NEWS and ARCHIVES

Steady the supply chain

As a consumer, it’s nearly impossible to go a day without hearing about issues in the supply chain. As a manufacturer, these issues are part of nearly every conversation as we try to develop action plans to keep manufacturing moving even when just-in-time systems fall behind.

What do you need?

If you’re like most companies we work with, your most important tasks are to minimize disruption and reduce vulnerabilities. In order to solve these kind of supply chain problems you’ll need:

  • Confidence that the products your company uses will be available on time
  • Flexibility with suppliers as your own production schedules fluctuate
  • Access to readily available inventory without exorbitant costs
  • Cost savings to help offset increases in other areas
  • Domestic suppliers to help avoid long lead times or potential disruptions

MITGI can help.

Take cutting tools off of your list of concerns as you work to solve all of the supply chain issues that come across your desk. Not everything is predictable, but having the cutting tools you need can be. Two simple solutions to get you started:

  1. Blanket orders – Cutting tools can be placed on a blanket order and inventoried at MITGI until you need them. Tools are invoiced as shipped which helps with cash flow. The full order is built and on the shelf so that they are ready for same-day shipments; this helps to create security that tools are available on-demand and allows for fluctuations in production schedules. Blankets lock in the price for the full order, creating pricing stability and helping to offset increasing costs in other areas of your production.
  2. Short lead times – Standard tools are available in 3 days or less, and most custom tools can be made and shipped within 2 weeks. Turn to us when your production schedules change quickly or when a regular supplier becomes unable to meet the timeline of the project.

Ready to take one supply chain item off of your list? Contact us today to get started with a quote, conversation, or strategic plan.

MITGI BLOG

Meeting the demands of manufacturing

Many segments of manufacturing, including aerospace, medical device, automotive, rapid prototyping, and precision manufacturing are all experiencing growth. AGAIN. Pair this up with various issues throughout supply chains, and it can be difficult for manufacturers to meet production schedules. MITGI understands that in order for you to meet the demands of your customers and achieve your own growth goals, the cutting tools you need must arrive on time and perform as expected.

Over the past year, we’ve been working to prepare our teams, facility, equipment, and company structure to handle growth and be ready for more. Here’s how:

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Jesse Korson, Manufacturing Manager

Lights out manufacturing.

“One of the most effective ways for us to maximize production is through the addition of lights out manufacturing. Jobs that fit our criteria for unattended production are added to the weekend schedule. On-call operators can monitor progress and come on-site as needed to ensure tools meet quality requirements throughout production. This means more jobs we can get out the door each week.”

 

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Chad Nordmann, Manufacturing Manager

Increased capacity with short lead times.

“In the center shop we see a lot of small-sized orders and complex form tools, and they always come with short lead times. We’ve more than doubled the amount of equipment in this shop so that we can continue to make the tools you need when you need them.”

 

 

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Jennie Gordienko, Chief Business Development Officer

Scalable, strategic planning.

“During periods of growth, it can be difficult for companies to address big picture goals. While your teams are making sure that production has what they need for tomorrow, let us help to prepare for the long run. We’re adept at developing plans to achieve goals such as continuous improvement, vendor consolidation, and tool development for new production lines and facilities. Our business, technical, and production teams are ready to help turn ideas into action.”

 

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Eric Lipke, President

Investment in people, places, and things.

“Our teams are skilled at developing plans to scale up our growth. It’s my job to make sure they have everything they need to do so. We’ve dedicated ourselves to workforce development for more than a decade, we continue to invest in new technology and equipment, and we’re preparing to expand our manufacturing operations. MITGI is ready to help yours meet and exceed your business goals.”

