Robert Brooks

Editor-in-Chief, American Machinist

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)

Boeing Draws $11-Billion Order from Vietnam’s Low-Cost Carrier
Boeing Commercial Airplanes has taken an $11.3-billion order for 100 of its 737 MAX aircraft from VietJet Aviation Joint Stock Co., a contract described as “the largest-ever single commercial airplane purchase in Vietnam.”
Global Steel Tonnage Slipped Further in April
The World Steel Association reported global raw steel production during April declined to 135 million metric tons, down 1.76% from the March total and 0.43% less than the result for April 2015.
Boeing Inaugurating New 777X Wing Plant in Washington
Boeing Commercial Airplanes completed a $1-billion assembly plant in Everett, Wash., where composite wings will be integrated to the fuselages of its new 777X wide body jet.
Lockheed, MIT Linked in Research on Autonomous Technology
Lockheed Martin started a collaboration effort with Massachusetts Institute of Technology to research human-machine teaming and navigation in complex environments, among other technological issues involving autonomy and robotics.
Service Center Steel, Aluminum Deliveries Declined During April
The Metals Service Center Institute’s Metals Activity Report showed shipments of steel and aluminum products declined across North America during April, while inventory totals showed some leveling in the U.S. but ticked upward in Canada.
US Cutting Tool Shipments Rose 6.2% in March
U.S. machine shops and other manufacturers increased their consumption of cutting tools again in March, rising 6.2% from February’s total to $184.08 million. It was the second straight increase in the monthly Cutting Tool Market Report.
GF Machining Buys Micromachining System Specialist
GF Machining Solutions agreed to a takeover of Microlution Inc., a Chicago-based developer of micromachining products incorporating milling and laser technologies. The two parties agreed not to announce the terms of their transaction.
Pratt & Whitney GTF Engine Gets FAA Clearance
The Federal Aviation Administration certified Pratt & Whitney's PurePower PW1400G-JM geared-turbofan engine to power the Irkut MC-21 jet, meaning three variants of the PurePower GTF have been cleared by the civil aviation regulatory agency.
US Machine Tool Orders Rose 37% During March
U.S. machine shops ordered $370.98 million worth of new machine tools during Marc 2016, a 36.9% increase over their February orders, according to the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report.
Micro-Automaker Selects Large-Scale 3D Printers
Local Motors, the 3DP micro-manufacturer that plans to open microfactories where consumers will customize and build their own cars, has selected Cincinnati Inc.’s Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) system.
FAA Approves Airbus A350 XWB for Extended-Range Diversion Operation
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approved the Airbus A350-900 for “extended-range, twin-engine aircraft operations” (ETOPS) beyond 180 minutes diversion time.
Chinese Carrier Orders 15 Dreamliners from Boeing
Boeing Commercial Airplanes landed a new order from China Eastern Airlines for fifteen 787-9 Dreamliners, a $4-billion contract. The 787-9 is the second variant of the high-profile long-range aircraft. The OEM has booked a total of 551 orders for the aircraft, and delivered 58 since it was introduced in 2013.
Delta Increases Order for New Airbus Jets, Engines
Delta Air Lines ordered 37 more Airbus A321ceo aircraft, exercising the option in its 2013 order for 30 of the twin-engine narrow-body aircraft, and the new order extends to CFM International, which will supply its CFM56-5B turbofan engines for the new jets.
Solid Increase in Demand for Italian Machine Tool Builders
Italian machine tool manufacturers posted a 14.3% annual increase in new orders for the first quarter of 2016, mainly on the strength of the domestic manufacturing sector. Export orders increased only slightly (1.7%) by comparison.
Sikorsky Heavy-Lift Helo Successful in Flight Test
Lockheed Martin reported that its Sikorsky CH-53K helicopter passed an important test in its development, the first external-lift flight, successfully carrying a 12,000-lb. external load.
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