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.)

Showing the Cooler, More Customizable Side of Cryogenic Machining 
5ME is developing new resources and applications to show users how its cryogenic machining technology can make their high-value production programs more profitable and efficient.
Rolls-Royce Draws $1.5-Billion Engine Contract
Rolls-Royce Plc. has a new order to deliver a series of Trent 700 engines to power 15 Airbus A330 jets for China Eastern Airlines, a contract it reported is worth $1.5 billion. The order also includes long-term maintenance and support services through Rolls-Royce’s TotalCare program.
U.S. Army Seeks New Helicopter Engine Designs from ATEC, GE
The U.S. Army awarded contracts to Advanced Turbine Engine Co. and GE Aviation for new turboshaft engine designs to power its Black Hawk and Apache helicopters, the next stage of its Improved Turbine Engine program.
Global Steel Tonnage Still Falling
Global raw steel production totaled 133.7 million metric tons during July, -1.8% from the June tonnage and -1.36% from the July 2015 figure. Through seven months of activity for 2016, steelmakers worldwide have produced 929.6 million metric tons or raw steel, which -1.24% from the 2015 pace.
New, Higher Profile for Hybrid and Additive Manufacturing, at IMTS 2016
IMTS visitors are in touch with manufacturing technology processes and capabilities, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t in search of new developments with the potential to alter the direction of their operations or enterprise. Technologies like hybrid manufacturing and 3D printing.
Caterpillar Downsizing Mining Equipment Portfolio
Caterpillar Inc. is seeking “strategic alternatives, including possible divestiture” for its room-and-pillar mining equipment products, and it will divest its track drill product line.
Boeing Wins $2.8-Billion Order for USAF Tankers
Boeing Defense, Space & Security has a new, $2.8-billion U.S. Air Force contract to start low-rate initial production for two “production lots” of the KC-46A tanker aircraft. The first lot involves seven aircraft, while the second covers 12 aircraft. Including future options, Boeing expects to build 179 of these refueling and strategic airlift aircraft for the USAF.
Truck Body Builder Planning New Assembly Plant
Morgan Corporation, a Pennsylvania-based manufacturer of medium-duty truck bodies, plans to expand its manufacturing footprint with a new plant to be built in the Midwest and opening early in 2017. A site-selection process is in progress, considering locations in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio.
High Productivity, Intelligent CNC Gear Hobbing 
NUM Corp.’s Flexium+ CNC modular control platform is the basis of a new, high-efficiency gear-hobbing machine with an electronic gearbox that “completely eliminates” the time necessary to change mechanical gears, as is required on standard machine tools.
Double-Digit Declines in Metal Service Centers’ Shipments
North American metals service centers continued to report declining shipment volumes for steel and aluminum during July, with double-digit reductions in steel and aluminum from June and July 2015.
Cooper Standard Adds Fuel/Brake Product Line
Cooper Standard, an automotive systems and components supplier, is buying the automotive fuel and brake business of AMI Industries, with operations in North America and China. Terms were undisclosed.
Seven New Technologies Integrate Design and Automation, at IMTS 2016
For tool, die, and mold production – or for any advanced machining operation – production technology must match the complexity that advanced product design is able to accomplish. New machining concepts aim to fulfill part designers’ vision for complexity through the production sequence and into the finished part.
New Centerless Grinding Concept Targets Fuel-Injection Valves
Glebar Co. released details of a centerless grinding process it has devised for its GT 610 CNC machine, intending it as a tool for automotive parts manufacturers to expedite design and production of fuel injector nozzle valves.
Cutting Tool Consumption Rose in June, Still Down YTD
U.S. manufacturers’ consumpton of cutting tools rose 5.8% from May to June, but the overall market conditions continue to be difficult. The results are down 7.1% year-on-year, and -8.8% YTD.
Lockheed, NASA Agree on Lunar Imaging Project
Lockheed Martin was awarded a new NASA contract to launch a low-mass satellite with imaging capability on a lunar mission with Orion EM-1, in 2018. Lockheed will gain access for the satellite to the Orion Exploratory Mission; and NASA will receive data that SkyFire gathers during the mission.
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