A win-win partnership between Tornos and TITANS of CNC
Tornos has just signed a long-term partnership agreement with prominent industry figure Titan Gilroy, who has set up a concept like no other: the TITANS of CNC Academy, which provides beginners and experts alike with the machine training to succeed in the technical professions. This initiative is a response to the global shortage of qualified workers and offers Tornos an opportunity to demonstrate once again how precise, reliable, and efficient its machines are in every respect.
After losing nearly everything, Titan has a new mission in life—teaching the importance of manufacturing. From boxing in the ring to building his own successful machining company, Titan knows how to fight. His machine shop in Northern California went from “basically nothing” in 2005 to 55 employees and 20 computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools just a few years later. He went from zero dollars in his pocket to making millions and it’s no wonder why: Titan made precision titanium components for sub-sea customers like Schilling Robotics. For a while, it looked as though Titan was unstoppable. And then the recession hit.
“We lost around 80 percent of our work basically overnight,” said Titan. “I had to lay off 40 employees. I lost my house and cars. And I kept thinking that, at the end of the day, none of it really mattered if it could all be gone so quickly.”
That experience also made Titan think about the 50,000 companies that had gone out of business during the recession, and how the shops that remained—many of which were once his competitors—were using only a fraction of their capabilities, but were blind to that fact because they weren't talking to other manufacturing people.
“They were locked up in their buildings, everyone in their own little bubble, literally fighting over scraps,” he said. “From that point on, I decided to dedicate my entire life to education.”
No sooner said than done, Titan started his TV show, TITANS of CNC (formerly TITAN American Built), so that he could share what he had learned and raise public awareness of manufacturing. After the show’s third season, however, he began to realize that he must do more if he were to accomplish his broader mission: teaching everyone the skills needed for good-paying jobs in machining.
“As the show grew in popularity, I had the opportunity to meet more and more people and visit a lot of vocational schools,” he said. “That’s when a big alarm bell sounded for me. I saw that all these students were spending time and money on a one- or two-year program, but they weren’t making more than a few different parts, and the ones they do make are useless—aluminium smartphone cases and stuff like that. The schools just don’t have the financial resources for everyone to get the kind of hands-on training needed to succeed.”
According to Titan, the curriculum itself is also flawed. Those responsible for its development are often trying to teach kids the same skills that they themselves learned decades earlier. And while machine tools today are much more complex than they were back then, the machining process is in some ways far easier to master.
“Everyone’s making it more complicated than it actually is,” he said.
For example, modern computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software eliminates virtually all the tedious mathematics that was once required for machine tool programming, Titan explained. Nor is there a need to spend months learning how to operate an engine lathe or knee mill when so many of the available jobs are for CNC equipment. Titan took the old school way of teaching and flipped it on its head.
“I spent two years of my life and my life savings to build my own FREE video-based online school, with my own curriculum,” he said. “Our students learn how to 3D model and program a part on the first day and are actually standing in front of a CNC machine on day two. They learn through repetition, machining hundreds of real-world parts from titanium and other challenging materials. It gives them a sense of confidence. When they complete our program, they have tangible skills to offer an employer.”
Simply put, the TITANS of CNC Academy is the equivalent of learning how to drive a car, but instead of hours spent in a simulator and reading textbooks, students are immediately placed behind the wheel.
Titan said more than 155,000 students have enrolled from 170 countries and more than 2,500 facilities. He also took his program to San Quentin prison to help inmates develop the skills necessary to re-enter society. It would seem that this former resident of Halawa Correctional Facility was facing the financial good times once again, except for one thing: the TITANS of CNC Academy is free.
“You know, we have the greatest country in the world, but nobody talks about manufacturing,” said Titan. “Because of that, our young people are reluctant to enter the trades. This is the problem that nobody's been able to fix. My goal is to bring as many of them as possible into this amazing career that has given me so much. That’s what’s most important to me now.”
Intrigued by the innovative concept and exceptional TITANS of CNC Academy that Titan has established to train young people and give them a taste for bar turning, Tornos is delighted to supply several machines from its portfolio to enable them to develop their skills.
In addition, a specialized, expert machinist has been specially hired to teach academy participants how to harness the full potential of Tornos machines. All the elements are therefore in place for Tornos machines to become a reference within the TITANS of CNC Academy. Several machines arrived today in Texas, including the Swiss GT and the Swiss DT, two precision jewels that have already proven themselves time and time again.
With this win-win partnership, Tornos is sure to continue "Turning Together" with more and more convinced users. From apprentices to experienced bar turners, everyone will clearly see what they can achieve using Tornos machines.