Give us a snapshot of Dayton Machine Tool.
The company was founded 58 years ago in 1949, specifically to rebuild machine tools. This was just after World War II and business was booming, so it was a great time to launch a company like ours. Although the automotive industry once made up about 75 percent of our production, we’ve since focused on the aerospace and energy markets as well, and with a great deal of success. From a physical standpoint, our current facility was purpose-built for rebuilding and was completed in the mid eighties. We have 50,000 square feet under roof in four bays that are large enough for semis, and four 20-ton cranes in the main bays that can be ganged for lifts of up to 40 tons if needed.
DMT has in-house machining capability to make or rework parts, and our sister companies—First Tool and Dayton Manufacturing—offer CNC machining, grinding, laser cutting, and EDM and sheet metal capabilities. We’ve always been proud of our expertise when it comes to Gleason machines, and we have several longtime employees who know them inside and out, so we have the ability to rebuild any gear cutting, processing, or testing machine that Gleason has ever made. In fact, we recently made the decision to keep a Gleason machine or two on the floor at all times, primarily to offer for sale but also for employee training purposes. But that’s just one area in which we excel. Our basic motto is that if a piece of equipment makes chips or grinding dust, we can rebuild it.
With so much experience in rebuilding and remanufacturing, it seems like you’d be in the perfect position to design your own equipment. Is that the case?
Definitely. Our 1200 Series Gantry Center provides five- or six-axis contouring capability at feed rates up to 1,200 IPM. Our Multi-Axis Head offers extremely accurate positioning with a high-speed spindle capable of up to 50 HP cuts and up to 30,000 RPM. Both of these products have done very well, with some companies retrofitting the heads onto their existing equipment, and others incorporating them into new designs.
Why should our readers keep you in mind when they’re considering making a purchase?
I think there are two major reasons they should give us a call. One involves price, and the other has to do with delivery. When someone is thinking about buying a new piece of equipment, quite often they’re looking at a 12- or 15-month wait, while we’re usually able to make delivery in six months or less. And they can save in the range of 40 to 60 percent of what they’d pay for a new machine by going with DMT. Those two factors can mean the difference between landing a contract and losing it to someone else. Our owner, Bob Davis, has a saying that I like. He says that “We don’t want to be the cheapest, we want to be the best.” You might be able to get a rebuilt machine for less, but nobody provides a higher-quality product than we do. You’ve got to be competitive in your pricing, of course, but first and foremost we want to deliver a machine that performs flawlessly and lasts a very long time. But if there’s a problem once the equipment has been delivered, we won’t rest until it has been resolved.
I think the proof is found in the fact that so many of our customers no longer bid their rebuild/remanufacturing work, they just come straight to us because they know how well they’ll be treated. This market is very different from the new-machine industry because you’re basically selling your reputation. If you do good work and come through for your customers, you’ll gain a reputation for being fair and dependable, and that’s what propels you forward. By focusing on those two aspects for nearly six decades, we’ve managed to build a name that our customers know they can depend on.