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Machine tools are heavy, power-driven machinery and equipment that perform specific actions on materials like metal and plastic. The most common jobs these machines are used for include material removal (turning, milling, drilling, grinding, water-jet or laser cutting); material forming (stamping, bending, joining); and “workholding” (chucks, fixtures, clamps, blocks). The majority of this equipment is technical in nature, with computer numerical control (CNC) or programmable logic control (PLC) built in.
The tooling and machining industry is critical to our country's economic health. It makes possible the existence of virtually every other manufacturing industry. Machining involves the use of a wide variety of machine tools to cut or form material, usually metal, to precise shapes and dimensions. In addition, the industry helps foster innovation in manufacturing processes.