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, Embraer Starting New Phase of Eco-Jet Test Flights
Boeing and Embraer will use an E170 narrow-body jet as a flying tested to evaluate several advanced environmentally focuses technologies, in operational tests during August and September in Brazil.
Smith & Wesson Buying Specialty Knife Manufacturer
Firearms giant Smith & Wesson will pay $85.0 million in cash for Taylor Brands LLC, a designer and distributor of knives and specialty tools, a move to expand its hunting and outdoor utility knife portfolio.
Integrating Machining and Automation, + 10 More New Machine Shop Technologies, at IMTS 2016
Integrating automation and new production concepts with advanced machines, tooling, and other devices and systems that will enhance the performance capabilities, productivity goals of machine shops and other manufacturers of precision parts and components.
US Cutting Tool Demand Falls Again, Reflecting Manufacturing Weakness
U.S. manufacturers consumed $165.68 million worth of cutting tools during May, a decline of 4.6% from the March total and a 4.1% drop from the May 2015 result. Cutting tool consumption is an index to overall manufacturing activity.
Billions and Billions in New Orders for Aerospace Industry
The world’s major aircraft builders, jet engine manufacturers, and Tier One aerospace suppliers have concluded what’s likely to be their most lucrative week for 2016, the biannual Farnborough International Airshow in Hampshire, England.
Boeing to Source 777X Composite Materials from UAE
Boeing will be the first customer of a new venture formed by Mubadala Development Co. and Solvay that will produce primary structure (“pre-preg”) composite materials, to be used to form 777X empennage and floor beams, starting in 2021.
US Machine Tool Orders Narrow Losses in May
U.S. manufacturers’ new orders for machine tools declined 1.4%, though compared to May 2015 the decline is 18.2% and the year-to-date total is down 16.7% compared to 2015.
High-Precision, Multi-Surface Grinding, + 9 More New Machine Shop Technologies, at IMTS 2016
The Landis-Bryant RU2 Fuel MGMT multi-surface grinder, to be introduced by Fives Group at IMTS 2016, is among numerous new technologies in store for machine shop operators seeking difference-making capabilities.
Lockheed, Pratt Awarded New F-35 Funding
The U.S. Department of Defense is allotting new funds to Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney for continuing production in the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program. Lockheed is drawing $559.5 million to fund assembly of the aircraft; Pratt & Whitney will receive $1.5 billion to produce 99 new F-135 engines.
Elliptical Adapter/Cutting Tool Combo, Plus 9 More New Machining Ideas
Customized tooling for machining oil-and-gas processing valve seat pockets leads a new list of 10 designs and technologies for machine shop operators seeking new ideas to keep them engaged, aware, active, and competitive —to help them improve their shops’ performances.
Can Connectivity Be Converted to Competitiveness? 
For all the enthusiasm that industrial and high-tech analysts and theorists have over the Internet of Things, manufacturers are only tentatively embracing the concept of a universal operating platform: Cisco reports 92% of 64 million manufacturing machines in operation worldwide are not connected to any network.
GE Aviation, Pratt & Whitney Win $1B R&D Contracts from USAF
The U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center granted $1-billion contracts to GE Aviation and Pratt & Whitney, to develop a three-stream adaptive cycle jet engine. The project, organized under the USAF’s Adaptive Engine Transition Program is schedule to run five years, through 2021, and will include testing of component parts, rig testing, and engine testing.
Automated Machining Work Cells, + 8 More New Machine Shop Technologies, at IMTS 2016
Liebherr’s cost-effective Rotary Loading System is among numerous introductions at IMTS 2016, for machine-shop operators and precision manufacturers seeking difference-making technologies.
P&W Investing $65M for Jet Engine Maintenance Center
Pratt & Whitney plans to invest $65 million at its engine overhaul operation in Columbus, Ga., to establish there a North American maintenance site for its PurePower Geared Turbofan™ (GTF) jet engines. The Columbus Engine Center is already the first site in the world for maintaining the PW1000G engines; P&W plans for it to maintain PW1100G-JM and PW1500G engines as well, in addition to its V2500, PW2000, F117 and F100 engines.
Precision Double-Disc Grinding, Plus 8 More New Machining Ideas
Machine shop operators need new ideas to keep them engaged, aware, active, and competitive — and new technologies to help them improve their performance. Here are nine product ideas we discovered this week to make machining, shop management, tooling, and quality control more effective and productive.
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