What’s under the box?

Jul 15

What’s under the box? August 1, 2014 we will lift the box off on one of the coolest projects that Royal Master has undertaken. Its started about a year ago and from there we have had a great time developing this project, it was not work, it was fun. Simply put, we are taking our core ideals of machines and redefining them to put the centerless grinders market on notice. On August 1, 2014 we will introduce to the world a New Royal Master Grinders. In the meantime if you can guess whats under the box before August 1, 2014, e-mail me and if you get it right I’ll send you an Royal Master Stain Steel coffee tumbler! johnjr@royalmaster.com

IMTS is quickly approaching and we are assembling our machines, our booth and also putting some finishing touches on projects that we have on our floor. As August 1 approaches we will have a lot of great projects to begin to reveal to people that follow our blog, and our booth6646.com website.

For those whom know about this website it is a virtual tradeshow booth. You can see whats happening in our booth before the show opens to better plan your visit, and also communicate with your colleagues during and after the show about what you have seen. We have found it is a great tool for you to use in discussing Royal Master Centerless Grinders.

The other day I stopped by our paint shop to see if a part was complete for the show. This is a common occurrence, and as I got a buzz on my phone from my daughter telling me she was home from Camp, Manual posed for this photo. It made me think that our machines ship to customers all over the world, but this is such a neat back-story of who Royal Master is, it deserves to be told.

The Santana family has been a part of Royal Master Grinders for over 30 years, with the family patriarch Fernando being the face of the family. His brothers and cousins work or have worked here in various capacities over the years. His older brother Manual whom the photo is of, began working here almost 20 years ago, and in that time has become a US citizen. Fernando also works with his family to make sure they learn English as well as get an education whether it is finishing high school or completing college coursework. Last week Rubin a younger brother gained his US citizenship, and the smile on his face spoke volumes of how proud of a moment this was for him. He asked for today off, so he could go get his passport. I was quick to say absolutely.

Stop back on August 1 for more details on our new project!


Major Announcement August 1, 2014!

Jul 04

IMTS is rapidly approaching and according to the IMTS.com website, there is less than 70 days until the big show. Royal Master has a date of August 22nd to load up our truck and get all of our seven machines and support equipment out to the show. We still have a lot to do, but it is all coming together quickly.
We have begun assembling our booth again inside our building, to make sure that everything is ready to go once we get to the show, we will then move on to creating our automation station. More details of this to come also on August 1st.
As part of this effort we are proud to be making a major announcement on August 1. The initial feedback from others of what we have to share with you is impressive, and with their help, they have put some good ideas and additions into this project.
Stop back to royalmaster.com and booth6646.com on August 1 for all the details on this project and everything that we will be doing at IMTS 2014

Some Things Need No Introduction,

Jun 16

This little video came from a friend of mine shooting bowling balls up in the air. Its in Kansas, and make sure that you have the sound turned up. The following is he told me about the event:

Standard bowling ball. 8 5/8″ diameter. Not sure what caliber that is….
Landed 1/4 mile away and went more than 1/4 mile up. Luckily no crop duster planes last night.
At the end you can hear someone say “oh no, not the cars”. It was a little windy and might have drifted a bit.

IMTS 2014 is Coming and Royal Master to Have a Major Announcement

Jun 03

It has been a while since my last blog posting and we have been busy, we have had a number of innovative projects for customers go through our engineering department as well some really cool projects in the pipeline. One of these projects is featured on our Web site is a robotic loading system which loaded, unloaded, cleaned, gauged and palletized a fluid injector nozzle.

IMTS 2014 is approaching and we have been working diligently on a lot of projects for the show, but a couple in particular will be major, and redefine the centerless grinding landscape. We will be making the announcement August 1, 2014 of what this project is and what it means for the world of centerless grinding. Stay tuned

Many of you may remember Brianne, our marketing intern for a few years. She now goes to Rutgers University and is applying for student teaching positions for the fall semester. It was rewarding watching her grow, and learn, now she is almost done with her college education. We have taken on a new Intern, the son of Bob Hoffman, our southeast sales engineer. As I did with Brianne, she wrote a blog entry when she started, and also at the end of her experience with us. Steven has done the same.

