In-House Machine Construction and Apprenticeships: 5-Axis Live

After a brief introduction, GROB let the testimonials and machines speak for themselves at its 5-Axis Live event in Bluffton, Ohio. The event was primarily about the company’s line of universal five-axis machines, with demos highlighting uses for various models and customizations. The company also allowed visitors access to its service and apprenticeship teams to discuss the company’s internal successes and outreach, as well as tours of the factory floor, where GROB manufactures equipment for the US and Canadian markets.

Universal (Machine) Applaud
GROB’s universal five-axis machine demonstrations featured a variety of machine configurations, ranging from the modest G150 through three variations of the G350 with varied tables to the huge G750T mill-turn machine. Aerospace components, moulds, and 3D-printed medical parts were among the sample items. These and other machines were on exhibit during a factory floor tour. According to Mike Hough, GROB’s sales engineer, the Bluffton factory manufactures over 85% of its machine parts in-house, and many of the machinery utilised to do so are GROB machines. Some of the remaining 15% of parts are sent to specialised facilities.

Service Requests
The presenters also lauded GROB’s service team, which was restructured four years ago. Today, the team not only intervenes when machines fail but also advises customers proactively by informing them of machine characteristics and GROB-related solutions to ensure uptime and effective machining.

Manufacturing Rhodes
GROB’s apprenticeship programme, in contrast to the service department, has a long history. This programme is in its 33rd year and has had class numbers of around 40 students for several years. While this does not meet all of the company’s staffing demands (it employed 150 people in the last year alone), retention is good enough that former apprentices make up a sizable chunk of the payroll. 284 of the 825 employees at the Bluffton site are former or current apprentices.

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