Blog


What Do Machinist’s Dream Of?

May 20, 2014

“We are not given a dream unless we also have the power to make it happen.” PMPA President Darlene Miller.

I was in the audience when she made that comment at a meeting of students considering their future careers.

That quote resurfaced over the weekend when my son, a CNC operator, sent me the following video “What Do Machinists Dream of?”


It made me smile, because our machinists can in fact make the high precision, high reliability components shown in the video needed for the sponsor’s “Dream Mission.”

What you dream is important, because it determines what you have the power to achieve. What do you dream of ?

If you dream of an interesting and well paying career, you might want to investigate precision machining.

And yes, we can make the stuff that you see in the video in our shops.

“Moon Mission, anyone?”

Poncari Sweat is a sports drink

METRIC DAY- A Personal Story

February 12, 2014

You may not know it but on this day in 1973 Ohio became the first state in the U.S. to post metric distance signs along I-71.

Back in the day...

Back in the day…

These new signs showed the distance in both miles and kilometers. The metric system, though standard in many nations around the world, never quite caught on in the United States, except on major-league baseball stadium fences — and on that highway in Ohio.

And that is why Richard and Joan Parker in the Summer of 1973 decided to call our company Metric Machining when the company began on September 1, 1973.

Small business Job creators Richard and Joan Parker, Metric Machining.

Small business job creators Richard and Joan Parker, Metric Machining.

They wanted their company to  be on the cutting edge………… and they’re still waiting for the rest of the country  to catch up!


2013 in Review

January 6, 2014

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 180,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 8 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Three Wishes For The Precision Machining Industry This Christmas

December 23, 2013

Santa asked me to close my eyes and make three wishes for the precision machining industry. Here they are.

"Make three wishes" he said

“Close your eyes and make three wishes” he said.

Wish number 1: Have yourself a safe balance of year 2013 and 2014

We take our physical wellbeing for granted. Statistics show that we are safer at work than we are at home. But my wish is that we all  pay attention to those things that could put us in harm’s way and find a way to eliminate them.

Wish Number 2: Raise your standards.

This is not original to me, even though “continuous improvement of the people and processes  under your authority” has been a key tenet of my management practice (and teaching) since the early 1990’s.  Alain Briot, in my mind todays preeminent fine arts landscape photographer, printed that on his business card.

Raise your standards.

Raise your standards.

Raising our standards goes beyond mere improvement of what we can control, to how we improve ourselves as well. Raise your standards.

Wish number 3: Train your people.

The time is now. Look at your bench. Who can move up? Who can’t you afford to take out of production to train on setup? What will you do when you lose them because you didn’t give them the opportunity to grow and train and become even more valuable.? Training is our number one job in the industry today. Our employees add value through the application of their skills and knowledge and talent to our processes. Train them!

When I opened my eyes, Santa was gone. He left a note: it said: Everything that you wished for is up to you. I know you will make sure to get this done. I gotta run and help the folks who the government regulators are trying to close down. Merry Christmas!

Or something like that.

I opened my eyes and I was holding this note...

I opened my eyes and I was holding this note…