As part of Hammond Machine Works’ aggressive growth plan to increase service to their customers, they are expanding their business and opening a new location in Addison, Texas. For the new location they recently purchased four new Mazak machines: HORIZONTAL CENTER NEXUS 6800 with PALLETECH, MAZATECH V-815 with automatic pallet changer, MEGATURN NEXUS 900, QUICK TURN SMART 350M. At the Indiana facility, they added a new QUICK TURN NEXUS 350MSY.
Hammond Machine Works offers a variety of services that include; precision machining, metal fabrication, engineering, assembly and value-add finishing services. Their goal is to provide a complete manufacturing solution. “Customers repeatedly do business with Hammond Machine Works because of the quality of the parts we offer,” says Peter Nau, President and CEO. The company recently received a ‘premium supplier’ award from a major rail car customer, which was a reflection of this statement. “This new facility will provide our customers improved delivery time due to our ability to complete both precision machining and fabrication at one location. This is a big differentiator, which makes us more competitive in our market,” says Peter.
The grand opening of the Texas facility occurred in mid-July, 2015. Since a lot of their business is with customers in Louisiana, Georgia, Texas and Mexico, a centralized location was a must. It is a great freight point for them to utilize. Another benefit to choosing Texas is that there is a Mazak Tech Center close by in Houston that will provide them with the same great service and support they are accustomed to in Indiana.
Peter sees Hammond Machine Works steadily growing over the next three to five years. Today, freight car parts are the major driver of his business (they are Association of American Railroads M-1003 certified), but he would also like to see a steady increase of business from the oil and energy sectors. This is one of the main reasons for choosing to expand into Texas.
Though Hammond Machine Works performs many services, their main focus is on the most important part of their company: Their Customers. They have built their company by developing relationships, creating partnerships with their customers and working closely with them to develop processes that meet their needs.
Hammond Machine Works has always been a family business. The company began with Gastavos A. Kuehl in 1908 and he eventually sold it to his son Henry in the 1930s. D.N. “Mike” Nau purchased the business in 1960 from Henry and grew the company’s capabilities and involvement in the community. In 1992, Peter Nau, current President and CEO, purchased the business from his father. Peter has since modernized and expanded the company both in size and capability by adding its first Mazak CNC machine tool in 1990. Continuing the family tradition, all of Peter’s sons have a role in the company. Peter’s son, Peter, is the Operations Manager at the new facility in Texas. Travis will work in sales and marketing upon graduation from Purdue University, and Michael will also go to the Texas facility where he will be working on the shop floor.
Hammond Machine Works’ partnership with Mazak and MSI began in 1990 when they purchased their first CNC, a Mazak QUICK TURN 35N, which is still running today in Indiana. Peter was aware of Mazak through a fellow business owner who was running Mazaks in his shop. Seeing the strong presence at IMTS and their close proximity to the Midwest Tech Center in Schaumburg, IL, helped Peter to make the decision to partner with Mazak. Peter said, “Mazak has always been a consistent high visibility machine tool builder with affordable and dependable machines. I am happy with Mazatrol and the ease of use with its conversational language. Coming from no CNC, it was very easy to use and perfect for us.” Also, Peter is pleased with the Mazacam product for off-line programming.
When considering the expansion into Texas, Hammond Machine Works wanted to leverage their strong relationship with Mazak and Machinery Systems. Because of their years working together and building trust, Peter felt comfortable and confident in Tim Cirone, his MSI salesman. For example, Tim was able to help Peter connect with Mazak in Houston and a local rigger, Dallas Fort Worth Movers. Peter says, “The service and support from MSI and Mazak has been good throughout the entire process. I’m happy with the support my son is receiving from the Houston Tech Center in preparation for the opening.”
Mazak Technology Centers offer local access to advanced application support, education & training, and machine tool technology specifically geared to the region each supports. Peter has utilized the education & training offered at the Midwest Tech Center (Schaumburg, IL) over the years. The current plan is to cross train (turning and milling) his operators to run any machine in the plants. He would like to achieve this goal by the end of next year and is currently at around 70%. He also plans to have an on-sight visit from a Mazak applications engineer to provide some training on their new MSY. It is his first machine with a second-spindle and they could really benefit from additional training.
Peter and his son recently joined MSI on a Mazak Japan trip (MIMTA). These trips happen approximately twice a year where visitors tour the Mazak plants in Japan with a little culture mixed in. He was really impressed and thankful for the opportunity. Peter was reenergized by visiting the Mazak plants, seeing what new technologies they are developing and how his company could benefit from their implementation at Hammond Machine Works. “It really helped me in my thinking about what we need to do to continue to grow our company and remain competitive”, Peter says.
Out of the several new Mazak machines he’s purchased, Peter is most impressed with the 6-pallet PALLETECH connected to his new HORIZONTAL CENTER NEXUS 6800. He likes the capability of ‘lights out’ machining and the ability to monitor the processes off site with MTConnect®. The PALLETCH will greatly increase productivity with an easy monitoring system in place. Peter plans to do more with less and feels that automation is an efficient way to achieve this.
Hammond Machine Works produces a quality product. They have a strong sense of family, do business with integrity and deliver exceptional value to their customers. By providing products that meet or exceed their customer’s needs, continually improving their processes and with the relationship and investment with Mazak and MSI, Peter feels Hammond Machine Works is well positioned to successfully compete in their markets for many years to come.