Category Archive: Made in America

Internal Machining Centers for Tool & Die Production and Maintenance

Manor Tool & Manufacturing believes customers deserve the finest in tool and die manufacturing. We believe it is an integral part of the manufacturing process. Our eight machining centers create the tooling required for production, supporting one of the largest tool rooms in the greater Chicago area.

These internal machining centers provide the control required to meet the demands of production cycles in today’s just-in-time work environment.

Reasons that Internal Machining Centers Help Meet Production Cycles

Consider the following:

  • Lead times and production scheduling. Our in-house machining centers allow us to set and follow your timetable to complete the tooling. Using a secondary source for machining exposes the tool & die company (and the customer) to unplanned delays.
  • Better accuracy. Specific tooling requirements for tooling features such as hole size or if the hole is tapped, countersunk, or reamed are programmed by us right off the geometry and done in a single set up. Conveying the same information to an outsourced supplier of machining requires more communication, increasing the potential for error, added scrap, and more re-working to fix mistakes.
  • Improved productivity. Keeping all machining in-house prevents issues encountered using a secondary source. There is no downtime because of delays caused by transportation time or supply chain bottlenecks. Employees maintain focus on the customer’s deadline because there is no downtime caused by sending the tool out for machining.
  • Maintaining control of the die/tool. There used to be a public service announcement (PSA) that appeared around 10:00 in the evening: “Parents, do you know where your children are?” The PSA implied that children left without supervision might get into trouble. The same implication fits when having your product shipped to a secondary supplier for machining. You may know the tool & die shop, but how well do you know their machining source? Our in-house machining centers eliminate this worry. The bottom line result is the on-time delivery of an accurately made product without the excessive waste associated with outsourced machining.

Manor Tool Machining Centers

Our eight machining centers are housed in two locations:

Manor Tool & Manufacturing headquarters (three machining centers that work primarily on maintaining dies)

  • Okuma 3-axis CNC machining center
  • Feeler
  • VMC Haas VF5

CLL Engineering (five machining centers focus on die production)

  • Quantum CNC machining center
  • 2 – Okuma 3-axis machining centers
  • Haas CNC machining center
  • Haas TL-2 CNC lathe
  • Versatility in the Machining Center

These machines provide the versatility to accommodate large capacity dies, offer high-speed milling and perform standard CNC machining. Each location emphasizes either production or maintenance support.

However, both locations have the flexibility to do the other’s work in order to meet production needs. A complete list of our tool room equipment is available here:

Access Our Resource Library

For more information on our manufacturing processes, or to learn more about Manor’s in-house machining centers, contact your Manor representative today.

Help Manor Tool Stamp out Intellectual Property Theft!

As you take time to celebrate the 4th of July, every year it is a great time to reflect on the freedoms that we all share living in the United States.  Taking time to realize what others have done before us to protect our freedoms should be an important part of our holiday celebrations. 

BPAs we all know, freedom and the prosperity that can come with it are always being attacked from forces that look for an opportunity to gain power or wealth.

In that light, everyone at Manor Tool hopes you will take a moment to think about a problem that is damaging America’s future: Intellectual Property Theft.

Manor Tool has joined the National Alliance for Jobs and Innovation (NAJI) to raise awareness about the problem of stolen intellectual property (IP) and its effects on almost every aspect of our economy.

This problem isn’t just about a few bootleg products or “borrowed” ideas.

Every year, foreign firms in the world’s biggest countries, steal billions of dollars worth of IP-protected information technology (IT).

Like Manor Tool, many U.S. companies have invested major amounts of capital in Specialized Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software as well as AutoCAD and MasterCAM power robotics for manufacturing.

These technologies are expensive and a giant commitment. So when people cheat and steal them, it means American companies like Manor Tool lose a major competitive edge, which harms everyone involved.

MericaWe are extremely proud to join with NAJI in this critical endeavor because these crimes undermine innovation, put law-abiding businesses at a major disadvantage, and take jobs from the cities and town of America.

It is one reason we hope you take a moment out of your busy day to learn how you can help in the movement to stamp our Intellectual Property Theft.

To learn more about how you can get involved with the NAJI’s effort to stem the tide of Intellectual Property Theft, please visit their website ( or contact a Manor Tool representative today.

The time to stop the theft of IP-protected IT is now!


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The Importance of Tolerance

A major consideration with any product or component design is cost; taking the cost out of a product is a key function and the bane of many engineers. Identifying creative ways to accomplish this while maintaining a part’s integrity is an important design factor and one which can eat up a great deal of engineering resources. One of the best ways to take cost out of a product, and one which in many cases is overlooked, is tolerance requirements. Over tolerancing parts and assemblies is a major factor in manufacturing cost and tooling. This seems obvious, and certainly most readers would agree, however the reasons that over tolerancing parts happens can be complex and related to more than just an engineering decision.

