Last month I wrote an article about the death of Automatic Machining, in which I ended the piece with a reference to the magazine being a CAM operated Davenport in a CNC world.
Bob Brinkman, owner of Davenport, took umbrage at my comment. I am taking a moment to answer him.
I love you and I love your product. My father made a lot of money running Davenports in World War II with the assistance of your father, Earl.
But sadly, today, the world of machining tends to look at your and my beloved Davenport automatic as a noisy representative of a bygone era. Right or wrong, the market for used Davenports, the world I live in, is in shambles. My brother Jim, my partner in our used machinery firm, Graff-Pinkert, attended an auction last week in Rhode Island and saw nice, operable, used Davenports with attachments sell for $250 each—and he passed on them. We recently traded our stock of 21 used Davenports for Maglites because we could not find a cash buyer. I know that your machines are still wonderfully productive pieces of equipment, but the market today is telling us bluntly that they are no longer valued by many buyers.
As always, I wish you all the best.
Letter from Bob Brinkman
August 11, 2009
To quote President Ronald Reagan, “There you go again.”
In your article on the demise of Automatic Machining you imply that Davenport is going the way of Automatic Machining. “A cam operated magazine (machine) in a CNC world. The comparison could not be farther from the truth.
In spite of my repeated advice, Wayne Wood could not quite understand that he had to get engaged in the business, develop new perspectives and improve his product.
In comparison, we at Davenport have constantly improved the machine, the parts and our customer service to the point that we are now considered the only alternative for spare parts. Lower prices, highest quality, and extensive inventory continue to provide our customers with a superior customer experience. Not only that, our machines continue to produce millions of parts a day because the Davenport is the most economical, efficient and cost effective way to produce these parts.
Sure, CNC has its place and is very effective for many applications. But the thousands of Davenports running out there prove that the machine is still viable and will continue to be. Our HP servo driven machines can do many of the things a CNC machine can do at a fraction of the cost.
We intend to continue to support our customers with the best in parts, service, and support. When I took over in 2003 our motto became, “Davenport, Another 100 Years”. As the only remaining American made screw machine builder we would appreciate your support instead of your repeated derision.
R. J. Brinkman