The Experts in Solid Carbide Custom Tooling

G.W. Schultz Tool, Inc.

In business, experience matters. For over three decades, G.W. Schultz Tool, Inc. has maintained its commitment to its many customers, vendors, and staff through the provision of some of the most innovative and high-quality carbide cutting tools and solutions available in the world.
An AS9100 Certified Company, G.W. Schultz Tool, Inc. (GWS) continues to grow as one of the foremost solid carbide custom tooling companies in the United States. Committed to manufacturing only the finest quality rotary cutting tools, the company upholds the vision of its founder Greg Schultz, who long ago saw the need for a company creating long-lasting, state-of-the-art close-tolerance cutters.

Through a combination of working in the field, researching the marketplace, and tireless dedication, Schultz was able to see his vision come to life, as the company continues to lead the way in the manufacture of highly durable rotary cutting tools created using existing and new materials.

Entering the industry while still in his teens, Greg Schultz started as a tool and cutter grinder at a shop in northern Michigan. This was back in 1977; the shop was making very high quality tools at the time, with all shapes and sizes manually done on tool and cutter grinders with very precise tolerances. Just over two years later, Schultz decided it was time for a change. With several years of experience under his belt, the then-21-year-old and already married Schultz decided to move to Florida, where the couple had friends and family. It proved to be a wise decision that would help change their lives.

“My first job was at a small shop with owner, and one other worker,” says Mr. Schultz. “It was a very good experience in adding to my skill levels and variety of techniques. I was topped out at $5 per hour, which was not really enough to support the family we were planning to start, so after a year at that shop I decided to look for other opportunities. Disney World was hiring in the machine shop to gear up for the completion of EPCOT.”

Brought on as the in-house tool and cutter grinder, the young Mr. Schultz spent the next three and a half years refining his craft, designing and building all cutting tools and responsible for all sharpening of standard tools for the machine shop of 144 people. “It was a very important part of my career to be of value to the industry,” he says. “Not just making the tools, but [learning] why they are made in different ways for different reasons. This all led to the foundation of me starting GWS Tool.”

Today, with over 50 staff members and growing, G.W. Schultz Tool, Inc. fosters a positive team environment. Very much a skilled trades-based company, the business employs all levels of workers with various skill sets. These include information technology, sales, manufacturing, research and development, engineering, and management – in fact, every element needed for a company of its size to provide world-class service to all its satisfied customers. With a strong workplace culture, the company maintains a high staff retention rate due not only to it being a great place to work where all voices are heard, but to providing employees with a high income and the best benefits available at its facilities in Tavares, Florida.

In its pursuit of manufacturing the finest quality rotary tools, the company retains skilled staff from a variety of disciplines, including CNC tool grinders, machine service technicians, tool design engineers, manufacturing / operations staff, and others. From its well-equipped and sophisticated shop, team members utilize a variety of high-quality machines – including Saacke, TTB, Rollomatic, and Walter – and to create the finest and longest-lasting cutters for a variety of industry sectors, including armament, automotive, aerospace, energy, engineering, and medical.

“I have always liked to say anybody cutting metal or the likes of metal needs GWS advanced cutting tools,” says Mr. Schultz. “Currently it seems the industry as a whole is doing well.” In the industry for many years, he has seen the emergence of advanced materials which are lighter, stronger, and enable new designs to be created. “All industries are benefiting from the more advanced materials in some way or another.”

Tradition and Evolution
Since it was formed over 30 years ago, GWS has remained committed to its vision: the manufacture of extremely high quality, long-lasting, state-of-the-art cutters. As leaders in the field for close tolerance cutters and dependable performance, G.W. Schultz Tool incorporates time-tested methods along with new materials to create rotary cutters which could not exist just a few years ago. To ensure the company is current with the latest technologies, Mr. Schultz personally devotes the time to travel to Europe and other locations for key trade shows to research best-in-class machines and design software, which has resulted in the company recently investing over $2 million to bring this technology to its facilities in Florida. Additionally, the material comes from preapproved sources located primarily in the United States.

With six full-time engineers on staff who are fully versed in SolidWorks and other platforms, the company can take a customer’s solid model and create the perfect tool for them. Through knowing materials and their properties intimately, G.W. Schultz has the capabilities and expertise to get the right tools in the hands of customers quickly and efficiently.

