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.)

Lockheed Wins $395M USAF Contract for GPS Satellites
The U.S. Air Force approved $395 million worth of contract options for Lockheed Martin Corp. to start production of the ninth and tenth Global Positioning System III (GPS III) satellites. The first eight GPS III satellites are under contract and in production at Lockheed Martin’s GPS III Processing Facility near Denver.
Airbus Starts Assembly for First A330neo
Jet builder Airbus SAS reported construction is underway for the first A330neo wide-body aircraft at its Final Assembly Line in Toulouse, France. The new aircraft is on track to debut in the latter part of 2017.
CFM Confirmed for Malaysia Airlines' $630M Engine Order
Malaysia Airlines Berhad finalized its order with CFM International for a series of LEAP-1B engines to power 25 737 MAX 8 aircraft, an order the carrier placed in July. The engine builder confirmed its contract is worth $630 million at current list prices, and deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2019.
Results from IMTS Suggest Potential for CapEx Revival
September’s International Manufacturing Technology Show 2016 offered some evidence for a rebound in capital spending, as the six-day event drew over 2,400 exhibitors and 115,612 attendees -- at or near record levels.
World Steel Production Stabilizes in August
Global steel production totaled 134.1 million metric tons during August, rising only 0.2% from the July result and 1.95% more than the August 2015 figure. Global raw-steel capacity utilization during August was just 68.5%, just 0.1% higher than the utilization rate for July, and 0.5% less than the rate during August 2015.
Truck Builder Picks Volvo Penta for EPA’s Tier 4 Emissions Standard
Capacity Trucks selected Volvo Penta to supply EPA Tier 4 Final engines to power its Sabre series of terminal trucks. Texas-based Capacity supplies trucks for ports, warehouses, and intermodal terminals, and the Sabre line (developed with parent company REV Group) reportedly will set new standards for "durability, efficiency, productivity and lifetime costs of ownership."
The Buzz on Manufacturing Technology from IMTS 2016
After months of previewing new manufacturing technology — machinery and devices, tooling, automation, programming software, etc. — the International Manufacturing Technology Show 2016 is in the books, leaving some first impressions and lasting ideas that will shape manufacturing and technology going forward.
Steel, Aluminum Shipment Totals Improve for August
Metals service centers in the U.S. increased their shipments of steel and aluminum during August, and improved their inventory positions, too. In Canada, service centers’ deliveries declined at a reduced rate.
Pratt & Whitney Cuts Forecast for 2016 Engine Deliveries
Pratt & Whitney has cut its 2016 target for deliveries of the PW1000G series geared turbofan engine, indicating supply-chain problems are keeping it from completing on-time deliveries to aircraft builders like Bombardier Inc.
Cutting Tool Consumption Down 17.2% in Latest Tally
U.S. manufacturers’ cutting tool consumption totaled $146.95 million during July, a 16.2% less than the June total and 17.2% less than the July 2015 result.
U.S. Machine Tool Orders Drop Again, Outlook Dims
U.S. manufacturers ordered $246.38 million worth of new machine tools and related technology during July, down 24.8% from June and down 23.0% from July 2015, according to the monthly U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report.
IMTS Helped Launch a Secondary Growth Phase for Alumalloy
Alumalloy Metalcasting Co. is a medium-sized Ohio foundry supplying aluminum cast parts and finished subassemblies to global manufacturers of heavy trucks, autos, and industrial equipment. Secondary machining generates 40% of its revenue.
Engine Delays Force Bombardier to Cut Delivery Forecast
Bombardier Inc. reduced its forecast for 2016 deliveries of the new C Series aircraft – a twin-engine, medium-range jet developed for the single-aisle aircraft market — citing delays in the availability of Pratt & Whitney’s PW1500G engines.
Federal-Mogul Agrees to Icahn Group Purchase
Federal-Mogul Holdings agreed to be merged with a subsidiary of Icahn Enterprises L.P., the portfolio controlled by investor Carl Icahn. The Icahn group already is the largest shareholder in Federal-Mogul; its all-cash offer is estimated to be worth about $282 million.
New Technologies for Automation, Connectivity, and Precision, at IMTS 2016
For machine shop operators performance objectives like consistency, continuity, and accuracy remain constant goals, necessitating emphasis on automation systems, machinery, and technology to meet those standards.
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