WINDSOR, ONTARIO — At toolmaker Cavalier Tool & Manufacturing Ltd., the goal is to do more with less.
The Windsor-based company is committed to investing in new technology; extensive automated machinery keeps the shop running 24/7 while keeping physical footprint and labor costs to a minimum.
A new addition is the company's three-machine electrical discharge machining cell, which became operational in July. Incorporating two new OPS Ingersoll machines and one the company bought two years ago, the cell helps boost productivity while reducing costs.
“Speed to market is the biggest thing,” said President Brian Bendig. “The second thing would be cost reduction, because live EDMs require two or three electrodes for a burn. This machine only requires one electrode, so there's consumables that are reduced, your graphite to burn gets reduced, all the time it takes to cut the graphite to prepare it to burn — all those things get reduced.”
Cavalier Tool manufactures tools for 250-ton to 4,000-ton injection presses. Its product mix is about 25 percent automotive, rounded out with projects in the recreational, heavy truck and commercial end markets. The company employs 104 and operates a 50,000-square-foot facility near Windsor International Airport.
Utilizing advanced technology enables the company to focus on complex or high-risk jobs where pricing is a secondary consideration, Bendig said.
“When you're in that type of product range, they don't often talk price,” he said. “When you're building [a simple product], everyone is talking price because that's all there is to talk about; everything else is easy. When you're at that level, you can command a better dollar, provided you can deliver the results.”
The company aims to beat the time-to-market of the majority of its competition by roughly 25 percent, added sales manager Tim Galbraith. And the company has worked to position itself as the “safe bet” for problematic projects.
“We're exploring new areas. Our part-to-print areas are high-precision, high technology … that not every Tom-Dick-and-Harry tool shop can build; you have to have the machinery to build this,” he said.
Cavalier Tool grew sales 31 percent last year and expects to top $30 million in sales this year, Bendig said.