Riding Out The Storms

After a machine setback in this shop, management got in touch with Ganesh Machinery Inc. (Chatsworth, California). This company offered a selection of machines that seemed to fit well with the needs of G&L, so the two companies worked out a deal on a multitask lathe with bar feeder—the model GH-25M.


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When a shop opens its doors for the first time, the owner typically has a pretty good business plan in place. However, life doesn’t always go according to plan. Often, surprising obstacles get thrown in the way, and creative solutions must be developed to overcome the challenges.

When Genaro Larios made the decision to open his own machine shop—G&L Precision Machining Technologies, Pomona, California—in March of 2005, he thought he was totally prepared. He had worked in a machine shop for 17 years, running such machines as Tsugamis, Stars, Okumas and Mori Seikis. He knew it was going to take a lot of hard work to get his business running, but he was confident he had the knowledge to make it successful, and he felt he was at a point in his life where it was time to be earning the money for himself, rather than somebody else. After all, he and his wife were starting a family, and he wanted to do what was best for them. His hope was that before long, he would have enough business to support a few employees, therefore freeing him up to spend more time at home.

Looking back, though, Genaro says had he known the challenges that he’d face, he would have thought twice about opening his own business. Even now, his salary is less than with his previous employer, and he’s still working too many hours and needs to be available 24 hours a day in case of an emergency. However, he’s heading in the right direction. He can now see a day when the machines will be paid off and he can pay others to do a lot more of the work. The future was not so bright only a few short months ago.

The first machine on G&L’s floor was a twin-turret, multi-axis CNC turning center that created more headaches than parts. From the day the machine was put into service, he had problems with the turret and the live tooling. The company had work, but no equipment worth running it on. Therefore, the jobs got shipped out to other shops, along with the majority of the profits.

For 3 months, Genaro babysat his oversized paperweight, dealing with service technicians making regular visits to his shop attempting to fix the machine. He was focusing his efforts on settling his dispute with the machine’s manufacturer rather than streamlining his processes and generating more work. Clearly, this was a major setback for a startup company like his. It wasn’t until his attorneys threatened a lawsuit against the manufacturer that they were finally able to reach an agreement. While he didn’t push for lost income over the time the machine was in his shop, he cut his losses, got his money back for the machine and got it hauled away. He was back in business.

Meanwhile, Genaro got in touch with Harvinder Singh, president of Ganesh Machinery Inc. (Chatsworth, California). This company offered a selection of machines that seemed to fit well with the needs of G&L, so Genaro worked out a deal with Harvinder on a multitask lathe with bar feeder—the model GH-25M. He liked this machine because it offers live tooling on the front and side and a full C axis. The price was right, too, and provided a good entry level for him to truly start his venture. However, what really made the deal was that Ganesh was willing to provide the machine with no down payment. Harvinder saw the strong work ethic of Genaro, and knew he had enough work coming in to earn the money to pay off the machines. The decision was based purely on trust. After a couple of months, the legal proceedings and paperwork were processed on Genaro’s original machining center, and he was able to get payment going on the Ganesh machine.

A second Ganesh machine—a VMC-2216 CNC machining center with a fourth axis—quickly followed, again with no down payment. With work flowing through the shop, Genaro immediately picked up a Ganesh 5212 TM turn/mill center, with live tooling and a bar feeder.

G&L now has five different Ganesh CNC machines running in the shop. The latest addition is a Cyclone GTM-3, a three-axis CNC Swiss-style lathe that is used mostly for secondary operations. It is a base model with gang tooling, but Genaro upgraded it by putting live tooling on the side to allow drilling of holes in the sides of parts.

Although the hurdles of getting the right machine tools in place finally seemed to be over, the tough times were not. About the time Genaro felt comfortable with where his business was heading, someone broke into his neighbor’s building and drove a forklift through the wall into his shop. They took almost everything but his machines. “I thought this was something you’d only see in the movies,” Genaro says. “I called the police, but their only advice was that I should move to a better area.”

After regrouping, resupplying the shop and reinforcing the walls, Genaro is still staying extremely busy. He likes to do setups in the morning and run the machines in the afternoons. On the live axis machine, with one setup he can knock out the parts one after another. Setup is typically about 2 hours.

Operations are almost always manned, except for short breaks if he’s running brass or aluminum. Genaro explains, “The majority of our work is for the aerospace industry because the pay is good. We have not yet considered the medical industry, but with the recent addition of a salesperson, recommended by Harvinder, we may soon tap that market as well.”

The flexible price range and capabilities of the Ganesh machines allow G&L to have several smaller machines instead of one larger one. “Because of the reasonable price, I was able to buy all five of our machines within a period of about 12 months,” Genaro says.

Practically a Ganesh showroom in itself, G&L is proving that perseverance pays off. After battling some extreme circumstances as a startup company, G&L has found better times with a set of machines that have far exceeded expectations and customer service from a builder who goes out of its way to help its customers succeed.