One look at machine tool auctions these days will give you an indication of the direction the machining industry is heading. As manufacturers already know, machining in the US has changed dramatically and will continue to do so. Much of the simple, one or two-operation machining of basic parts has moved offshore, to countries where labor costs are low. Now more than ever, the shops that will succeed in this high-precision space are those that are willing to think outside the box to focus on continuous improvement and innovative machining solutions. One of the most effective ways for shops to compete on a global level is to invest in automation and robotic cells to improve productivity.