The industrial world buzzes these days with talk of the next wave of equipment, from sophisticated automation systems to 3-D printing machines to robots with pithy names and computerized faces. But for small and even midsize manufacturers, a new piece of equipment can be a make-or-break financial proposition.
Not every manufacturer is willing to do what Aaron Wiegel, president of Wiegel Tool Works, did. His Wood Dale-based company does a lot of work for the auto industry, and in 2006, he paid $2.2 million for a 450-ton press without knowing precisely how he'd use it.
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