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News about Groth Manufacturing, machined parts and machining equipment

Groth Manufacturing Adds Boat Racing Capsule Latches to List of Services

Groth Racing Capsule LatchesPresident of Groth Manufacturing, John Groth, announced on Friday, March 28, 2014, that Groth Manufacturing will be adding to the list of industries for whom they serve - the speed boat racing industry.

With racing boats reaching speeds in excess of 150 m.p.h., safety is taken seriously. Capsule safety latches allow for the driver to exit the vehicle quickly while moving in the water, providing protection from the racing motor behind them.

Latches are not easy to create or install, and that is why Groth Manufacturing is offering this new service. Being and avid boat racer and supporter of the sport himself, Groth adds, "Quality parts and workmanship are the building blocks to any safe racing experience. You don't want to trust just anyone to the creation or the installation of these parts - your life could depend upon it."

Located in Carpentersville, IL, Groth Manufacturing can be reached at
(847) 428-5950 or via email at

Tsugami Success Story

Challenge: Longer-running jobs with smaller parts
Machining Solution: Tsugami B0124
Result: 15,000-part run can be completed in half the time that it previously took
Location: Carpentersville, IL

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John Groth purchased a run-down screw machine shop in 1996, which he renamed Groth Manufacturing. Since then, as President and CEO, he has successfully grown the company to operate in a 22,000 sq. ft. facility which serves a variety of industries, including automotive, energy, agricultural and firearms manufacturing.

Groth says, “My company’s main challenge was longer-running jobs with smaller parts.” Having first heard of Tsugami machines years before while working with a Tsugami salesman, Groth says, “He showed me how much better Tsugami machines were than the competition. We decided on a Tsugami based on the capabilities of the machine, the knowledgeable service and the fact that it was priced right and in stock, with no long lead time. ”

This machine just runs, and tool life is great. Plus, it takes up hardly any floor space. The experience was really good, and I’d recommend Tsugami any time.

John Groth, Groth Manufacturing

Groth notes that Tsugami was able to solve a particular application challenge and explains, “One of the parts we make is a dust cover pin that is .1240/1242” diameter, 3.5” long, with a .187” head. We use .250” diameter bar stock and this is no problem for our Tsugami. Our challenge in making this part was keeping a nice finish on the outer diameter, plus taper problems even using a box tool. With our Tsugami machine, there is no taper at all and the process is much faster.”

“During four 40-hour work weeks we cranked out a 15,000 piece order in no time!” exclaims Groth. He adds, “This machine just runs, and tool life is great. Plus, it takes up hardly any floor space. The experience was really good, and I’d recommend Tsugami any time.”

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Understanding Swiss-Type Machining

Once seen as a specialty machine tool, the CNC Swiss-type is increasingly being used in shops that are full of more conventional CNC machines. For the newcomer to Swiss-type machining, here is what the learning curve is like.

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Who is using CNC Swiss-type lathes? The answer might be changing. In the 2013 Capital Spending Survey, one observable change in machine tool buying relates to the companies that expect to buy a CNC Swiss-type machine. Throughout past years, this survey routinely showed medical and electronics applications accounting for large shares of the expected spending on this machine type. This year, the anticipated spending is more evenly spread across various industry applications. If that change indicates a trend, it suggests that many shops are newly discovering the value of CNC Swiss-types, and many shops are installing this type of machine for the first time.

Groth Manufacturing is an example. The contract manufacturer in Carpentersville, Illinois has 35 CNC machine tools, including horizontal and vertical machining centers as well as CNC lathes. Its most recent machine purchase is a B0124 CNC Swiss-type from Tsugami.

The application in this case is defense-related. Swiss-type machining provides a cost-effective way to produce dust cover pins and firing pins used in military rifles. These long, slender components feature a tolerance band of 0.0005 inch on the part’s diameter. 

Company President John Groth says the components used to be machined on a more conventional CNC turning center. A box tool turned the precise diameter. However, when the customer asked to be able to order parts in smaller quantities and with shorter lead times, the shop had to begin carrying inventory to accommodate the request. Stocking the inventory created extra expense, so Mr. Groth had to find an offsetting cost reduction. The efficiency gain from turning the pins more quickly on a CNC Swiss-type delivered the needed savings.

Swiss-Machined-PartsA Swiss-type lathe is a variety of turning machine that feeds the stock through a guide bushing. This means the OD turning tool can always cut the stock near the bushing, and therefore near the point of support, no matter how long the workpiece. The machine feeds the work out of the spindle and past the tool as it goes. This makes the CNC Swiss-type particularly effective for long and slender turned parts.

In a way, Mr. Groth’s purchase of a CNC Swiss-type meant coming full circle. His company had been a screw machine shop. When he bought it from its previous owner, the machine tools that came with it were cam-driven automatic lathes for precise production of small turned parts. Mr. Groth, a toolmaker, had no previous experience with this type of machine, so he taught himself to use them. He learned with his own time and his own hands how to set up these machines and apply them effectively, even efficiently. Building on the revenue these machines brought in, he gradually expanded the shop (from 7,000 square feet then to 22,000 square feet now) and added one CNC machine after another. Now, the latest of those machines is the Swiss-type.

Relative to other CNC machines, he says the biggest adjustment with this machine has probably been the programming. The machine moves in ways that are foreign compared to other CNC lathes. Some M codes and waiting commands are also different. For the sake of learning the machine and developing proficiency with it, Mr. Groth is forgoing CAM software for now in order to program the machine by hand at the control. 

“I want to know what I can do on this machine, and what I can get away with,” he says. Finding and proving out time-saving moves will enable him to use the machine more productively in the future. At least, that was his experience when he was getting to know those cam-driven machines back when his shop was new. Once again on the Swiss-type, Mr. Groth is teaching himself to use the machine effectively.

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