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By Philip Gronback 03 Nov, 2017
Protecting intellectual property is an important step for any company to take. That being said, it is also a long and expensive process. After acquiring a good patent attorney the first step will be to file for a "patent pending" status. This protects your rights for a period of one year while applying for a full patent.  During this time your attorney will be performing a patent search to ensure your idea is not encroaching on any existing patents. In addition to this, the "Abstract" which is basically the description of your idea and it's inner workings will be scrutinized, re-worded and placed into the proper language for the full patent submission.  This language needs to be very specific and highlight the uniqueness of your idea. The better that description is, the more protected you will be and the better the chance your application will be accepted. Speaking of acceptance, it is very common for the US Patent Office to respond back to you with several additional requirements after your initial submission. Take careful note of the "respond by" dates and do so in accordance with them or you'll be starting all over from scratch.
My suggestions for patenting your idea or product would be to follow these guidelines; (1) Decide if this is truly an idea that you can benefit from financially and one that makes sense to patent?  (That can be by selling the rights, actually producing and reselling it yourself or even selling partial rights to part of it) Obtaining a full patent is an expensive venture and in most cases in excess of 20k. The best thing you can do is to use the 1 year waiting period to prove out your idea/invention and test the waters of profitability. The initial patent application will cost you around $2500. This will gain you the "Patent Pending" status which offers you protection. If you decide during that time that you don't think your invention will produce as much fruit as you initially thought, you don't need to submit the final application which will save you tens of thousands. At that point your patent pending will just silently go to the patent graveyard; (2) Find an exceptional lawyer... and  I'm not talking about guy that closed your mortgage for you. Do your research and ask around. An experienced patent lawyer can make the difference between acceptance and denial, long process or short. (3) Lastly, celebrate! If you receive that confirmation after the long and exhausting process of obtaining a US Patent, you deserve it. And after you bath in the satisfaction of this accomplishment, get to work on the next one! Innovation is fueled by new ideas and there's always a way to make a better mousetrap.
By Philip Gronback 24 Feb, 2017
Anyone that has had experience grinding knows that not every grind job benefits from the use of coolant. From one side you would think that adding the cooling and lubricity of coolant will lead to less wheel breakdown, however, this is not always the case. Coolant in fact can lead to faster build up on your wheel, allowing the particles to fill the voids in your cutting surface faster. Once you loose the porosity in your grinding wheel, it causes the wheel to get pushed away from the material you are grinding rather than removing material. Of course many factors play a role in the speed at which that happens; from wheel grit and RPM to the length of cut and the composite of the wheel.
By Philip Gronback 13 Feb, 2017
As the economy begins to show signs of improvement, manufacturing seems to be on it's way to better days in America. Although the Oil & Gas Industry is still lagging far behind, other industries such as Automotive, Aerospace and Medical are showing great signs of stabilization and growth. 
This however leaves manufacturing in a precarious situation.  For a decade or more, the United States put the importance of manufacturing education on the back burner. States closed technical schools, large corporations started to suspend their in-house apprenticeship programs and little by little the skilled manufacturing labor force dwindled.
In contrast to this, college education for academic positions such as engineering thrived as the government pumped student loan guarantees to an all time high.  The results, thousands upon thousands of of new engineers flooding the market to support manufacturing jobs that were no longer there. 
The problem however goes much deeper than this. With the average manufacturing employee in their 50's and 60's, there are fewer and fewer people to train the incoming machinists and engineers. Subsequently, what we now face is not enough young people to man the machines and a whole lot of new engineers that have the skills to design anything; they just have no idea what to design or how to go about conceptualizing it.
Specialty areas of manufacturing such as Tool, Die and Gage are hanging on by a thread. Finding people skilled in these areas can take several months and when you do find them, they are only a few years away from retirement.
The need to train is now. Time is of the essence. Moving forward, the only manufacturing companies that will survive are the ones that aggressively pursue in house training and apprenticeship programs before the skilled workforce they currently have is gone.     

