GREAT BANG FOR THE BUCK
The industry’s first high performance general purpose tap scores big with this machine shop that serves the paper, painting and food markets.
Bayside Machine Corporation (De Pere, WI) is a general machining shop committed to mastering the most demanding new innovations in high tech machining and manufacturing. The company was founded in 1999 by partners Paul Fritsch, the current president, and Tracy Burbey, who is the vice president. Rob Salesky, the treasurer, became a third partner in 2002 and after 2003 the business skyrocketed, gaining 30 percent to 40 percent annually until it finally received the Inc. 5000 Award in 2009 for being one of the fastest growing companies in the United States.
Today Bayside retains 38 employees and boasts $4 million in annual sales. Their 16,000 sq ft manufacturing operation comprises 34 machines, 13 vertical machining centers, two lathes and six Bridgeport mills. They manufacture many different types of parts for a variety of markets including the paper, painting and food industries to name a few.
“Fortunately, we had the versatility of having a large enough shop and the right mix of experience to sustain ourselves when the economy started to falter in 2009,” recalls Salesky. Combining his CNC background with the business acumen of Fritsch and Burbey and a skilled, dedicated group of employees, Bayside had the knowledge, capability and experience to meet the changing demands of a market that turned.
“We were able to give them the parts they wanted at the price and delivery time they needed,” notes Salesky. “With our large welding department and the versatility to machine anything from tiny components to parts 120 in long, including large boring parts, we were able to actually grow the business despite the waning economy.”
Manufacturing parts for a diverse group of industries requires working in a large number of different materials on any given day. “We pretty much take on anything that comes through the door,” smiles Salesky. “We rarely turn a job down. From the most basic to the most complex, we do it all.” Typical materials that the shop encounters include 1018, 1020, 1045 steels, 304 and 316 stainless steels, brass, and aluminum. Examples of parts the company has manufactured run the gamut, such as open cavity molds in 4140 steel, stainless steel castings and end hubs for gearbox assembly, stainless steel roto-shredders that involve many parts, and coreless winders and knife rolls.
ALL TAPPED OUT
Not only do Bayside jobs vary widely by industry and materials, but when the market turned customers started to demand very quick turnarounds – and the shop discovered that the taps they were using could not keep up. The cheaper taps were more brittle and prone to breaking during machining, which interrupted production while they were burned out of holes.
In fact, so many taps were being burned out of their holes that Salesky had had enough. Being an experienced tool buyer with years of machining under his belt, he knew that lost money and time was adding up and that a tap test for his wide ranging applications was in order.
Maintaining the tools necessary to handle a wide range of machining can be a challenge because it requires a lot of time and can be extremely expensive. Tool tests present an ideal opportunity for taking stock of your inventories to see where you can make your business run leaner and meaner. For Bayside, utilizing application-specific specialty taps was not an option because it was too difficult and confusing to attempt to categorize all of the taps for the proper application, then knowing which tap to use when. It was simply easier on the shop floor to have one tap for multiple jobs for the varied, short run, high volume mix.
Salesky decided to arrange the tests so they focused on finding a good quality tap that would work in multiple materials across a variety of applications – the perfect “go-to” tap. This meant identifying and acquiring an excellent general purpose tap that would deliver less tap breakage in a wider variety of materials. Having a reliable tap to work in a multitude of situations would increase productivity and help the shop meet demanding delivery schedules. So the quest was on to see if such a tap existed.
SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
When it came down to selecting the right general purpose tap, the shop conducted a comprehensive tap test involving six different tap manufacturers that were invited to submit two general purpose taps each. Testing parameters established the number one factor in the purchase decision as being versatility across a wide range of materials. Cost was the second most important factor.
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