What's new
What's new

Not willing to change

That said, we are still processing jobs like its 30 years ago. We have pretty nice equipment and pretty new equipment. Some of the guys are totally open to change or at least trying something, others its nope, this is the way we run it and this is they it needs to be. While I do understand that they do know the jobs better than me, some ways they go about stuff is just horribly bad. How can approach these guys that wont change to try new things or show that yes this works but there could be better?

Too vague to really provide you with any valuable insight. What are you trying to change?

No need to give out specifics since it sounds like you want to keep things discreet, but generally what are we talking about here?

Cycle time reduction? Tool life improvement? Higher density fixturing? Lights out operation?
 
Wow. This has got to be all small-shop stuff ?

I suppose. I did my apprenticeship at a fairly large place. I learned everything I could from the old timers there. I left there wanting to "Titan CNC" my way through the rest of my career only to learn that the place really wasn't that bad. Then to another shop that was really strange - left after like nine months. Now here. 20ish guys. I never thought of the size of the shop contributing to it before now.

And btw, the "newest methods" were often not all that great. If you plan to push something, better make sure it really is better, not just some starry-eyed infatuation with something you read in Modern Machine Shop (which is full of crap).

I actually just ran into this situation last week on a run of parts. I apologized to my foreman afterwards about how long it took. I explained that I went to the programmer asking him to give me a program for one of the details when afterwards I realized I could have done it faster by just running a slot with a ball cutter. Instead of having him generate the slot.

This is a perfect instance of just going about it the way it's been done for years. And I overlooked it.

In almost 5 years you have learned all that your current employer has to offer.
No doubt your at a dead end in your career and your skills are not appreciated.
Time to quit and open up your own place, or sit around for 10 years accepting a paycheck and one day wondering if you rally had what it would take to run your own show.
Might want to make the move before you become just another 'old guy' just putting in time.

I'm not sure if this was sarcastic but I'm really trying to not sound like a jackass with all this.

I feel I should mention that I'm a mold maker. I think there are different micro-crowds in the machining world. I don't mind it but we just make the same molds over and over with different details for various caps/closures. I think I'm just burnt out on that. I don't feel as if I'm "topped out" in my career. Inconceivably far from it. Especially with things always changing.

I like to watch machining videos on YouTube but not to force-implement them at work. But rather to see what others are doing and see how I can apply it and see if it works for what I do. Sometimes it just doesn't, in which case I brush it off and go about my day. But I almost got sent home when I first started here for adaptive milling a pocket @ 10%rdoc and roughly .750adoc with a .500 end mill. Scolded right in the middle of the shop floor.

I don't have much desire to run my own place. I don't mind working for someone else. Sometimes it's not too great but overall I'm fairly indifferent.

EDIT: I never realized how many people work for themselves until I started flipping through these forums. A very impressive feat.
 
Last edited:
When I moved to Australia the boss of the first company I worked for asked me specifically to observe their working methods and practices to see if they could be improved upon, and give him a written report after the first three months.
Some of the things they did were unbelievable and would have got someone the sack at some places I'd previously worked at in Europe, on some of the more complex tooling I could have easily saved them 100 man/hours per tool.
I gave him my report and nothing happened, a couple of months later I asked him about it and he said he went through it with the shop foreman and they decided that their ways were better because "they'd always done it like that".
I just shrugged and carried on doing it their way, was no skin off my nose.
 
We had a new forman who tossed all the once in a while fixtures I use for once in a while parts/jobs. that made those jobs almost impossable, so they had to be sent out to vendors for 10x or 100 x the cost.
 
Last edited:
When I moved to Australia the boss of the first company I worked for asked me specifically to observe their working methods and practices to see if they could be improved upon, and give him a written report after the first three months.
Some of the things they did were unbelievable and would have got someone the sack at some places I'd previously worked at in Europe, on some of the more complex tooling I could have easily saved them 100 man/hours per tool.
I gave him my report and nothing happened, a couple of months later I asked him about it and he said he went through it with the shop foreman and they decided that their ways were better because "they'd always done it like that".
I just shrugged and carried on doing it their way, was no skin off my nose.
I had a similar experience here. Got assigned a project to help a German intern set up maintenance procedures to be attached to all the toolroom equipment. Owner said we can't do that its only done to those schedules in countries with large manufacturing bases. I explained we had extrapolated the timings to suit our spindle usage. Guess what happened. We went back to the previous maintenance schedule of run it till it breaks then twiddle our thumbs while waiting for parts etc.
 