Ready to get started? Our teams are ready to help. Contact us to start a conversation, schedule a call, or submit a quote for review.
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Top 9 Reasons to Send Your Next RFQ to MITGI

  1. Fast quoting. Waiting for a quote on hot tools can feel like time is burning up. We understand that your timelines are short from start to finish. You can count on our teams to be responsive and quick throughout the entire quoting process.
  2. Easy quoting. Understanding what you need out of a custom tool doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply email us a tool print, draw a sketch and send it over, send a link to a competitor’s tool, or complete a quote sheet. With that information, we’ll have everything we need to get a quote underway.
  3. Short lead times. Whether a job just got bumped up in production, you ran through more tools than expected, or inventory ran low without notice – we’re ready to make and ship tools quickly. Our lead times for specials are generally two weeks but many times we can make tools even faster. Standard tools are on the shelf or available within three days.
  4. Tight tolerances. In industries like medical device manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, precision manufacturing, firearms, mold making, or electronics, tight tolerances are likely a requirement for nearly every job. Ours too. Our production teams are skilled at achieving difficult tolerances and ensuring that they are held throughout production. Tolerances vary by tool type and feature (examples include: drills and reamers +/- .0001, end mills -.0004, form tools +/-.001, boring bars +/-.001).
  5. Cost reduction goals. We work with engineers, buyers, supply chain teams, and production teams to achieve cost reduction goals. The answer may lie in longer tool life, making right-sized buys, or developing a strategic plan that leverages the buying power of your business. We’re ready to work with your teams to assess each situation and review options to consider.
  6. Difficult to machine materials. Have a material that is abrasive or gummy or particularly hard to machine? Need to reduce heat or achieve better chip control? We can help to address these issues and more by applying material-specific tool geometries or coating. Tell us the material you’re cutting at the time of quoting for the best results.
  7. Technical support. For nearly 30 years we’ve provided at-the-spindle kind of advice while not actually at your spindle. Use our technical teams to provide fast technical support from our Minnesota-based facility. Technology makes the conversation easy and fast via email, photos, conference calls, or video calls by TEAMS or ZOOM.
  8. Vendor consolidation initiatives. Reducing the number of suppliers can help make buying cutting tools easier and more cost-effective. We work with supply chain teams to help identify long-running tools that are a good match for our capabilities, then work to improve performance and/or price to find cost savings. By moving tools to MITGI we can help streamline vendor lists while also making a dent in cost-reduction goals.
  9. Consistency. We know that the work you do requires consistent performance out of every tool you use. Our manufacturing processes are set up to ensure that the tool you receive today will be the same as the tool you order six months from now.

CUTTING TOOLS: Scale Up and Streamline

Whether part of a multi-division global corporation, a small-sized business, or somewhere in-between, supply chain teams are tasked with saving costs, balancing usage/forecast, and ensuring that products arrive as expected.

MITGI is ready to work with your supply chain team to:

  • Review buying patterns to recommend right-sized buys with pricing that is optimized for forecast
  • Provide competitive quotes on high running tools currently purchased via other suppliers
  • Establish blanket orders to minimize inventory, invoicing only for tools shipped
  • Scale up and down through product life cycle to ensure no disruption of service while maintaining adequate inventory levels
  • Support continuous improvement initiatives through designs optimized to increase tool life and performance
  • Bridge initiatives between supply chain and R&D teams to incorporate goals of both into new tool designs
  • Consolidate and simplify global or regional purchasing

Ready to discuss how we can work together to achieve supply chain goals? Contact us today.

At MITGI, it’s not business as usual, but business as exceptional.

MANUFACTURED BY MITGI: Continuous Improvement

Nearly every company we work with has goals tied to continuous improvement. For some that means reducing cycle times on a specific project. For others it means increasing tool life on a long-running job to create significant cost savings throughout the life of the product. In some cases, companies may need to improve tool performance so that fewer operations are needed.

MITGI works with companies every day to help identify the exact needs at hand and offers ways to achieve the goals through cutting tools.

Recently we worked with a medical device manufacturer that was tasked with reducing cycle times during the initial scale-up for production. Learn more about the project and approach >>

MITGI form keycutter

Custom FORM KEY CUTTER designed to achieve shorter cycle times.

