Metal Fatigue

I met University of Massachusetts (Lowell) professor, Robert Forrant, several years ago. He toured Horst Engineering. I contacted him after reading an article that he wrote about Brimfield Precision, a renowned precision machine shop focused on the medical device industry. Brimfield went on to become part of Medsource Technologies, which became Accellent. Anyway, the story was about Brimfield’s transformation. Forrant has written extensively about the industrial revolution in New England and the demise of the metalworking industries that made our region a world manufacturing leader.

I just ordered his new book from Amazon. It is called Metal Fatigue: American Bosch and the Demise of Metalworking in the Connecticut River Valley. The book explores many themes, including globalization. I’m really looking forward to reading it in detail and plan to follow up with Forrant. Horst Engineering is 600 feet from the Connecticut River and we are not in demise. Of course, our industry has suffered a long decline. I’m sure I agree with many of his points. Now that we are a global operation, we have a different perspective. Our management team has taken the necessary steps to maintain growth. 

Forrant should make a return visit to Horst Engineering now that we are broadening our horizons beyond the aerospace market and turning our focus to the medical device industry. When he first visited with me, he was curious why we had made the cut. He asked why we had survived when so many other metal shops had folded. There are many reasons. Forrant was a machinist for many years and he worked at American Bosch, the company at the center of his latest work. I caught an interview with him on WFCR a few weeks ago. He spoke about the difficulty of writing the book as both a researcher and an actor in the demise of American Bosch, an automotive parts manufacturer. It was difficult for him to remain objective when he was one of the workers who was impacted by the closing of the plant. It was the collapse of the industry in the 1980’s and early 1990’s that led to his transformation from metalworker to Ph.D candidate to professor. The Boston Globe wrote about Forrant’s book in a recent review.

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So that little injury caused by my @renocxnats crash on Saturday afternoon wasn’t so little after all. It’s a broken leg (fibula). Prognosis is good, but it hurts like heck. My blog post report with blow by blow details is linked in my profile. #cxnats #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #crossisboss - - -

This #lifedeathcyclocross stuff is true!!!! I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

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@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏 #Repost @horsteng
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