33,000 Pounds in a 21 Day Window

Jul 13

 Vacation is upon us and after this week Royal Master shuts down manufacturing for two weeks. You can still call and get parts and if I never told you that we were shut down you probably would never have known. Lori stills answers the phone and we all answer our  e-mails as if it was business as usual. On Friday our shipping manager Glen pointed out that we only had 21 working days before we ship IMTS when we get back from vacation. Maybe he was hinting to leave him a long list of things to do while he worked over shut down, or looking for me to say “ that’s plenty of time “.

With 21 days left there is a whole lot to do, but we are in pretty good shape. Skids are built according to the jigsaw puzzle that we call a truck layout, machines are all on line and most are finished. We are just waiting on some feeding components from vendors.

The truck layout is one of the most fun things associated with the planning of the show. It has been called fitting 10 pounds of  “candy” in a 5 pound bag . Trucking is expensive and a source of stress. Having everything out of our control after pain staking working on the machines for 3 months is a minor part of the stress, but then when you think about it, a stranger taking over 2 million dollars of equipment hurdling down Route 80 at 70 mph can give anyone a chance to pause for more than a second.

Setting up the layout for the truck is like a jigsaw puzzle, everything fits, and has a place. Put it in the wrong place and you have a bad case of the head scratches while you figure it out.  Fitting 7 machines, a tradeshow display, support materials for a weeks in a 8’ x 48’ space is  just plain old fun. We actually build the skids to fit the truck dimensions to minimize any empty voids. The record for empty space was in 2006 with a whopping 6” of empty room at the back of the truck. I will admit that we tape out the truck in the parking lot the day before to make sure all 33,000 pounds fit in all 384 square feet of truck deck.

What time is our appointment? Right Here, Right Now!

Jun 25

Everybody is busy.  Nobody has enough time to do what has to get done.  I can’t wait that long.  These are just the realities of business as usual today. 

The world we live in has changed.  The business environment has become so fast paced as a result of having to do more with fewer people.  Even going to a trade show is now a time critical event.  People used to walk the aisles of a show to see what is new.  Today, more people are pre-planning their visit and accomplishing more purposeful results.

Imagine if you, as busy as you are, as important as your project is, would walk into a meeting and everyone you needed to see was there waiting for you.  How convenient would it be to have a knowledgeable Applications Engineer, Mechanical Design Engineer, Software Design and Programming Engineer all waiting for you and your project?  More than this, there is an actual grinder on the floor under power making parts similar to what you have in mind.  When this team has listened to you and now completely understands what you want, they bring you to a design computer station and demonstrate a 3-D Model of the grinder including automation to solve your problem!

Royal Master Grinders is welcoming you to pre-plan your visit to our Booth #6646 at IMTS 2010.  You probably have just a few days at the show at most.  If you had to wait at each booth of interest to you to speak with someone other than a hired show host, you wouldn’t accomplish enough to make the trip worthwhile.  At the Royal Master Booth, we will “talk the talk” and “walk the walk”.

Schedule 15 minutes, 30 minutes or even 2 hours with us.  Whatever time it takes to get your point across and get the answers you need.  We are going to listen and understand what it is you want or need.

This is your chance to avoid the “Oh, he just went to lunch” or “He’s involved with other customers right now”.  Schedule your appointment and be part of the “Right Here, Right Now” attitude of tradeshows!

Contact us by telephone (201-337-8500) or e-mail (check our website for addresses www.royalmaster.com) and let us know when you will be available.  We will be glad to block off a time for you.

Bob Hoffman

Why a Centerless Grinder Manufacturer Builds a Tradshow Booth!

Jun 02

Tomorrow we build a tradeshow booth. Why you ask?

Around 5 IMTS cycles ago ( 10 Years ) Royal Master Grinders would rent a booth for IMTS. I would fly to Chicago and look at 3-4 tradeshow display companies, have a few free lunches, make polite small talk as they try to get me to spend $15,000.00 for a 40’ rental wall. Mind you this does not include graphics, and usually is an Octonorm product. Octonorm is a plain white paneled product with an aluminum extrusion uprights, nothing fancy or nothing interesting, just a wall which at the end of the day is pretty ugly.The front!

I finally had enough.

I decided that we would build our own backwall, make it custom and look neat. With all the grand ideas we had, I still had never built a booth, nor had any idea where to start. So I shopped around. I looked at booths at other tradeshows and decided a wooden booth with laminate on the outside would be good, Tan would be the color for a neutral background and graphics would be reusable.

I made a shopping list for the lumber yard, and the Formica dealer and off I went, filled up my pickup truck and arrived with my sketches for a Saturday build. Glen our shipping manager offered

to help and off we went into the unknown, we built walls, labeled them, laminated them, preassembled and fixed any issues then assembled them for the final time. I have to be honest it did not look too terrible. After I totaled up my receipts it really looked a lot better, total expenditures WITH graphics was less than $4,500.00.

We used that booth for 4 cycles for a total “Rental” of $1,125.00. I think that this is pretty cool that we saved over $55,500.00 for a wall that you would rent and give back 8 days later.

Why am I blogging about this now?? Its time for a new one. It is time to change colors, and modify the design as we are using this style for other shows now also. Since our first version of the booth we learned about milled pine lumber, Southco Fasteners which are a cam locking system, and a whole bunch of techniques for laminating  the panels. With any luck this version of the booth will look great and NOT be the focus of the booth as we will have lots of cool machines there doing neat things, but when people always say that “ your booth looks great “ I can then fondly remember being covered in laminate dust, and having liquid nails all over my hands.

Are Friday Afternoons Strange at Your Factory?

May 17

Today our granite machine bed was delivered for our centerpiece machine at IMTS. About 5 months ago we looked into the possibility of enhancing our machine as we started running into applications that required better tolerances. Two areas to address were thermal stability and vibration dampening. ( Hey every micron counts ). The granite machine bed was born.

Friday afternoons at Royal Master are funny, they either feature pure chaos as people call in last minute for parts or they are quiet, with the only calls from spouses looking for a choice between pizza or Chinese for dinner. There never seems to be anything in-between.

With the bed came a bunch of new ideas of the machine, many which without a doubt enhance the mechanical properties of the machine, but some are purely ascetic in nature. Meetings on the machine came at different times, nothing planned, usually a cup of coffee or Mountain Dew was in hand and it started out with a “What if we…. ” And ended with, lets get Todd to figure this out, it sounds good.

This bed has been highly anticipated here for the last 10 weeks as Rock of Ages in Vermont helped us develop a product that could be manufactured, but also meet our requirements. The result arrived today. When the truck arrived there was crowd, all eagerly anticipating the bedrock machined base, which arrived crated. But when uncrated, many just “Wow”


As many times as you look at a solidworks model, and visualize the end result, nothing prepared me for the relief to see the idea which started out as a “ what if” get uncrated. Looking at the certification paperwork that came with it, revealed another surprise. Just like a Born On date. Rock Of Ages who knew of our excitement to receive this, included a few photos of it in process. I have to say they got copied many times and passed around as everyone had to look at them, a lot.

After I finish writing this blog, I am out to the shop to go place a headstock, wheel guard and some other items which are finished on top of the machine to see what it looks like, unless someone beats me to it.

John Jr