Robotic Advantage Adapts to Customer Needs
New England Tool in Manchester, Connecticut, has developed Robotic Advantage to provide customers with automated systems that integrate seamlessly.
PMPA: How has New England Tool grown over the years?
CJ Bienia: New England Tool Corp. was founded in 1999 as a necessity to meet the demands for high pressure pump applications on Swiss-type CNC lathes. Today, NETC is the supplier of PressureTech high pressure systems on Star Swiss machines with thousands of pump installations throughout the U.S. and Europe. On October 1, 2005, we became the exclusive distributor for Star CNC machines in New England. We are now Star’s first and only full-service distributor in the U.S., handling sales, service and Star CNC training throughout New England. In April 2015, we became the distributor for Eurotech Elite multi-axis turn/mill line of machines in New England. We have now taken what was once a small operation of providing automated solutions with our machine sales and branched it off into what is now Robotic Advantage to provide automated solutions to users of any CNC machines.
PMPA: What is your history with New England Tool?
CB: I began working for New England Tool three years ago on a part-time basis when automation projects would come up. About two years ago I was brought on full time, after the demand for our systems increased, to develop Robotic Advantage into a viable business and profitable entity. Now we are starting to see the fruits of our labor as we are getting more and more inquiries for us to provide solutions to customers.
PMPA: Tell me about Robotic Advantage.
CB: Robotic Advantage is a full-service automation integrator. We take projects from concept all the way through designing, fabrication, programming and installation. Customers come to us for machine tending, assembly, inspection, cleaning operations or even secondary operations and we design a system that fits their need. Our systems are meant to complement machines and processes, not change them. We work with our customer to find a solution that minimizes the impact to workflow while maximizing the return on investment. We do not sell one product that a customer’s system must match—our solutions are tailored to the customers’ needs and theirs alone. Having our roots in the manufacturing industry has given us a leg up in providing our customers the solutions they need. We try to stay in the manufacturing space; the small to medium sized cells that allow our customers to get a quicker return on their investment.
PMPA: How can you provide a custom system with a relatively short return on investment?
CB: We price our systems competitively, but we also aren’t going to take on a huge project that creates an extended timeline for our customers. We can usually get a system to a customer in five to six months; from design to install. Our business model is based on ensuring the customer gets what they want, within a reasonable amount of time and with a quicker return on investment.
PMPA: Is there an overall vision?
CJ: We want to sustain growth and build our customer base. We have good relationships with our existing CNC customers, so they are familiar with the service and quality they get. Our challenge now is to grow Robotic Advantage and introduce ourselves to those who don’t know us from previous business. It is important to us to provide a quality product that we are proud to sell, and our customers are proud to own. We are particular about how we want to grow. We are not willing to sacrifice quality to speed up growth.
PMPA: Do you feel that Robotic Advantage can make a difference?
CB: We had one customer that didn’t have any automation. They had six employees manually cleaning parts. We designed an automated system for cleaning that handled the 320 hours of work in 24 hours while also assuring a 100% inspection rate. The company was then able to place those six employees in other departments that needed help. Because we don’t have “cookie cutter” systems we are able to create a system that fits into the customer’s process instead of the customer trying to adapt their process to a system. We want to create a seamless integration.
PMPA: Why do you value PMPA?
CB: PMPA is incredibly valuable because it helps us connect with our customers. The ListServe emails that hit my inbox can provide insights into customer needs. We may be able to help a fellow member or ask for help with an issue we are facing. I like having a place to go when we have a problem. I also think belonging to the PMPA gives us credibility with our customers. Plus, it’s valuable to get in front of our target market.