Hey, I'd like some input. Recently started working at a new job as a programmer. The shop I started at has been around for a long time as we have guys on the floor that have been here for 30+ years. That said, we are still processing jobs like its 30 years ago. We have pretty nice equipment and pretty new equipment. Some of the guys are totally open to change or at least trying something, others its nope, this is the way we run it and this is they it needs to be. While I do understand that they do know the jobs better than me, some ways they go about stuff is just horribly bad. How can approach these guys that wont change to try new things or show that yes this works but there could be better? I have also said to them that if this doesnt work its on me. Any advise would be great. Thanks!
I am 61 years old. They had a new CNC horizontal mill 50" pallets, reads XYZ to .00001" and degrees to .0001. They
got one of the younger guys about 34 to work with the programmer as head CNC operator for 4 years. they wanted to hire
new people just out of school (didn't want any old guys) to be trained by the primary operator of the the new CNC.
they tried hiring new people everybody they interviewed had a problem or something the interviewers didn't like
.
..... I got involved at 60 years old to get trained in a month to be able to run machine by myself so primary operator go leave for
6 weeks personal reasons. they needed a backup operator. I got involved cause
.
1) I take notes on what I learn (of course I transfer to Microsoft Excel, Power point, Word the next day)
.
2) I create startup checklist with basic answers (CAGS or corrective action guidelines what I was taught) to most problems that
come up. any new problem and fix gets recorded and checklist (CAG) gets updated. eventually I can run CNC as any problems,
the answers are easy to look up. obviously many problems are always not in the 2000+ pages of operators manuals
.
3) I also use a work log (usually Excel). expensive parts usually >$1000. it better to record (who did what, when where how, why etc)
observations, problems, inspection tolerances needing rework. basically I had a boss if you made a mistake or had a problem
whatever the cause. once was ok but he wanted to know what is going to be different so it doesn't happen again. work log has
many warnings of problems and what fixes worked before and how many times or reliability of fix. Excel its easy obviously to
log times, auto input times (formulas) to create average times, Record reasons why over average time, etc. Many a boss has
asked what did I do Aug 28, 2022 at 6am to 10am, why where how. thats how I was taught. of course rather than written in a daytimer
diary book with a pencil, records usually on computers past few decades
.
4) I run any new program as programmer programmed it. I never do different until I have recorded problems especially if repeating
problems and what I tried (and why) to make problems better. I never make permanent program changes when it's not my primary machine.
I am there to help out, learn, observe, any improvements I try out many times to prove if better, obviously if change works 5 out of 10
times thats often not good enough. I can suggest but it's not my place to make permanent changes as the "new guy" helping out.
.
5) obviously I have a Excel Standard tooling tool holder database, showing feeds and speeds tried in the past with a 1 to 5 stars rating system.
obviously some metal alloys require different feeds and speeds. some parts, fixtures, tooling vibrates bad at certain settings, or randomly
harder than normal metal alloys causing random problems. sometimes its a timing issue when tooling gets changed. for a mirror
final finish for example often inserts get changed after semifinishing. or part vibrates too much out of tolerance and database has settings
for less vibration for example with harder alloys
.
some "old guys" will try anything programmers program. best not to prejudge everybody with gray hair (or no hair) older looking.
sure not everybody the same.
 

Attachments

  • ShinyMirrorMilledSurface.jpg
    ShinyMirrorMilledSurface.jpg
    21.1 KB · Views: 27
Last edited:
Gotta remember also, its not a machinist thing, its not an old guy thing, its a male ego thing.
It can be. But sometimes not. People Issues are just the worst to untangle once it's all wrapped up in a knotted ball with multiple people involved.

The ONLY thing I've found that might untangle personal conflict is bring things down to the Job fact at hand, instead of allowing personalities (old vs young, experienced vs newbie, status quo vs change) to control how things are worked out.

Your observation is spot on I think, and that's the right place to start: ". . . it's not a machinist thing, it's not an old guy thing, it's a male ego thing."

I'd modify it a little to say at the end "it's a People thing." Men or Women, front office or shop floor.

Change is a big "bump". If you have a shop of people that do well when everything is perfectly smooth, but rapid break down into bitching as soon as there's an issue (and that's a given in life, it's going to happen), then you already know too-day, your ability to evolve/change your operations is going to be a problem because change is always a very large "bump".

