Someone’s Got a New “Kitty”

One company's investment in Kitamura machine tools keeps growing and business is growing along with it.
#leadership #vmc #casestudy


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Innovated Machining Solutions has taken delivery of its fourth Kitamura machining center (right).


Word spreads fast in this industry, and when I learned from a colleague that Joe Batz, owner of Innovated Machining Solutions LLC in Port Huron, Michigan, just purchased his fourth Kitamura machining center, I contacted him to find out more. After all, I’d just written a case study article that appeared in MMT’s January issue about how Kitamura’s products were helping Joe add capacity to, and grow, his new CNC machining business.

Let me clarify that Joe just started his company in May 2016 with one modest-sized three-axis VMC with a 20-station toolchanger. He was keeping busy, but he said he needed more capacity if he was going to win bigger jobs and so he purchased two larger Kitamuras, or “Kitties”, as he calls them, last fall. The two new Mycenter-4XiD VMC’s were just what he needed—a game changer, he told me. Now, just two months after the case study article was published, he’s installing his fourth Kitamura, which is a Bridgecenter-6G Double Column machining center. He confirmed that business was good.

“I bought the Kitty bridge because it’s a well-built machine and has more options than other bridges for that price range,” Joe explained. He said the new Kitamura has glass scales for better accuracy and thermal compensation for the Z axis. “When the shop gets hot this machine knows and will pull its spindle out of a job if the casting grows from the heat.” The Bridgecenter-6G comes standard with a 40-position toolchanger and Joe raved about its conveyor system, saying “it is out of this world” because it has two belts: One that takes big chips out of the way and a second one that takes the fine chips out so nothing gets clogged in the spindle through-coolant tips. (If you read the case study, which you can access here, you’ll see Joe is all about keeping his shop clean and saving time and expense when it comes to cleaning his machining centers.)

In addition to the new Kitty, Joe reported that his whole family came out to help him set the machine up in the shop. He said he’s hired a new employee, and his son, who was helping him out part-time, is now going full-time. “I’m going to teach him the ways of the land,” Joe told me.

I congratulated Joe on his continued success and told him I liked seeing the American flag hanging in his shop. He replied, “Always. I wouldn't have it any other way.”