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Prosock Machine Shop Talk

February 6, 2009

Machine Shops get ready.

As most precision machine shops gaze at the horizon of business possibilities we feel a certain amount of angst. We wonder if the demand for CNC Mill and Lathe work will continue. Where will we look for new work. The vulture is a leading economic indicating right now and business are getting devoured in the feeding frenzy of a runaway economy.

Are there any bright spots for machine shops as we collectively hold our breath and wait for what’s next?

With all of the current emphasis on going green there are major dollars to be made if we look in the right places. There is going to be major new demands for good clean energy in the future. Alternative energy will grow, but it will be coal that probably comes out the winner in the short run.

There is much skepticism about the long term viability of coal. Is there such a thing as clean coal? Well, it seems that there is. Or maybe it should be called, less dirty coal. Gasification and pollution scrubbers are being used and are making a dent in the CO2 output of coal fired power.

This is where we come in.

There is going to be a massive need for pipelines and valves to support this rapidly expanding infrastructure. New natural gas pipelines are going in. Many are anticipating a huge spike in the need for pipes, valves and monitoring devices.

In the electrical industry there is a shift going on toward variable speed motors. This will be by government mandate and/or cost savings opportunities will move companies in this direction. When going green can be linked with cost savings, people are getting in line. Check in with motor producers. They are going to need lots of shafts and couplings precision machined.

Things are changing. Times are tough. But there is work out their for custom CNC mill and lathe shops that are doing their homework.

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