( Fortune magazine) -In his teens, Gene Haas cleaned the floor after school at an old machine shop near Los Angeles. Then someone put him on the drill press and grind and cut the metal into his blood. Haas, 44, is the founder and president of Haas Automation, a private holding company in the San Fernando Valley with its main products- Relatively simple \"vertical machining center\" costs $50,000- Great success has been achieved. Annual sales, following a more typical curve for Silicon Valley startups than older companies From $8 million in 1988 to $0. 168 billion in 1995. The company is expected to grow another 50% this year. An isolated example? Consider other signs of the United States. S. The 80-year-old machine tool industry imported from Japan and Germany has come back to fight and win :-- Elmira Harding, New York 106-year- The old suppliers of the long-traded light precision machining center have not been listed on any exchange, winning GM\'s annual Supplier Award in 1994 and 1995, and listing on Nasdaq a year ago, shares were sold to the public for $43 million. Yes, a machine tool company has issued a big new stock and a successful stock. Recently, Harding\'s shares were sold at $30 per share, 57% higher than the initial issue price. -- One of the major tool manufacturers, Cincinnati mirakhole, suffered a sharp drop in orders from the aerospace industry in its early 90 s. But it experienced a big rebound last year. One of Milacron\'s latest works is $3. 5 million high- The speed router, 140 feet long, has just been delivered to Northrop Grumman. It manufactures a variety of aircraft parts, and computer control greatly reduces the downtime required to reconfigure. -- Detroit\'s Lamb technology icon, a division of Western Atlas, has grown its sales by 60% since 1987. In North Carolina, Lamb Technicon is building a flexible production line worth $0. 12 billion to allow a joint venture between Cummins engine and Case Corp-its customers Fast matching diesel production- Engine models for changing demand. Albert Moore, chairman of the Manufacturing Technology Association of tool manufacturers trading group, proudly said: \"We have a bunch of stallion now . \". Attracting overseas customers with the prosperity and success of capital spending, the United StatesS. Tool makers made $4. Orders for 1995 were 8 billion, twice as high as 1992, the highest after 70. The revitalized industry includes many new players, including Japanese tool manufacturers expanding in the United States. S. And newcomers to the mainland. Moore predicts that in 1996, orders in the industry will be synchronized with orders from last year ---no small feat-- In 1997, capital spending in the aerospace industry will increase by another 6% to 7%. This is a comeback from the grim years. Become complacent or arrogant in two games A record one-year backlog after $5. US orders for 1979 are 6 billionS. With the start of people in their 80 s, tool makers are terrified. Foreign competitors- In particular, Japanese sumo players such as Yamaki Mazak, Senji and big uma-- Move in with cheaper, better tools, deliver without a long wait, sometimes accompanied by an engineer who looks after the machine until it runs as promised. Total orders fell by 1986 and imported machines accounted for half of the business. Wholesale disappeared American Tool Company. U. S. According to data from the Ministry of Commerce, between 1982 and 1992,- About 600 companies- I changed other businesses, was bought out, or simply shut down. \"We are doing power diving,\" said Commerce Department analyst John Mearman . \". In the famous 1990 study in the United StatesS. A commission at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology called manufacturing made in the United States and cited a series of reasons for the failure of tool manufacturers. The two most important: the slow development and adoption of computer digital control (CNC) This is a major technological advance that allows the machine to produce various parts on an electronic autopilot. The author of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology warned: \"Without the coordinated efforts of the state, the prospects of the machine -- Tool manufacturers in this country are not good. \"It turns out that, despite the help of protectionism, tool manufacturers have recovered without industrial policy. 1987 agreement on voluntary restrictions negotiated by the Reagan administration (VRAs) This limits the import of six types of machine tools from Japan and Taiwan. Before VRAs expired in 1993, they gave space for domestic manufacturers to breathe, raising R & D spending from 5% in 1987 to nearly 12% in 1992. Other factors are also good for the industry, including the appreciation of the yen, which makes Japanese machines more expensive, and the amazing outbreak of American entrepreneurs. S. toolmakers. Until 1989, when MIT researchers came to the conclusion of their frustrating findings, Haas Automation did not even have the tools to make it. \"I don\'t know the machine tool industry has been eliminated,\" said modest Jean Haas. The founder who sounds confident \"No one told me. Haas Automation and another Southern California company law company, Dahl engineering, are chasing segments that are the least promising for the United States. S. Tool Manufacturer: simple, stand Separate processing center The companies saw the opportunity in the small work shop, and the kind people started in the garage with their sons. New products have sprung up, creating parts for niche markets and offering products to large manufacturers who are increasingly dependent on outsourcing. Haas and fardar understand that in order to win orders from job seekers, they must provide CNC tools instead of traditional manual control models. The vertical machining center, which is about the size of a Volkswagen Beetle standing at one end, simply says that they have a spindle or shaft with a variety of drill bits, routers, other cutting equipment that can be connected. The function performed by