Tool Maker Expands to Meet Automotive Demand

Engineered Tools Corp., a manufacturer of carbide cutting tools used in production of spiral bevel ring gears and pinions, announced the opening of their new Gear Cutting Systems Division facility. The expansion was driven by the Caro, MI-based company’s recent positioning as a supplier to the automotive industry, which was seen primarily as an opportunity to grow new business.

According to John Ketterer, director of operations for Engineered Tools, the move, completed in October, was also made with an eye on the potential for meaningful growth within that market.

"We had been looking for an avenue to expand our business," he says, "And because this market has a significant percentage within the automotive industry, and given the state of that business, we took the risk of expanding within it."

The new 4,000-square-foot facility, located in Troy, MI, positions the toolmaker in close

proximity to the Detroit axle manufacturing market. And, says Ketterer, given the company’s

growth beginning in 2004 and continuing through this year, Ketterer believes the timing of the expansion, despite the acknowledged risk, will dovetail with an eventual upturn for suppliers to the automotive market.

"After all, even though that market is very weak, currently it was new business growth to us," he says. "And entering it on the downside was gaining current market share with the potential

for growth within the market."

But risk or not, Ketterer says that the expansion was needed in any case.

"We needed the room for expansion anyway, as our Caro manufacturing facility is full," he

says. "So, we basically killed two birds with one stone. The facility was built to suit for our needs, and will accommodate our current workload with enough room to accommodate

significant growth in this business into the future."