Strength In Numbers

Today, it's a different domestic market with very different demands from customers of multi-spindle screw machine tools. Shops must deal with reduced part volume runs, higher accuracy demands, JIT inventory systems and very tight margins. Comprised of relatively small companies, the domestic screw machine industry had trouble making the adjustment to the newer manufacturing requirements.

When the screw machine brands that DeVlieg Bullard II (DBII) now owns were autonomous companies, the market looked very different from how it looks today. Companies purchased many copies of a standard machine design and tooled them for work that could last for years. Dedicated manufacturing was a linchpin of the industry then. Changeover from one job to another was a relatively rare occurrence. Companies such as National Acme, New Britain and Conomatic made a good living supplying multi-spindle screw machines to market niches that they, over time, had carved out for themselves. Sure there was engineering involved for tooling most of the machines these companies built, but it was primarily engineering pointed at cycle-time reduction.

That business model worked well for many years. Today, it's a different domestic market with very different demands from customers of multi-spindle screw machine tools. Shops must deal with reduced part volume runs, higher accuracy demands, JIT inventory systems and very tight margins. Comprised of relatively small companies, the domestic screw machine industry had trouble making the adjustment to the newer manufacturing requirements. Individually, these companies had a tough time keeping up with the technological investments necessary to supply machines that could provide what screw machine shops needed to be competitive.

The strategy for DeVlieg Bullard II, Inc. is to bring together multiple machine tool lines and accessory tooling under one management organization. As an organization, we can afford to do the research, development and engineering required to manufacture a new Acme-Gridley, New Britain or Conomatic machine tool contemporary in performance, technology, flexibility, and yes, CNC. We're manufacturing new machines that are designed and built to compete in the screw machine industry that exists today, not the industry that existed 20 years ago. As the evolution of engineering has shifted to the machine tool builder, we can offer complete turnkey engineering.

The Machine Tool Division of DeVlieg Bullard II located in Twinsburg, Ohio, is a 50,000 square foot facility custom built to our specifications for building new machines and machine tool remanufacturing. Each oversized bay contains 30-ton and 10-ton cranes with 30 feet under the crane hook. A state-of-the-art temperature control system maintains the shop within 2° F from floor to ceiling. This facility also houses the engineering staff that designs and supports our machine tools.

The Services Group of DeVlieg Bullard II stocks an inventory of 20,000 different OEM Acme, New Britain and Conomatic parts and offers a dedicated product brand staff that has technical knowledge with most turning operations. New OEM parts and attachments; new tooling; process analysis; training; preventative maintenance; and field service are all offered to maintain a multi-spindle's ability to produce high quality products. Our extensive archive of original machine drawings dates back as far as 1890. We can ensure the integrity and quality of replacement parts and machine maintenance. Our OEM parts prices are competitive throughout the parts manufacturing industry.

To further demonstrate our commitment of brand name and technology advancements, we showcased two new machines at IMTS 2002, an Acme-Gridley Multi-Spindle and a Motch High Speed Turning Machine. DBII continues to develop and advance technologically, moving forward into the innovative era of the machine tool industry. Many people mistakenly believe that we had stopped building new machines. This is not true. We have never stopped building new machines! It's important that the readers of Production Machining and the screw machine industry at large know that there is a screw machine tool company, manufacturing new machines, and it's in the United States.