Meet Steven Hoffman:

My experience at Penn State these past two years has prepared me for the work I am doing at Royal Master in many ways. Penn State professors love to emphasize that they are not just providing us with business skills and knowledge, but they are building future business leaders. Now that I have the opportunity to use some of these skill sets, I am really starting to see what the professors mean by that. As a marketing student going into my junior year I have yet to take many of the in-depth business courses Penn State offers. However the introductory classes I have taken have really prepared me for the work I am facing.
For example my Marketing 301 class gave me a lot of valuable information on real world marketing. Much of the course material was similar to what I learned in an Advanced Marketing class in high school. The biggest difference for me was that in Marketing 301 my professor would lecture on real world situations and simultaneously incorporate the information the textbook provided. This was really helpful and showed me how this information I have been learning is applied to real business situations. Now that I am a part of the business world I can to apply that information to situations in my own work.
Another class that really benefitted me was English 202D, a business writing class. Although it was tedious and a bit overwhelming with the amount of written assignments we were given, the class prepared me to communicate effectively and professionally in the business world. This class focused a lot on how to properly write business letters and e-mails, which has already been extremely helpful to me. Additionally my professor focused intently on grammar. She would critique our work in such depth that it seemed ridiculous at times. However that intensity is certainly what improved my writing in the long run. It gave me the confidence and ability to write with purpose and effectiveness.
Lastly my Finance and Accounting classes gave me the ability to understand and utilize Excel spread sheets, charts and budgets. While these courses were not exactly my favorite, they were critical to my education and goal of someday becoming a leader in the business world. As a marketing major that side of business is somewhat dry and confusing to me, but I can already see how those courses will be useful in the future.
Penn State University has certainly prepared me for working at Royal Master and given me the basics of what I need to know to make a career out of marketing. It is exciting for me to be able to apply the knowledge that I have obtained to real world situations here at Royal Master Grinders. Additionally everything I do here is a learning experience that I can take back to Penn State with me and anywhere I go in the future.
-Steven Hoffman
Marketing Intern Summer 2014

Introducing a New www.royalmaster.com

Jan 28

When I went to Rochester Institute of Technology back in 1989, I brought my personal computer a advanced 289 powerhouse purchased from CompuAdd at a local highway store. There was no Gateway, Dell or others. Apple had a simple computer that could also do the basics as did my CompuAdd machine. I could type out term papers and essays right in my room, no need to brave the Rochester NY winters going to the computer lab. I quickly become friends in college with a Tor Gunderson, a native of Fairport N.Y. and as a graphic design major he was extremely creative and would often act as a sounding board for projects that were in my curriculum. He would spend hours drawing for classes, freehand as computers were not introduced to their classes, computers were not advanced enough to complete their projects. Computers entered their curriculum late into our collegiate career. At RIT we had an “email” system called the VAX system. It was a simplistic e-mail server that really was a pain to use would crash often and would be problematic in so many ways.

During our college coursework, he did a couple of projects for me and Royal Master that we used, a presentation folder, and a few brochures. Upon competition of college we continued to work together on various projects. He married another Graphic design major, Dina, and a few years later, Creative Thunder Designs was born.( www.creativethunderdesign.com )
Around 12 years ago Royal Master’s first website was born, and six years ago I approached him about booth6646.com and our satellite site was born as a virtual tradeshow booth for IMTS. Last year we embarked on our new site at royalmaster.com. We used facetime, dropbox, skype, gotomeeting.com and other online tools to accomplish this new site on weekends and evenings. We often commented about how much easier everything was from our first website where we would Fedex 8×10 glossy photos to Georgia for his to scan, and place into the site. Our daughters would talk on-line as Tor and I would work and they became fast friends even having never met in person.

Technology is amazing and it moves fast. In 20 years time, we went from a state of the art 286 computer, to virtual meetings , digital photography, internet, and on-line tools
Visit our new website www.royalmaster.com, and do not forget about our booth6646.com site. As IMTS approaches, look for some really cool things from Royal Master. We are taking centerless grinding to a whole different level with innovative programming technology, and automation technology.

We are also looking for the Royal Master Machine that has the most infeed cycles on it. To date we have a machine in Germany that has over 23,000,000 million cycles on it, a Generation X with over 16 million cycles and a Gen 4 with over 18 million wires ground. We will have a really cool gift for you if you can beat those numbers!

Have a Happy New Year

Dec 31

The year is winding down and a lot has taken place this year and we are looking forward to next year. This past year we participated in CIMT in China, EMO in Germany for exhibitions, shipped over 70 machines, and had a healthy group of employees. This is all you could ask for.

