On his desk Matt Egrin keeps a weathered old entry book. It’s an accounting journal used by his grandfather, Al, a first-generation immigrant who founded the family company as Machinery and Equipment Exchange just outside of Detroit in 1946. “One of the entries is for an anvil, which he bought for a dime and sold for a quarter,” Egrin says with a laugh. “I keep it handy to remember where we came from.”
Originally “a clearing house for any type of used machinery,” according to Egrin, its location led to an evolution in the company’s focus when a representative of Chrysler’s nearby Mound Road Engine Plant walked through the door looking for a broaching machine. “My father and my uncle were working with the company by then, and they said ‘we don’t have one, but we’ll find one for you,’ which they did. That’s when they realized that there was a market for these machines and started buying and reselling them.”
Egrin’s father, Lee — who is still president of the company, with Matt as its vice president and general manager — bought out his brother’s share in the early sixties. It sold its first remanufactured broaching machine in 1965, eventually hiring an in-house engineering staff to design the tooling for its turnkey packages. After more than two decades of remanufacturing used machines — which is still an important component of the company’s business, with more than 400 machines in inventory at any given time — it introduced its first new machine, the “Cruiser,” in 1988, then operating as Broaching Machine Specialties Co. It was a natural step in the company’s progression, Egrin explains.
“Since we already had design engineers on staff, and we’d spent so many years taking every conceivable broaching machine apart and rebuilding them, we realized that we could take what was best about all of the designs we’d encountered and fold them into a superior line of broaching machines,” he says. “It was just a matter of saying ‘hey, we can do this, and we can do it better!'”
The result is a line of eight standard broaching machine designs that cover the gamut of general applications, as well as special machines for unique applications. “Then we’ll design whatever custom tooling the customer wants, or make any modifications they require, so that they get exactly what they need for their particular application,” Egrin says.
BMS’s offerings continue to grow, with a new line of electro-mechanical internal broaching machines to be introduced at IMTS next September, and its customer base is constantly expanding as well. “While our customers are primarily found in North America, including Canada and Mexico, we also have machines in China, India, Australia, Israel, Brazil, Kuwait, and the United Kingdom. And we’ve just forged an association with the Mitsubishi Gear Technology Center to represent us in most of the United States and parts of Canada, so we’re really excited about that relationship,” he says.
With 25 employees and a total of 75,000 square feet of workspace — 25,000 is devoted to manufacturing, with the remaining 50,000 for storage — Egrin says it’s the combination of available inventory, innovative designs, and accumulated experience that truly sets BMS apart. “The unique thing about our company is that we can cater to a small five- or 10-man shop all the way up to one of the big three automakers, so we have the ability to reach across all different sectors of the manufacturing industry,” he says. “And I’m also fairly confident in saying that nobody has remanufactured more broaching machines than BMS or knows more about other manufacturer’s machines than we do.
“So if somebody calls us with a sick Lapointe broaching machine that was built back in the fifties, or an old Oilgear machine from the forties with a bad pump, chances are we’ll have the replacement parts in stock,” Egrin says. “But whether they ship the machine to us, or we make a field service call, the bottom line is that we’ll know how to fix it, because we’ve done it all before.”