At West Ohio Tool, we love a challenge. Yes, we make custom drills, but ask any of us what we really do, and we’ll tell you we’re in the problem-solving business. We like nothing better than when a customer or prospect begins a conversation by saying, “We have a problem that no one seems able to solve.” That’s our cue to offer whatever it takes to analyze that problem from every angle, formulate a solution – and earn our customer’s trust as a partner, not just as a supplier. See for yourself how we helped three very different customers enhance their production with targeted solutions.
Problem: PCD drilling performance
Aerospace manufacturers use full-nib PCD drills with composites and in stacked composite materials that also contain aluminum and titanium. One of our customers had been using a competitor’s full nib PCD drills but wanted to reduce its costs per hole. We recommended our EdgeX4 because its solid-wafer PCD offers the greatest material hardness of any PCD grade, with better wear resistance, fewer premature failures and much less downtime for tool changes than with other drills.
Our customer put EdgeX4 through its paces against what it had been using. We were pleased – but not surprised – to hear the results of their comparisons. “After extensive testing, we have determined that West Ohio Tool’s EdgeX4 performs better than our current supplier’s full nib PCD drills in our composite application, at a lower cost per hole,” our customer told us. “We have converted these drills to West Ohio Tool EdgeX4 design!”
Industry: Medical technology
Problem: Large tooling inventory; high costs from long tooling lead times
With PCD drills, your supplier can turn good news into bad news. On the positive side, regrinding gives a drill longer life. But when those regrinds drag on for nearly half a year, customers must stock more drills so they avoid running out of tools while they wait.
A West Ohio Tool customer had been buying carbide step drills from a supplier that required between 16 and 22 weeks to deliver a batch of drills. To ensure production continuity, our customer cranked up their tool inventory substantially at a cost that ate into their profitability. They only needed these extra drills because of the lengthy wait. For our customer, both the long lead times and the increased tool stock were unacceptable drains on efficient productivity.
When our customer shared this problem with us, we were astonished at their supplier’s delay. Prompt regrinds are a point of pride for us, and we agreed that our customer had every right to expect greater responsiveness. We offered to show them what we could do. As our customer explained, “Since we switched to West Ohio Tool, our tool inventory and obvious costs have dropped considerably. Regrind and recoat time is now 2-3 weeks. New drills are manufactured, coated and delivered normally in 4-6 weeks. They have been known to get us tools in a week.”
Problem: Tooling expense; lack of support and a need for new insights
One of our customers struggled to maximize tool life and cycle times, at the same time that they were spending a huge amount of money every year on tooling. Their processes also seemed to yield substandard surface finishes. When they contacted us for help, we conducted onsite evaluation of their setup – and discovered that most of their problems stemmed from misapplication of some aspects of cutting theory. It’s tough to achieve great results, let alone cost-effective outcomes, when you’re struggling with your process, and we were able to help this customer gain a holistic understanding of what to do and what to avoid.
The results of applying our optimization advice exceeded our customer’s expectations. “West Ohio has helped us understand cutting theories and applications better than anyone else we’ve worked with,” they let us know. “Their technical support and outstanding service has helped us cut tooling expense by approximately $325,000 last year, due to an increase of tool life, 65% faster cycle times, and improved finished on all of our cutting surfaces.”
We were delighted to hear that our solutions earned our customer’s trust beyond their savings and improvements. In fact, we built a lasting, expanded relationship with this customer. Their testimonial pretty much says it all: “West Ohio tool earned our greatest respect and are now manufacturing 90% of all of our solid carbide tooling and 100% of our brazed milling cutters. When we receive new CNC machinery, we trust West Ohio to be our sole supplier of the cutting tools for the trials of mass production.”
Are you wrestling with a tooling problem that seems to lack a solution? Put our problem-solving expertise to work for you – and let us show you the West Ohio Tool difference.