Both Shows were successful and we earned business from both. We found that EMO drew a large eastern European audience as well as a large Russian audience. EMO was a good show from a lot of reasons, our world wide competition exhibited and we found that we stacked up well with all of them. The accuracy that our machines can achieve, combined with our smaller footprint was well received. When comparing to our larger machine competition, we equaled their quoted accuracy in less than half of the footprint. We also learned that we are very adaptable to customer requests for special engineering. In one case a potential customer arrived at the booth and we discussed his intentions, and the next day I presented a on-line meeting via my IPAD to review their custom operator assist device. We logged into our server, met with our engineers whom designed their feeder overnight. I received the purchase order for the equipment the next week.

For 2014 we have MDM West and IMTS coming up again. Both are large shows for us and we like to have good presence at each. In both cases we will be introducing new technology to our existing and future customers. We are looking forward to IMTS the most as we will have some really cool technology to display and show off. As the time gets closer we will be letting everyone know more, but I can assure you it is a pretty big deal what we are working on.

Back in October a childhood friend of mine Chris Paulsen who is a professor of automotive restoration at McPherson College in Kansas was invited to participate in an interesting challenge. He was asked to race a Tesla Model S from Detroit, MI to Long Island, NY.in a 1915 Model T Ford. As a pre’15 car enthusiast he could not say no. A very prominent Car magazine sponsored the event and if you would like to follow a thread on a car blog from a few days after the event, click on the link below


Scroll down to October 17th at 12:32 for the results.

I was recently invited to visit the Dunwoody college of Technology in Minneapolis Minnesota. Our host was very gracious in giving us a tour of all that they have to offer. Their Robotics and manufacturing technology program was very impressive and gives hope that there is young people interested in manufacturing. If you would like more details about their programs or how to hire their graduates visit www.dunwoody.edu
Please have a happy and healthy new year and I’ll let you know what we have in store for the new year soon.

Its Just who we are…..

Oct 18

I write this as I’m sitting in an airport hotel just having spent a week visiting customers. This was one week that was truly enjoyable to travel. Weather was great, had a couple of great meals at unexpected restaurants at my destinations, and met some really nice customers. I write this blog as a way for customers to get to know us as a company, our personalities and our people. Half of the customers I visited this week made mention of my blog and different stories from it. It was extremely satisfying from my standpoint. After all we are a company made of people, 50 of us. We are 50 distinct personalities, but the thing I am most proud of the company that my Father, Rodney and Myself own is all of these people work hard everyday to build centerless grinding machines. Each one of them not only works for a paycheck, that’s a given, but they believe in the product that we build. If you have ever been to our factory, each and everyone of them is happy to talk with you, show you their little niche, and share their interests out of the factory walls. Its just who we are. This blog is a way to reflect this and I hope it comes through that way.

Just over a year ago Todd our chief engineer was riding his bike lunchtime as he did everyday, and was struck by a car. He was airlifted to the nearest trauma center. After a number of months of critical care, he returned to work fulltime two months ago. To celebrate the one year anniversary we arranged a surprise bike ride for him to mirror a portion of that fateful day’s route. With a local police escort 20 employees and his wife and daughter joined us for a ride with Todd leading the way.

Off to EMO and Meet Our Scrap Guy of 32 years

Sep 12

Tomorrow I will leave for EMO and I am looking forward to meeting many customers and also seeing what is new. Others come to our Stand to discuss centerless grinders with us, I also go shopping for equipment when I visit different shows. I am looking for a EDM, as well as a small mill and different technology in cutting tools for milling cast iron. With the worldwide appeal of EMO, there will be many choices and options.

EMO is also know for its outlandish displays. The Ice bars, Cirque De Soleil performances, and Live Tigers, the cutting tool pavilion never lets you down with the one up-man ship. Ill bring back photos and post them.

Following up on the posts of getting rid of the Orion 2200 machining center a couple of years ago, to day we got rid of another relic. A 10,000 pound Cincinnati Cinturn. This was one of the first CNC machines purchased here and originally ran on a punch tape. Over the years we upgraded the control, and other elements of the system, however our Okuma was too fast and efficient, so over the course of the last 10 years the jobs we ran on it dwindled to zero and then it was taking up space. Today with the help of our Longtime scrap guy we shoved it on his truck.

