Yamazen and Precision Instruments Success Story
Precision Instruments began in 1938 when Ken Larson saw a need for a more accurate way of tightening fasteners, and as a result, invented the dial type torque wrench. 80 years later, under the direction of Ken’s three grandsons, Precision Instruments has expanded their product line to include torque testing equipment and other types of torque wrenches all stemming from in-house design, testing, and manufacturing just outside of Chicago.
Precision Instruments’ products are used in a wide range of industries including: automotive aftermarket, aerospace manufacturing, heavy-duty construction, metrology/testing, as well as being distributed by major tool brands and mobile tool jobber trucks.
Most of the components manufactured for their torque wrenches fit in your hand. There is no other mechanical hand tool with as many components; these designs are sophisticated and demand precision manufacturing in order to perform at the level they and their customers demand. To get the job done right, Precision Instruments performs all the saw cutting, forming, stamping, broaching, turning, milling, grinding, welding, polishing, plating, and assembly in-house.
While competitors have been finding ways to cut costs by sacrificing quality, Precision Instruments has continued with their commitment to quality and service. Because of this, the demand for their products and services has grown. The production required to meet the demand yielded capacity constraints, so they needed to invest in more productive and reliable equipment.
“There were two things we were looking for in our new equipment; a reliable, small-footprint VMC with adequate control speed to utilize HSM tool paths efficiently, and a robust, small-footprint turning center that could load and unload 7 lb. steel blanks unattended,” said Matt Larson, Engineering Director at Precision Instruments.
Matt said he had learned about the Brother machines, known for their accuracy and speed, so he posted inquiries about Brother in the practicalmachinist.com forum. “The feedback was overwhelmingly positive on many fronts, but the most appealing was its reputation for being reliable,” said Matt.
After Matt made the Brother purchase from Yamazen, he was extremely pleased with its performance, reliability, speed and control, and with the service that was provided by Yamazen.
The Takisawa lathe was purchased almost entirely on the credit of the Yamazen Sales Engineer. He had gained Matt’s trust after the success of the Brother. Matt was most impressed with the fact that Takisawa manufactured the gantry loader instead of using a third party integrator.
“The transition to the new equipment went very smooth, with the exception of having to learn the probing technology which was new to us on the Brother,” Matt shared. “The Takisawa required more of a learning curve, but overall the machine was great.”
“The Brother had paid for itself in about 1 year because it had been dedicated to producing a part that we were partially outsourcing. The process has been revised over the years to double the tool life and help maintain our internal quality standards within process probing. The Takisawa requires a fraction of the manpower compared to the “old way” due to its integrated gantry-loader system. This has freed up almost an entire operator and almost an entire machine’s worth of capacity.”
Matt said that Precision Instruments has been very pleased with: the machines that they have purchased, their reliability, and the service provided by Yamazen. Since purchasing their first Brother, they have purchased a second new one (Speedio S700X1) and two used ones. As the demand for their products continues to grow, they plan on using more Brothers to keep up with the demand.