the machine is very complicated: once the instructions are entered on the computer, the tool is basically unattended and even the tool is automatically replaced. By the age of 80, the Japanese had actually turned the United States into the United States. S. Tool manufacturers in this section. But later, they stumbled and, as the yen soared against the dollar, they hyped up features and raised prices. \"They set their prices outside the market,\" said Steven Colbert, an industry analyst in San Francisco . \". VRAs has also hindered the ability of tool manufacturers in Japan and Taiwan to compete in the low-end market. End machining center. Enter Haas and fardar. They stripped off their clothes in order to keep the price affordable They designed their own machines with computer control. A happy customer is Jay Eshbach, the owner of a small machining company that makes cylinders in Burbank, California Head parts such as cam sprocket and valve seat for racing motorcycles. Eshbach said: \"People like Haas gave the CNC technology to a small shop like ours that could not get it before. \"Security analysts estimate that there is about one company in Haas and fardar --third of the U. S. Vertical Processing center market. Haas\'s product line is diverse, including vertical centers with more fancy features, horizontal machining centers ( The spindle rotates horizontally in it), and lathes ( Working parts with high speed rotation). These machines are more than 99% in the United States, and Haas exports 30% of them. Soon, it will build a new factory in Oxnard, California, where it is expected to expand by 500- Strong work force. The imitator is coming in. One is the big uma in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, a large Japanese transplant tool manufacturer. The company is hiring engineers and mechanics out of 100 places and will soon be in the new vertical-machining- Its own central factory. Cincinnati Mira clone has long avoided the market and entered the market three years ago for $49,000. Last year, the United States\'s largest tool manufacturers, Wisconsin\'s jintin and Lewis, bought it from its owner, the de Caussin family, for $0. 18 billion. This is not the only trend to improve the fate of tool manufacturers. Heavyweight customers who buy more complex devices have been buying crazy. The main among them is the three major automakers and their parts suppliers, which have historically purchased the third largest product in the domestic tool industry. Car and light- Truck production rose in the early 90 s as Detroit\'s dealer showrooms were packed with new models with newly designed engines and transmissions. Prepare production lines for large-scale restructuring projects; During the period from 1992 to 81%, the three giants increased their capital equipment purchases by 1994. Eli Lustgarten, security analyst at Schroder Wertheim in New York, said many orders went to the United StatesS. toolmakers. Japanese transplant automakers have also invested heavily in expanding the U. S. market. S. Production capacity. Hardinge ( Pronounced with soft g) It is one of the tool manufacturers catering to the automotive industry. Sales last year were $0. 18 billion, winning praise from GM. The final CNC vertical machining center costs as much as $120,000, and the vertical lathe costs $160,000. Lustgarten and others are looking forward to you. S. Capital spending will stabilize in 1996, but an increase in orders from aircraft manufacturers may help offset the cyclical decline in orders from the automotive industry. Richard Rippe, an economist at Prudential Securities, recently reported that orders in the aerospace industry in 1995 were twice that of the same period last year. With the re-conquest of the domestic market, tool manufacturers have also started an offensive abroad. S. exports fell to 16% in 1984. S. production. Since then, U. S. In 1992, tool manufacturers increased exports to 39% of production; The percentage of exports last year was 35%. Canada is the biggest market, but China is the real market. In 1993, the Ministry of Commerce helped the tool manufacturer trade group set up an office in Beijing. That year, China surpassed Mexico to become the second largest in the United States. Exports jumped from $69 million in 1992 to $0. 155 billion in 1994. Last year, St. \'s Songnen products Louis built the first one. S. - China Machine Tool joint venture, a factory in Shanghai that produces cutting instruments and drilling holes Machine sizing. The latter makes a final touch on the holes cut by other machines. Brazil is another big export market that is expected to keep growing. Manufacturers there bought nearly $36 million of American tools in 1994, up 65% from 1992. U. S. Tool manufacturers are bullish. \"I like Brazil very much,\" said John Hendrick, president of Big uma America. \"They promised to double the car manufacturing industry by 1998. \"The weakness of the US dollar has undoubtedly helped the US economy in recent years. S. toolmakers. However, if the quality of American equipment does not improve, the price alone will not attract so many customers. Manufacturers are increasingly in need of tools that can perform Fine Machining, which means faster machines. According to a survey conducted by David Lewis at the trade show, the number of new European and American machine models with spindle speeds of 10,000 rpm or higher increased by 8 times between 1991 and 1995, an engineer in Raleigh, North Carolina. U. S. Lewis says the machine is completely competitive in the speed Derby. \"Quality of AmericaS. \"Machinery is world-class,\" said Bobby cammarc, purchasing manager at Toyota\'s large auto factory in Georgetown, Kentucky. When Toyota decided to double Georgetown\'s capacity, it took advantage of U. S. capacity. S. Tool manufacturers for Ingersoll milling machines and Lamb technology icon provide machines for the manufacture of Camry engines. Cammarc said the American machines arrived on time these days, although he pointed outS. Compared with Japanese competitors, it is easier for tool manufacturers to miss the temporary deadlines, where they report progress in mechanical manufacturing. A failure in the past, AmericaS. Tool manufacturers have largely overcome the resistance to working with customers during the design phase. Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology pointed out that this defect led to the lack of innovation after the 80 s. Cammack recalled that when tool manufacturers first took part in the Toyota contract bid, they suffered from \"over-confidence\" and reluctance to digest the unique manufacturing specifications of Japanese automakers. \"What we often hear is, \'We have been producing this equipment for 40 years and we know what you need, \'Cammack said. \'\". \"This is a dangerous assumption for any supplier. \"The result of early projects is: under-priced, cost overruns. But Cammack says that as tool makers work on a range of projects for Toyota, they are increasingly willing to see customers as partners. The large machine that Cincinnati mirakon recently delivered to Northrop Grumman is the result of similar cooperation between tool manufacturers and customers. Known as the MasterCarver high speed router, it is basically a long table with 1,320 pockets. Each house has a hydraulic power lever called pogo with a suction cup on the top. Pogos rises to the part that supports the aluminum aircraft housing, such as 10 by 25 feet, while a large router hangs on the gantry that runs the length of the table, trimming, smoothing, and drill holes in metal at 30,000 rpm. The computer can reset the pogos to accommodate different aircraft components, the process takes only two minutes The time or longer it takes to insert the aircraft housing on a traditional fixture. Fast conversion is the essence of \"agile\" or \"flexible\" manufacturing and American manufacturingS. Tool manufacturers are increasingly providing the equipment they need. Lamb TechCon has built a production line for Saturn cars that can switch back and forth between automatic and manual transmissions, and its new diesel has engineering flexibility Engine production line in North CarolinaThe Cummins- The Case joint venture, which is responsible for the operation of the production line, will produce various engines for agricultural tractors and Ford medium pickup trucks. Frank McDonald, vice president of Cummins\'s operation of the plant, said he chose a flexible production line because he could continue to modify it while producing the engine. As their long-term sales stabilize He said he would run the roll in line. The part will remain flexible; Part will be converted to traditional hard Tool transfer lines that operate more efficiently in high volumes. While making better and smarter machines, the United StatesS. Tool manufacturers now offer improved technical support and services. Hardinge offers customers a one-week free training course at its factory and can offer lecturers who speak Japanese, Chinese or German. Cincinnati Milacron has become so focused on shipping repair parts within 48 hours of receiving the call, no matter which day of the week the order arrived, it has trained weekend security guards to retrieve parts from inventory and send them out. Tool manufacturers have no choice but to continue to indulge their customers. Despite its successful return, the United StatesS. tool industry--No. Until the age of 60- Only regain the first Third, from Italy, still lags behind Japan and Germany. U. S. sales in China were eclipsed by German and Japanese sales, with German machine tool exports reaching an astonishing $0. 392 billion in 1994 and Japanese machine tool exports reaching $0. 226 billion. Commerce department analyst Mearman was shocked to describe how the German government and tool industry built a $35 million industrial park and training facility in Singapore last year, the perfect Asian showcase of German machine tools. Cutting tool manufacturers in the United States are also focusing on South Korea. Hyundai and Daewoo, two large industrial groups, will launch more standard low-end products. Terminal machines in the United StatesS. soil. \"Their goal is commodity machines, where the Japanese were 20 years ago,\" said David Shaby of Compumachines, an Massachusetts tool dealer. This is where Haas and fardar rule. \"Koreans do need to know the market better, but the quality is not bad,\" said Shaby . \". \"They are survivors and they have strong financial resources and a mandate from the chair to go out and succeed. \"There is another concern among executives of American tools: the economic cycle. They have different views on how to get through the next recession. Court CEO Daniel Meyer of Miramar clone in Cincinnati will release double machine tools again Their profit margins reached several digits in their heyday. He believes that emerging industrialized countries, while promoting exports, may reduce losses and protect domestic markets. As a result, Milacron no longer expects substantial growth in machine tools. \"This will not happen,\" Meyer said . \". Although Milacron has improved its tool manufacturing process and introduced a new product line, it has actively entered the business of plastic machinery and providing parts and coolant to machine tools. Last year, traditional tools accounted for only one quarter of mirakon\'s $1. Sales of 6 billion. Those who are more optimistic point out the advantages of the Yankees, such as unparalleled software at the low end of the market and big innovations at the high end, such as the six-foot (see box). Haas Automation wants to hedge risks in the future of the United States. S. Exports account for 50% of sales, leading to a recession. Last year, he acquired a Swiss grinder manufacturer, making his position in Western Europe better. CEO Robert argan believes that insisting on tool manufacturing can bring a bright future to the company. He gestures in the company\'s conference room and says, \"Look around you. In this room, nothing is connected to the machine tool.