When asked how the heck he was going to get it off, he very matter of fact stated, drive as fast as you can in reverse at the yard, and hit the brakes. He paused and added I better put my seat belt on.

An Update On Whats Going On

Aug 14

The summer is not quite over however we are getting geared up for the fall season and with a full build sheet and commitments into November . We are excited about the remainder of the year and having another great year of growth.
We have shipped a number of the Generation X3 machines as they have become popular around the world. We have received commitments for purchase from Russian, Korean and Chinese companies as well as the American Company that helped launch the project. The more the word gets out the more sample grinding we are doing on it, producing a revolutionary way to produce micromachined parts that need a sub spindle fourth axis.

We also have shipped our EMO show machine and its is on its way. We are in a small 4.5m square stand in Halle 11, Stand B05. We are bringing a Hi-Accuracy Machine to the show grinding a valve spool. We are enthused to reconnect with our European Customers as well as the many other countries that visit this show. If you have never been, it is like IMTS, however with a much different international flair. The Stands serve coffee, drinks, and food all day. Many are raised off the floor 2’-3” for a much grander stance Most are custom designed and made on the show floor from plywood, then spackled and painted. Royal Master has a much simpler design then we do at IMTS. We use their standard booth, put down our flooring and power up our machine. We bring a simple Coffee maker and buy some cookies at a local grocery store, but yet every time we have exhibited, we gain plenty of business from the exhibition. We have gained sales from Bulgaria, Turkey, and many Western European Companies from this exhibition.

On a much lighter note, Recently we had a long time employee retire. Marilyn was a staple in our company for many years. Replacing Margaret in the mid 1990’s she answered phones then went to work in purchasing. After her retirement I calculated the average tenure of our employee. Our employees have been here for an average of 17 years. John Srt and I take great pride in this as we like to think we provide a nice place to work, with a good group of people who truly care about what we do here, and care about our customers.

When she left her parking space came available. After figuring out who was moving where, and making the changes, one of our employees brought in his “ Sunday Driver “ and was worried when Rich parked his pickup next to his corvette. At afternoon break, we made the appropriate modification to his parking place.

I’ll be blogging from EMO in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned.

So what is the latest From Royal Master Grinders?

May 13

In April I was in China for a IMTS style show. Its IMTS of China and it is called appropriately the China International Manufacturing Technology Show. This is the 4th time I have exhibited there since 1997. Every two years I have to say China has changed and continues to change, but there are a few things that always amaze me.
1. IMTS had 100,000 visitors this past show, CIMT drew 250,000+ visitors for the same amount of show days
2. The machine tools that are available in China are massive, and they bring them to the show. You need to make axle housings for a Caterpiller dumptruck. Not just a small over the road type, but one that is use in mining, they had a machine on the floor with that axle housing on its bed
3. The Chinese people are friendly and Love American Machine tools. The thinking that they want to copy our equipment is a thought that enters into your mind, however Royal Master has had great success selling our equipment and filling niches that other domestically Chinese made products could not fill.
4. They respect quality and have a desire to making quality products. We have installed a number of machines, and tolerances of ½ micron are not something that they run from, it is demanded
One of my first trips to China, I distinctly remember looking out my hotel room window and being amazed at the number of Bicycles and three wheeled tricycles. It was a virtual traffic Jam of legs and pedals. Most had items strapped to them, Coal or water bottles or random items. This trip I sat and looked out and admired a Traffic Jam or cars of all kinds. Mercedes, Buick, Ford, and lots of Hyundai and Volkswagen. The whole thing is just very cool to see the progress

One of the most interesting items is that we enter the hall during set-up the security guards were barking at me. Since I have no idea what they were saying, I not so politely walked right by them. Luckly no one followed me nor did I get locked up. However I found out later that I needed to purchase a hardhat for protection.

Other Photos from my trip to China

Machine Being Delivered to our Booth

Not our machine, Thank goodness

Beautiful Beijing

The view the next day

Lets Talk United and Continental Merger.
Raise your hand if you have flown United lately. All I have to say is you can REALLY tell when you have a original United Plane, they really need updating. Continental customers that flew the Asia routes a lot got spoiled. Friendly and prompt service, even in Coach class. Food was not horrible, never lacking for a smile. I flew from San Francisco to Seoul a few weeks ago and had a United Crew on a REALLY OLD 747. You had the common screen at the front of the Bulkhead, and gross seats and thread bare carpets. United, please get your act together and quick

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