how too

By Philip Gronback 03 Nov, 2017
Protecting intellectual property is an important step for any company to take. That being said, it is also a long and expensive process. After acquiring a good patent attorney the first step will be to file for a "patent pending" status. This protects your rights for a period of one year while applying for a full patent.  During this time your attorney will be performing a patent search to ensure your idea is not encroaching on any existing patents. In addition to this, the "Abstract" which is basically the description of your idea and it's inner workings will be scrutinized, re-worded and placed into the proper language for the full patent submission.  This language needs to be very specific and highlight the uniqueness of your idea. The better that description is, the more protected you will be and the better the chance your application will be accepted. Speaking of acceptance, it is very common for the US Patent Office to respond back to you with several additional requirements after your initial submission. Take careful note of the "respond by" dates and do so in accordance with them or you'll be starting all over from scratch.
My suggestions for patenting your idea or product would be to follow these guidelines; (1) Decide if this is truly an idea that you can benefit from financially and one that makes sense to patent?  (That can be by selling the rights, actually producing and reselling it yourself or even selling partial rights to part of it) Obtaining a full patent is an expensive venture and in most cases in excess of 20k. The best thing you can do is to use the 1 year waiting period to prove out your idea/invention and test the waters of profitability. The initial patent application will cost you around $2500. This will gain you the "Patent Pending" status which offers you protection. If you decide during that time that you don't think your invention will produce as much fruit as you initially thought, you don't need to submit the final application which will save you tens of thousands. At that point your patent pending will just silently go to the patent graveyard; (2) Find an exceptional lawyer... and  I'm not talking about guy that closed your mortgage for you. Do your research and ask around. An experienced patent lawyer can make the difference between acceptance and denial, long process or short. (3) Lastly, celebrate! If you receive that confirmation after the long and exhausting process of obtaining a US Patent, you deserve it. And after you bath in the satisfaction of this accomplishment, get to work on the next one! Innovation is fueled by new ideas and there's always a way to make a better mousetrap.
By Philip Gronback 24 Feb, 2017
Anyone that has had experience grinding knows that not every grind job benefits from the use of coolant. From one side you would think that adding the cooling and lubricity of coolant will lead to less wheel breakdown, however, this is not always the case. Coolant in fact can lead to faster build up on your wheel, allowing the particles to fill the voids in your cutting surface faster. Once you loose the porosity in your grinding wheel, it causes the wheel to get pushed away from the material you are grinding rather than removing material. Of course many factors play a role in the speed at which that happens; from wheel grit and RPM to the length of cut and the composite of the wheel.
By Philip Gronback 13 Feb, 2017
As the economy begins to show signs of improvement, manufacturing seems to be on it's way to better days in America. Although the Oil & Gas Industry is still lagging far behind, other industries such as Automotive, Aerospace and Medical are showing great signs of stabilization and growth. 
This however leaves manufacturing in a precarious situation.  For a decade or more, the United States put the importance of manufacturing education on the back burner. States closed technical schools, large corporations started to suspend their in-house apprenticeship programs and little by little the skilled manufacturing labor force dwindled.
In contrast to this, college education for academic positions such as engineering thrived as the government pumped student loan guarantees to an all time high.  The results, thousands upon thousands of of new engineers flooding the market to support manufacturing jobs that were no longer there. 
The problem however goes much deeper than this. With the average manufacturing employee in their 50's and 60's, there are fewer and fewer people to train the incoming machinists and engineers. Subsequently, what we now face is not enough young people to man the machines and a whole lot of new engineers that have the skills to design anything; they just have no idea what to design or how to go about conceptualizing it.
Specialty areas of manufacturing such as Tool, Die and Gage are hanging on by a thread. Finding people skilled in these areas can take several months and when you do find them, they are only a few years away from retirement.
The need to train is now. Time is of the essence. Moving forward, the only manufacturing companies that will survive are the ones that aggressively pursue in house training and apprenticeship programs before the skilled workforce they currently have is gone.     

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