Here's my take on the Old (inflexible) vs Young (flexible/willing to change) parable that's been around:

No one ever grows up, we're all still kids. It's just that some of us have been doing it longer. Translation: People get better at what they practice. The "old timers" you've run into that were stuck in their ways and wouldn't change didn't get that way at (pick an age, say 60). They got that way because they started that way when younger and spent a lifetime practicing that. Conversely, the "rare" old timer that was still on top of things, knows how to talk to people, get to the facts and help people out got that way because that's what they've been practicing.

In the end there is a way to drive past the messy stuff, but it takes work and belief. By getting people trained in how to find common ground at work. Personalities will ALWAYS collide to greater or lesser degree, but what won't change is . . . what's the job? What are the requirements? How were we getting that work done before?

The FACTS to that. Then talk from there. That common ground is the bridge between all sorts of interpersonal and generational problems, but isn't used enough.

Sorry for the TLDR. The Cliff Notes version is: Everything comes down to PEOPLE ISSUES, and if you leave the discussion/debate/argument with Personality, nothing will get fixed. Everyone put the personalities aside, sit down, talk to the JOB. "Old Timers" are going to have a solid grasp of how it's been done and why. So use that to qualify new ideas.

That's how things improve IMO.
 
Last edited:
It can be. But sometimes not. People Issues are just the worst to untangle once it's all wrapped up in a knotted ball with multiple people involved.

The ONLY thing I've found that might untangle personal conflict is bring things down to the Job fact at hand, instead of allowing personalities (old vs young, experienced vs newbie, status quo vs change) to control how things are worked out.

Your observation is spot on I think, and that's the right place to start: ". . . it's not a machinist thing, it's not an old guy thing, it's a male ego thing."

I'd modify it a little to say at the end "it's a People thing." Men or Women, front office or shop floor.

Change is a big "bump". If you have a shop of people that do well when everything is perfectly smooth, but rapid break down into bitching as soon as there's an issue (and that's a given in life, it's going to happen), then you already know too-day, your ability to evolve/change your operations is going to be a problem because change is always a very large "bump".

Here's my take on the Old (inflexible) vs Young (flexible/willing to change) parable that's been around:

No one ever grows up, we're all still kids. It's just that some of us have been doing it longer. Translation: People get better at what they practice. The "old timers" you've run into that were stuck in their ways and wouldn't change didn't get that way at (pick an age, say 60). They got that way because they started that way when younger and spent a lifetime practicing that. Conversely, the "rare" old timer that was still on top of things, knows how to talk to people, get to the facts and help people out got that way because that's what they've been practicing.

In the end there is a way to drive past the messy stuff, but it takes work and belief. By getting people trained in how to find common ground at work. Personalities will ALWAYS collide to greater or lesser degree, but what won't change is . . . what's the job? What are the requirements? How were we getting that work done before?

The FACTS to that. Then talk from there. That common ground is the bridge between all sorts of interpersonal and generational problems, but isn't used enough.

Sorry for the TLDR. The Cliff Notes version is: Everything comes down to PEOPLE ISSUES, and if you leave the discussion/debate/argument with Personality, nothing will get fixed. Everyone put the personalities aside, sit down, talk to the JOB. "Old Timers" are going to have a solid grasp of how it's been done and why. So use that to qualify new ideas.

That's how things improve IMO.
Machines are easy, people are a pain in the ass
 
I went to work at a place that had a couple of old CNC machines . They knew I had experience and they wanted to get going and upgrade with newer machines.
I went to work there and after about 6 months got caught up on the large lathe work, and they wanted me to check out the CNC machines .
They had 2 Cincinnati Milacron Mills with toolchangers.
One had the start of a retrofit, and the other had a mouse nest in it that ruined the pendant and control cabinet.
Their lathe was a Smart trak that had been crashed severely, I started looking around and they had tried to use brazed carbide only in the lathe.
During the interview, I saw the machines , but couldn't turn them on because he said insurance reasons. I told him they would have to get a technician in to fix the machines .
I worked there for another couple of years ,running the big lathes ( like I had originally agreed to do).
They just didn't want to commit to the CNC .
You might be able to sway a few in your situation, but be sure to look at the overall picture, and what the managers/owners/ supervisors are will to do when you need backup.
Hope it works out for you.
 








 
Back
Top