I like to watch television shows where they take you through the process of building a barbecue grill, or a car, or even an airplane. They show how each piece is connected and assembled. But I have wondered where those parts they are assembling come from? Well in the case of the Boeing 737 Airliner, some of those parts come from Washington City, Utah. 

I took a tour of Advanced Precision Machining where they have several lathes and other machines to make airplane parts as well as parts for other industries. They even have machined parts for Black Hawk Helicopters. 


It starts out as a solid metal bar. 


These are cut in pieces to length. 


Then each piece is worked through several different lathes to get the desired specifications for the part. Each of these lathes can cost up to $70 thousand each.



These machines drill precise hole, some straight, some at angles. All of this work to a tolerance level three times thinner than a human hair. 

The finished part is shipped off to the manufacturer to become part of an aircraft that may one day carry you around the world. 

It’s surprising what businesses right here in Southern Utah are doing and affecting other industries. I’m also fascinated by the specialization process that makes it possible for us to have the things we do.  

Imagine if you had to build a car or a cell phone from scratch. It would take most your lifetime as you carefully made each individual part. But, due to the miracle of specialization, where different companies produce a certain part then ship those parts to one place to be assembled, it makes possible all these amazing products at very affordable prices.

It makes it possible to buy a lawn mower, laptop, or a Boeing 737.

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