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.)

Service Center Steel, Aluminum Slid Back in September
After increasing steel and aluminum delivery volumes during August, U.S. metals service centers turned in much lower totals during September, and Canadian centers showed slight increases in steel shipments but a small decline in aluminum deliveries.
September Steel Output Shows Global Industry Still Adjusting
Worldwide, raw steel production totaled 132.9 million metric tons during September, a decline of 0.91% from August but an increase of 2.02% versus the September 2015 production total. For the year to date, the world’s steelmakers have produced 1.197 billion metric tons of raw steel, nearly even (-0.49%) of the total produced during the comparable (January-September) period of 2015.
Praxair, GE Aviation Form Venture to Produce Jet Engine Coatings
GE Aviation is forming a joint venture with Praxair Surface Technologies Inc. to develop and produce specialty coatings for current and future turbofan jet engines developed by GE and its joint-venture subsidiary, CFM International.
New Machining Technologies Emphasize Modularity, Flexibility
Maintaining a schedule, a program, is essential in the production of engineered parts – but machine shops will take process improvements or technology updates, any time. For much of the current year that time has been the weeks leading up to (and including IMTS 2016), but the roll-out of new technology concepts and capabilities continues. As time moves forward, the new ideas continue to emerge.
New Mastercam Release Moves 'Models' to 'Parts' Faster
CNC Software reports its latest major release of Mastercam® machine tool programming software addresses a broad spectrum of mission-critical CNC manufacturing issues, to help users move models onto machines sooner, deliver parts faster, and develop a more skilled, competitive workforce.
GE Buys Wind-Energy Manufacturer for $1.65B
General Electric plans to pay $1.65 billion to buy LM Wind Power, a Danish manufacturer of turbine rotor blades, bringing in-house it’s largest supplier of those parts, and signaling its intention to expand its footprint in the non-carbon-based energy sector.
U.S. Cutting Tool Consumption Rises in August
Purchases of cutting tools by U.S. machine shops and other manufacturers rose to $175.21 million during August, up 4.3% compared to August 2015, and now down 8.3% year-to-date versus 2015.
Boeing Wins $3.2B Order from China Southern Airlines
Boeing Commercial Airplanes finalized a contract with China Southern Airlines for 12 new 787-9 Dreamliners, an order it values at $3.2 billion. China Southern is the world’s sixth-largest airline in terms of passenger volume, having carried more than 100 million passengers in 2014, and Asia’s largest airline in terms of fleet size, currently at 700 aircraft.
10 New Technologies Leaving a Lasting Impression, from IMTS 2016
Machine shop operators have an eye for what’s new and different, but some ideas hit them as so novel, so insightful, that the idea lingers – and may soon hold a preferential spot in the understanding. It’s a lasting impression. Take a look at some of the product introductions that left a lasting impression at IMTS 2016.
Outlook Sees Weak Recovery for Worldwide Steel Demand
The World Steel Association issued its latest semi-annual Short Range Outlook report for global steel demand, projecting an increase of 0.2% to 1.501 billion metric tons in 2016, after a 3.0% decline in 2015. For 2017, the Outlook is for a 0.5% increase, to 1.51 billion metric tons.
Boeing, Qatar Airways Announce 40-Jet Order for $11.7 Billion
Boeing Commercial Airplanes has a new order to deliver 30 787-9 Dreamliners and 10 777-300ERs to Qatar Airways, a contract carrying a total value of $11.7 billion at list prices, according to the OEM.
U.S. Machine Tool Orders Improved During August
U.S. manufacturers’ new orders for machine tools totaled $336.58 million during August, rising 34.4% over the July figure and 15.9% over the August 2015 total. The positive report precedes by one month the anticipated boost in orders coinciding with IMTS 2016.
Carbon Offsetting, Reduction Scheme Gets Thumbs Up from Airbus
Airbus endorsed a new global agreement on carbon offsets and reduction for civil aviation. The agreement was finalized by 65 International Civil Aviation Organization member nations.
U.S. Navy Awards $101M to General Dynamics Nuclear Sub Program
The U.S. Navy awarded a $101.3-million contract modification to General Dynamics Corp.’s Electric Boat subsidiary to continue developing the Common Missile Compartment of the forthcoming Columbia-class nuclear submarine.
ATEC Picked to Develop New Army Helicopter Engines
The Advanced Turbine Engine Company (ATEC, a joint venture of Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney) drew a new U.S. Army contract to develop and demonstrate advanced engine capabilities for future vertical-lift combat helicopters. The contract is part of the Army's Alternate Concept Engine program, which is seeking significant improvements in future helicopters’ vertical lift, range, speed, payload, survivability, and reliability.
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