some other rando anons watching this thread but asking outside of here >What are the different kinds of shops out there?
I'm going to skip mechanic shops and other similar things, focusing on different kinds of manufacturing shops.
Lets take a glance at how resources move around for most steels, and other alloys.
Open pit mine -> steel mill/foundry -> distribution warehouse -> manufacturing shop -> [other warehouse likely, maybe two] -> retail store -> you
that's just a generic resource flow, there are many deviations to this of course, even at large scales, but it's still more or less what happens.
Steel mills take raw resources and work them over, adding precise amounts of each kind of material to mix into an alloy.
Foundry, or pattern shop, is used for casting large volumes of things, not uncommon to have 10% or sometimes higher rejection rate (because of voids in the castings). No material is wasted, it just gets melted back down and tried again.
Forge is where they take raw materials and either roll them (multiple times) or hammer them into a useful shape.
Heh, I had to do a little bit of internet searching on those, and even then it might not be quite right, as those are not things I interact with at all. It is the job of the metallurgist to make sure the correct alloy with the correct mechanical properties of the casting/forging/shaping thing it requires. Most of these things are defined standards such as cold rolled 1018 steel bars, a brake caliper casting used in cars, or a forged 7075 aluminum frame used for an AR15 rifle receiver.
Those kinds of shops tend to be really high volume, because it is easier to build that sort of equipment for higher volumes. Regardless of what kind of material processing is used, they all end up in a manufacturing shop somewhere, and in my hands to finish getting shaped into something useful.
In the machinist world, there are two main divisions: Job Shop and Production Shop.
There are deticated job shops or support job shops. Deticated job shops are pretty easy to find in the phone book listed under machine shops.
What I am calling support job shops are much more illusive. A large farm might have a lathe and a mill to fix farm equipment with. An electric motor repair company will have a small machine shop to repair bearing surfaces from the bearing that siezed up and melted. I've heard the navy will have a small machine shop on the larger ships to fix various things that might break. I've seen offset printer shops have their own machine shop to make various things to keep the high-volume printers going.
Production shops generally only make one kind of product, with small variations to that product. Sometimes a production shop will only utilize lathes and mills, but most of the time they use purpose-built equipment.
For example, machines making plastic sheets. These machines will likely be able to make plastic trash bags, but also able to make the thicker plastic sheets used to cover harvisted crops or as a sealed barrier under a house. Perhaps also the plastic wrap used for food as well as wrapping up pallets for shipping purposes.
The company making lighters, zippo, uses brass and a big stamping machine to form the outer shell of the lighter. I will bet that it is the same machine they used in WW2 making the same lighers.
Some production shops will only be making one kind of product, but with normal CNC mills or CNC lathes. For example a company selling pipelines to oil companies. They will have CNC lathes set up for turning the end and threading the pipe. Their entire shop will be optimized for offloading steel pipe from various trucks, storage, and moving the pipes into lathes.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCgnWqoP4MM
- building the steam controller
Here you can see a typical modern production shop with lots of fancy deticated equipment designed and set up to make one product.
Most of the work I do is prototype these days, or sometimes making difficult-to-machine parts in a small production run on the order of hundreds or less.