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.)

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.
Remote Diagnostics, Giant Workpieces, Deep-Hole Drilling and More in 10 New Ideas for Machine Shops
Machine shops need new ideas, and new technologies to keep them engaged, aware, active, and competitive. Here are 10 ideas we discovered this week to make machine shop management, machine programming, tooling, and quality control more effective and productive.
Boeing Draws $960-Million Order from China’s Xiamen Airlines
Boeing Commercial Airplanes announced a $960-million order from China’s Xiamen Airlines to deliver 10 Next-Generation 737-800 jets. Details of the order will be presented “once all contingencies are cleared.”
Airbus Delivers Its First U.S.-Built Aircraft to JetBlue
The first commercial aircraft built by Airbus SAS in the U.S. has been delivered to JetBlue, seven months after the plant was inaugurated and four years after the plant was announced.
Global Steel Output is Highest in Nine Months
March raw steel tonnage rose 13.3% from February to 137.3 million metric tons, though that result is 0.5% less than the March 2015 total, and it brings the year-to-date raw-steel total to 385.7 million metric tons, down 3.33% versus the January-March 2015 total.
USAF Renews Missile Production Contract for Lockheed
Lockheed Martin has a new, $116.8-million contract from the U.S. Air Force to continue producing Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM®-ER) — a conventional missile system designed to destroy high-value, well-defended, fixed, and relocatable targets from significant distance.
Metal Service Center Shipments Declined Again in March
North American metal service centers increased some shipment totals from February to March, but shipments declined overall from 2015 levels – and “at an accelerated pace in both the United States and Canada,” according to the Metals Service Center Institute.
Rolls-Royce Commits $33M to Purdue Jet-Engine R&D
Rolls-Royce Plc. is investing $33 million to renew and expand a technology partnership with Purdue University, to conduct research into jet-engine thermal management and advanced compressor systems.
Global Steel Forecast Sees Demand Continuing to Fall
A new, World Steel Assn. short-range forecast of global steel demand anticipates a continuing decline through the remainder of 2016, driven by multiple factors including a weak Chinese economy, before a slight recovery takes hold in 2017.
Embraer Books $2.8-Billion Order from Horizon Air
Embraer secured an order valued at $2.8 billion for 30 new E175 regional jets from Horizon Air, an Alaska Air subsidiary. The contract also includes options for an additional 33 aircraft of the same model. Deliveries will start in 2Q 2017.
Cutting Tool Purchases Rose Significantly During February
U.S. manufacturers consumed $173.38 million worth of cutting tools during February, increasing by 9.3% over the January total, but still 4.0% less than the February 2015 total.
Boeing Completes Final Satellite for 'NASA Constellation'
Boeing Defense completed assembly of the sixth and last in a series of satellites for NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) "constellation." It will provide high-bandwidth communications capability to spacecraft in low-Earth orbit.
Rolls Opening First U.S. Jet Engine Support Center
Jet-engine builder Rolls-Royce Plc opened a new Service Delivery Center at Naval Air Station Kingsville, in Texas, its first such location in the U.S. The center will provide on-site support to repair engines and manage service operations for T-45 aircraft used in U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps jet pilot training.
US Machine Tool Orders Decline Again in February
U.S. machine shops and other manufacturers ordered $270.9 million worth of new machine tools during February, a decline of 5.1% from the January total and of 12.8% from February 2015.
3DP Industry Expanded 25.9% in 2015, Topping $5 Billion
The global additive manufacturing (or 3D printing) industry expanded by 25.9% in 2015, to a value estimated at $5.165 billion, according the Wohlers Report 2016 market analysis.
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