MANUFACTURED BY MITGI: Reducing cycle times

We work with customers who serve a wide range of industries – medical device, aerospace, automotive, defense, firearms, rapid prototyping, mold making, and more. Although specific needs vary by industry, a common goal is to reduce cycle times. Whether part of a cost reduction initiative or as a way to increase output, reducing cycle times through tool design can be achieved in many different ways.

With so many tool options to consider, how does a person decide where to start? For most of our customers, we begin with an email or a short phone call to better understand the application and determine what is important to achieve. With or without tool prints, our technical team can suggest tool options that may help to reduce cycle times and accomplish key initiatives.

How does this play out?

EXAMPLE 1


Application: COMPANY A wants to achieve shorter cycle times by increasing material removal rates
Material: Ti-6Al-4V
Tool type: 6-Flute High Performance End Mill
Coating: AlTiN
MITGI mix:

  • Tapered core for increased rigidity
  • Variable helix geometry dampens vibration and improves part finish
  • Geometry optimized for full axial depth of cut in dynamic or trochoidal milling strategies
  • Radial relief provides a stronger edge that can better withstand high feed rates

Add-on Request: COMPANY A would like to increase tool life thereby reducing overall project costs
MITGI recommendation: Upgrade to NACO coating. This coating will provide added heat resistance and more lubricity. This low-cost upgrade will deliver longer tool life

EXAMPLE 2

Application: COMPANY B has a turning application and wants to create a grooved feature and establish feature height in a single plunge
Material: Inconel
Tool type: 2-Flute Coolant Thru Trepan Tool
Coating: AlTiN
MITGI mix: 
  • Two holes deliver coolant to the cutting edge, thereby reducing heat and removing chips
  • Custom coolant thru design increases tool life while cutting inside of a bore where coolant wouldn’t normally reach
  • Custom design ensures consistent results and form accuracy
Add-on request: COMPANY B wants to reduce chances of chipping
MITGI recommendation: Add edge break by introducing a small radius, therefore reducing the chance of premature chipping

MANUFACTURED BY MITGI: Chip control

Every machinist knows the importance of chip control and just how easy it is to take for granted when it’s working well. When it isn’t, it can be a real headache until a solution is found. Luckily, there are many options to consider that could help alleviate chip-related issues: helix modifications, chip breakers, using coolant to remove chips, optimizing the geometry for chip load, and many more. Working with a cutting tool manufacturer allows customers to choose the option that works best for the job and materials at hand.

How does this play out?

EXAMPLE 1

Application: COMPANY A is a firearms manufacturer and needs a tool to create a thin-walled slot
Material: Steel
Tool type: Custom form keyseat cutter

Coating: None
MITGI mix:

  • Forms on alternating teeth designed to optimize chip load and increase tool life
  • Staggered geometry helps to reduce vibration, improve finish, and minimize production inconsistencies
  • Dished on both sides to produce clearance and alleviate rubbing or binding

Add-on Request: COMPANY A would like to increase tool life thereby reducing overall project costs

MITGI recommendation: Add more teeth to the form. With more teeth to engage, the tool life will increase resulting in reduced tool quantities over the life of the job.

EXAMPLE 2

Application: COMPANY B specializes in hydraulic components; facing tight time constraints, COMPANY B is creating a tapered form and places high priority on part finish
Material: Aluminum
Tool type: Custom tapered reamer
Coating: None
MITGI mix: 
  • Ample core to optimize tool strength and rigidity
  • Spiral flute with material specific helix to provide efficient chip removal
  • Flute geometry and strong cutting edges designed to reduce chatter and improve finish
  • Custom rake applied to help avoid the tool grabbing the part
  • Geometry designed to alleviate tool pullout from holder

 

Want to schedule a time to meet with our team? We’re adept at working remotely to handle questions, troubleshoot technical issues, and discuss new ideas. We’re available by phone, email, ZOOM, Skype, and Microsoft Teams. Contact us today or book an appointment for you and your team.