In addition, the company maintains its own in-house coating system. With coating thickness varying based on customer needs, G.W. Schultz provides five advanced coatings for different applications and materials, covering approximately 90 percent of all customer coating requirements in-house. At present, the company sends out diamond coatings, but as interest increases is considering purchasing equipment for that specific process. With two shifts operating five days per week in the coating department, the company has ample capacity and room for additional growth.

Able to create specialty cutting tools in a variety of shapes and sizes – literally from a hair’s breadth all the way to special cutters weighing over 53 pounds – G.W. Schultz Tool, Inc. proudly manufactures some of the largest specialized solid carbide cutters in the world. Since every application is different, the company creates tools in a wide variety of precise shapes to enable customers to address their individual cutting needs. Years of experience, the right equipment, an in-house coatings facility, specialty in custom design, and in-depth knowledge of time-tested and new materials all enable the company to create unique tools that meet, and often exceed, client expectations.

Professional, Fast Turnaround
Using all standard distribution integration forms, the company is able to get products to end-users quickly and effectively, particularly with items from its standard product line. And when it comes to custom tooling, G.W. Schultz and its team of engineers work directly with end users to gain critical information prior to placing orders. Since the company was formed, it has gained an industry-wide reputation among its clients for products of the finest quality, and for timely delivery.

“Fast turnaround is a key factor in why we get about 85 percent of all the quotes for custom tools,” shares Mr. Schultz. “We normally quote two weeks on most custom tools; if we could cut that time in half, there would be no competition. We are not talking modified standards where we would add a radius or a certain overall or length of cut, but a tool never created before. Many times the manufacturing companies having these needs are working on prototype projects which may turn into large contracts. This environment always means peoples’ livelihoods.” To ensure the company gets it right the first time, GWS has a strong engineering and tool design staff in-house, along with three shifts and seven operating days per week.

Realizing that quality tools such as those produced by G.W. Schultz are a long-term investment, the company also performs service and reconditioning of tools. The more expensive tools – such as carbide products – can be valued at over $2,000, and proper reconditioning can add tremendously to the service life of the tool. In many cases, larger standard tools which see the user using only the very end can save a great degree of tooling costs simply by having the tool shortened. “Bottom line, reconditioning tools with the appropriate fit can save the end user big bucks,” explains Mr. Schultz.

Furthering its commitment to quality, the AS9100 certification – a widely adopted and standardized quality management system for the aerospace industry – has added great value to the company and its credibility. “When we went for our certs there were very few corrections from the way we were already doing things,” says Mr. Schultz. “As we grew into the process, many other benefits came as a result.” A few of these benefits include employee quality awareness, the value of better traceability for its customer base, meeting customer expectations, vendor accountability, and measurable improvements to the company’s processes.

Working with apprentices to continue building its talent pool, and providing on-the-job training with all necessary coaching, G.W. Schultz continues to remain a leader in the industry. Continuing to grow and build its servicing capabilities, the company utilizes the help of L&M services, a business support firm which has escalated its upper management infrastructure and finance control, major factors in the company’s growth and success. With an eye on the future, the business plans to grow its product lines to meet the needs of its clients.

“When they say ‘we need to do this,’ we do our magic to make that happen,” says Mr. Schultz. “Many times, that requires forward-thinking solutions to meet those demands.” Over the next two years, the company will be restructuring its current space to create room for ten more major machines. The company’s five year plan includes adding approximately 25,000 square feet to the back of its building, which would enable a 100-person work force and the inclusion of 40 more major machines.

Greg Schultz says his company is blessed with a fantastic team, as evidenced in its winning of numerous awards over the years. This year, the business was nominated for the Most Innovative Company of the Year, and won for 2014 Volunteer of the Year. “This I received as a result of working with Lake Tech State Collage in helping to get the Advanced Manufacturing training course off the ground,” says Mr. Schultz, with the groundbreaking to be held at the end of October.

“Getting the awards gives everyone in the company a sense of pride and accomplishment,” says the company’s founder. “We do not sell much in our own community, but the impact we have is growing in other ways. Our workforce and families are growing. The apprenticeship program will be a main resource for our future new hires and they will all be from our community. This is all great to be a part of.”

March 20, 2018, 9:52 AM EDT

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