GearTec, Inc.

GearTec, Inc. expands capabilities to better respond to customer needs for gearing solutions.


GearTec, Inc. is known as a high quality manufacturer of gears up to 100 inches in diameter and shafts up to 198 inches long. By making significant capital investments in equipment and technology during the past four years, GearTec, Inc. is expanding its capabilities and capacity to be more responsive to customer needs.

“We believe we have found our niche. We’ve really changed the market position of our company with the capital investments and equipment that we have purchased,” said John Grazia, president of GearTec, Inc., a subsidiary of United Stars, Inc. “We have most recently purchased a new two-meter gear grinder, and a new long-bed shaft lathe with live tooling that can accommodate 198 inches between centers and material 30 inches in diameter. We also have a gear analyzer that can measure and inspect our largest gears, a new one-meter gear hobber, and two vertical turning lathes with live tooling. These investments in equipment and technology allow us to better respond to our customer’s needs. As a result, turnaround time is faster. Basically, we are cutting down our lead times and are able to deliver to our customer in a much more timely manner.”

When GearTec, Inc. first started making gears in 1987, the company’s reputation was built on having expert machinists and specialized knowledge in one-off jobs. Now, the company does more diverse gear work such as gear repair, replacement, service and small run jobs, in addition to non-gear CNC turning, machining, milling and assembly.

“We’re a low to medium volume job shop that operates in the heavy industrial markets,” he said. “We manufacture larger, small to medium volume gears. We operate in the steel, overhead cranes, mining, oil, infrastructure, food processing, and rail industries. We’re very diverse in the markets that we serve. Our sister company, United Gear & Assembly, manufactures orders of hundreds or thousands of pieces under 20-inches in diameter.”

GearTec, Inc. has achieved ISO 9001:2008 certification, which Grazia says was a major achievement. “This certification ensures that GearTec, Inc. has a proven framework for taking a systematic approach to managing our organization’s processes so that we consistently supply products and services that satisfy our customer’s expectations,” he said. “We are always looking at ways to continually improve and respond to our customer’s needs.”

“We are excited by the improvements we have already achieved, as well as future improvements that will result from continuous improvement efforts and expanded manufacturing capabilities,” he said. “We look forward to new levels of success and cooperation with our customers and business partners.

Grazia said GearTec, Inc. also handles expedited repair and maintenance orders for customers who are operating older equipment. He adds that the company operates 24 hours a day, and is able to respond to customer breakdowns quickly, fulfilling customer’s needs in a timely manner.

Operating from its 35,000-square-foot facility in Willoughby, Ohio, on the east side of Cleveland, GearTec’s, Inc. 36 employees average almost 18 years of service, for a combined 200 years of gear production experience. The company supports a JIT concept and has a reputation for on-time deliveries at a competitive price.

“We have many long-term employees with tremendous experience and knowledge in the gear industry,” he said. “One of our employees has been in the gear business since 1964, while others have been in the industry since the early 1980’s, which says a lot about us.” That knowledge and experience translates into high-quality manufacturing processes, creating or repairing gears from AGMA 6 to 14 in hobbing, shaping, fly-cutting, form milling, worm threading and tooth grinding.

“All of our operators are not only operators, but they are programmers as well. They not only operate the machines, they set up the machines and they write the programs,” he said. “We don’t have someone on staff to program the machines for the operators. When you’re manufacturing low to medium volume large gears like an 80-inch gear, it can cost $30,000, $40,000 or $50,000. You don’t want to make a mistake that can result in costly scrap.

Equipment investment also helps customers with unknown gear design specifications and parameters. “One of our key capital acquisitions was our large gear analyzer. Besides inspecting the gears that we manufacture, it allows us to take a gear that has been pulled from a gearbox, without a drawing, and run a program to determine the exact geometry. Basically, it tells us everything we need to know. We provide the report to the customer who can then create their drawing, from which we’ll manufacture it to specification. We often help them in reverse engineering gears when they don’t know the geometry of a part because it is so worn.”

Grazia says this type of customer service is becoming more commonplace since the company has the equipment to handle reverse engineering orders.

“We just partnered with a customer to rebuild gearboxes,” he said. “They ship us parts weekly and we are reverse engineering and sending the reports back to them so they can create their drawings.”

Following this formula, Grazia says the company doubled its business in the past four to five years and expects to do equally well over the next five years. “We know where we’ve been, who we are, and where we are going,” he said. “We want our customers to know that we are continuously investing for our customer needs. We react to our customer’s needs and those of the market.”

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