What Differentiates Top Machine Shops From The Rest?

Modern Machine Shop conducts an annual survey of American machine shops. Of the 356 respondents, the top 20 percent were designated as “top shops” based on their scores for sales per employee, sales per machine, and utilization rates. 1    Surprisingly, the top shops were not larger shops on average and did not operate newer equipment than average shops. So even with similarly sized shops and equipment of comparable age, top shops were able to generate $247,000 greater sales per machine and $60,000 greater sales per employee. This is mainly due to top shops delivering 5-6% higher machine utilization.


Source: Modern Machine Shop, 2016 Executive Summary https://www.mmsonline.com/articles/access-the-2016-top-shops-executive-summary

Atollogy is partnering with Pure Precision (http://www.pureprecisionllc.com/) whose owner, Michael Unmann, has 35 years’ experience running and advising machine shop operations. Michael has made a comprehensive study of the major contributors to machine downtimes.  The Pareto chart below summarizes his findings and demonstrates that the top five reasons are NOT machine related, but the result of a variety of people issues – basically how people interact with the machines they are operating.


Traditional tools and now even more modern technology only read machine data, therefore missing the critical elements of people and materials, especially in how people interact with the machines they operate.  This is why Atollogy decided to develop computer vision technology using artificial intelligence to constantly but passively monitor the shop floor – including people, the materials they work with, and the status of machines.

Using Composite Analytics, Atollogy is able to determine that a machine requires operator attention and generate ignored machine alerts to help capture lost utilization. For more manual machines, such as press breaks, Atollogy is able to monitor entire work centers to measure machine utilization simply based on operator presence and the movement of the machines.

In summary, Atollogy is able to provide executives, supervisors and operators a unique value proposition, one not previously available from traditional tools and solutions:

  1. Gaining valuable insights about their operations that they never knew before
  2. Getting up-to-the minute reporting on the critical activities and events in their shops
  3. Having their personal digital consultant that is on the job 24×7 and never blinks or forgets


Modern Machine Shop, 2016 Executive Summary https://www.mmsonline.com/articles/access-the-2016-top-shops-executive-summary


Anthony Tarantino, PhD

Adjunct Professor, Santa Clara University – Operations and Finance

Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Certified Scrum Master, CPIM (APICS), CPM (ISM)

Senior Advisor to Atollogy for Alliances and University Relations