Tolerance Blog

As a matter of course, many manufacturers and design firms hold comprehensive design reviews before any tooling is made; this results in positive cost reductions such as decreasing material thickness or type, possibly a simpler design that requires less complex tooling, etc. Though tolerances are often an issue of discussion, decreasing tolerances can go against the grain for most engineers. Everyone wants their part to be perfect, and increasing tolerances can be an unsettling issue.

An area that is often overlooked is simple communication between engineers or engineering teams. Interacting or adjacent components may be designed in separate locations, or at different times, causing the specification for related parts to not be readily available; time constraints can also play a major role. Rushing to get a design out for manufacturing, a designer may over tolerance a part just to be sure. For example, if a set of drawings call out the same tolerance throughout, it should raise concern.

To effectively take tolerances out of a manufactured part without harming fit, form and function requires a thorough review, and full understanding of a part’s intended application, and interaction with outside components. Here are a few simple steps that can help avoid over tolerancing:

  • Perform a comprehensive tolerance review at the concept stage of the design process

  • Determine the actual required tolerances.

  • Assess tolerances for features such a slip and press fits, or for outside features, and diameters

  • Determine if there will be any inconsistencies with outside components.

Most importantly, train your engineering staff in the cost of tolerance, and put a dollar amount on it.  Pick a project and calculate how much each tenth of tolerance actually costs, and multiply it by features.

Whatever the reason, and they are limitless, over toleranced parts will cost more, be harder to manufacture, and take longer to produce. Taking the time to get it right the first time will be well worth the extra effort.

Reduce Cost of Metal Stampings Guide

Budweiser: King of Beers and Can Design Engineering

Developing a cutting edge product and manufacturing it with extra factory capacity is certainly a win- win scenario, and one which Anheuser-Busch used to produce their new “bowtie” beer can.

If you’re like me, the first thing you thought when you saw this new design was, how did they manufacture it?

If you’re still scratching your head you’re not alone; it took Anheuser-Busch three years and $20 million to develop the equipment and process.

Traditional Can Manufacturing Process

In the final step, the top is trimmed and pressed inward in a process call “necking”; this forms a taper where the lid will later be attached after filling. There are beverage can systems that manufacture cans in this manner in speeds up to 2400 cans per minute.The traditional can is manufactured through a process of cold forming; in this process, a flat blank is formed into a cup,  the cup is then formed using a process called ironing. The dies used in the ironing phase also form the bottom of the can.

It goes without saying that this is a very evolved process, which makes one wonder how different the new process must be to require such a high development cost. In fact the new can costs more to manufacture: it requires twice the aluminum and contains 6% less beer than the traditional can.

With aluminum at over $0.80 per lb., one wonders if the investment will pay off.

New and Updated Manufacturing Process

Budweiser Bowtie Can

Though not much is yet known about the manufacturing process, it is safe to say that it begins with a standard can, with heavier walls. This would explain the extra material, which would have been necessary to produce the shape, as standard cans have wall thickness is only 0.0047”.

Forming the double conical bowtie shape requires a 16 step process that utilizes high precision spinning dies. In a progressive forming process the spinning dies are used to form the bottom of the can in a ten step process, followed by a 6 step process to form the top, and finally followed by the standard necking process.

Due to the physical properties of aluminum, the custom shape and thickness of the material, and the production volume that a product such as this requires, the dies and the system in general would require extreme precision.

Anyone who understands the complexity of high speed automation and precision dies can appreciate the amount of engineering that a system such as this requires.

The can is currently being manufactured at a 300,000-square-foot New Windsor, New York plant, which had to undergo significant changes to accommodate the manufacturing line.

The 150 employee facility has already produced over 18 million bowtie cans, which is just a fraction of the over 3 billion cans that they manufacture annually.

Get More Engineering Insights

Whether you’re interested in learning more about metal stamping (you can read about it on our resources library page here) or would like to discusss an upcoming project with one of our engineers, Manor Tool can help. Click the link below if you’d like to schedule a consultation. 

Get an Engineering Review of My Part

“Made in America” More About Profit Than Pride

Companies are rethinking their model for manufacturing. Many now firmly believe—and take some pride—in having products manufactured with the “Made in the USA” label attached. This isn’t so much a matter of national pride as it is a better, more profitable way of doing business.

While companies used to have components made in countries with extremely low labor cost, many are returning the work back to factories in the United States. There are many reasons for this phenomenon. However, the real drivers are the same ones that sent work overseas: cost and profit.

Low labor costs in foreign countries lured manufacturing business from U.S. factories at a time when transportation costs were low. Both of these factors are changing. For example, Duetsche Bank reports the wage of the average Chinese worker increased 200% since 2001. Furthermore, transportation costs have shot through the roof because of fuel costs stuck near record levels, an increase in red tape, taxes and fees.

Other factors like language, culture, runaway costs and a growing trend of political, economic and social unrest around the globe add to concern in boardrooms about the ability to deliver products in a timely manner. Additionally, we have seen many examples of natural disasters interrupting the supply chain. The 2011 earthquake in Japan was a prime example.

Finally, American workers and their factories continue to out-produce their counterparts around the world and remain among the leaders in productivity. Made in America not only helps our economy, it makes sound business sense.