Friday, February 19, 2016

Engman-Taylor Co., Inc. - An Article from Wholesale & Distribution International

As a key employer in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Engman-Taylor believes it has a civic duty to its community. “I really think we should give back a portion of what we make when we make it,” President Rick Star says.

The industrial distributor has found many conduits for its community service aspirations over the years. Star himself was motivated to advance the company’s charitable giving after his mother died of pancreatic cancer in 2008. “We decided at Engman-Taylor we’re going to do something positive to memorialize her,” he says. The company and its employees became involved in cancer organizations and events. Engman-Taylor supports the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and is the primary sponsor for the PurpleStride run/walk at Miller Park and Fight for Air Climb in Milwaukee.

Although Engman-Taylor is a regional, niche business, the company’s reputation and capabilities have made it competitive with large national and international industrial distributors. That has led to offers to buyout Engman-Taylor over the years. When Star was younger he used to dream of someday selling the family business and getting that big payday. But his father always cautioned him against such shortsighted decisions. “My dad would always tell me, ‘Rick, forget about it. Engman-Taylor is our family business and it’s going to be your engine to do other things.’”

Star never understood what his father was getting at until Engman-Taylor became involved in cancer organizations and community groups. Now the whole company is engaged. Employees regularly participate in the events and suggest other organizations Engman-Taylor should become involved in. “I don’t think that we’ve ever declined one of our team member’s request to support a cause,” Star says.


Its charitable spirit has since extended to other parts of the community. The types of organizations Engman-Taylor wants to support are focused on children, education and health, Star says. On the higher education level, Star’s father and the company provide scholarships to Marquette University and Beloit College. The company also provides funding to HOPE Christian Schools, a network of six college-preparatory schools serving underprivileged students in Milwaukee and Racine, Wis., and Brookfield Academy, a suburban college-preparatory school in Brookfield, Wis. Star points out, “Regardless of their backgrounds, we want to help develop tomorrow’s leaders today.”

For the past six years, Engman-Taylor has sponsored a local youth baseball team that Star coaches, and even built a winter practice facility for the young athletes in Menomonee Falls. Star sees it as an outreach opportunity for himself and the company. “We’re trying to build character in these kids and show them their own personal limits are always higher than they think they are,” he says.

It’s a message that is woven into the fabric of Engman-Taylor’s own company culture because Engman-Taylor is constantly pushing for new ways to improve quality and customer service. Brothers Carl and Joe Engman founded the company in Milwaukee in 1945 and the business was formally incorporated in 1956 - the company is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. At the beginning, Engman-Taylor specialized in Abrasives for grinding and finishing within the industrial manufacturing marketplace. Additional air tool products were added later, and a focus on cutting tools was established when Dick Star joined the firm in 1971. The company today supplies a range of items such as abrasives, adhesives, finishing supplies, hand tools, electrical wire, lighting equipment, safety rail systems, emergency eyewash stations and grinding machines. 

Instead of focusing narrowly on its own prices, Engman-Taylor wants to work with clients to reduce their overall expenses through better products and unmatched service. “The customers we go after are interested in reducing total cost,” Star says.


With a portfolio of those original industrial supplies and additional products such as janitorial, safety, and maintenance items, Engman-Taylor has successfully served the manufacturing sector for nearly 60 years. But the company recently began expanding its distribution services to other markets, such as schools, restaurants and institutional sectors that overlap with its catalog. A classroom might not need a saw blade, but its janitor uses the same chemical cleaners, sanitizers and trash liners found on a factory floor. “We’re just looking for ways to diversify the business so we’re not just an industrial distributor,” Star says.
Engman-Taylor isn’t planning to radically expand its product lineup, but the company is looking at what it already offers in a new light and pitching those items to new kinds of customers through its salespeople, emails blasts, catalogs and fliers. “It’s gone well,” Star says. “Trying to change existing paradigms and is a little bit challenging at times, but we’ve brought additional people on board that have expertise in those areas.”

The company has grown to five locations – two in Wisconsin, two in Illinois and one in North Carolina – enabling Engman-Taylor to serve the midwestern and southeastern United States. Star says the company is looking to possibly add more facilities in either Kentucky or Tennessee to expand its customer base and connect its two geographic markets.

Each of those facilities can meet its customers’ regional needs, but many of Engman-Taylor’s service offerings still come out of its Menomonee Falls headquarters, such as on-demand product demonstrations. One of the newest services is 3-D printing. Although it is only offered out of Menomonee Falls, Star says customers in any of Engman-Taylor’s markets can utilize the equipment for prototyping or small lot size part orders.

“Basically, we can make anything as long as it fits in a 12 by 12 by 12-inch cube and made out of a plastic-type material,” Star says. That capability is critical for Engman-Taylor’s customers, many of which are Rust Belt manufacturers still using equipment and machinery built 50 years ago that is no longer being supported. “If a machine part breaks, they may have no source to get a replacement,” Star says. “We can take that part, scan it, reverse engineer it and build a copy in a day.”

There’s been a lot of interest in Engman-Taylor’s 3-D printing capability in the year since it was introduced, Star adds. The customer base for 3-D printing is still in its infancy, but the company is already being careful not to duplicate the 3-D printing services offered by its clients. “We’ve got to make sure they know we’re not competing with them,” Star says of preserving those relationships.

Engman-Taylor’s mission is to help its customers produce the highest-quality components at the lowest-possible cost. To accomplish that, the company works closely with its clients to find efficiencies. Engman-Taylor has a customer cost-savings team comprised of product specialists who support the sales team. “We try to show our customers how to use the product in the most efficient way,” Star says.

The customer cost-savings team also uses survey tools to help buyers dig into their operations and discover hidden ways to cut expenses. For the largest customers, Engman-Taylor even sends employees to work full-time alongside the client’s staff. Boat motor manufacturer Mercury Marine, for example, has eight Engman-Taylor employees who work with the company to engineer manufacturing improvements, handle transactions and provide vending equipment to create a smoother-running and less costly operation.

That partnership continues to thrive as Mercury Marine has come to better understand the value of Engman-Taylor’s hands-on service. At one point, Mercury Marine dropped Engman-Taylor in favor of a competitor that offered lower prices. But the company soon saw its total cost rise and realized there was more to Engman-Taylor’s involvement than just a price chart. “Mercury discovered that they didn’t get the technical support so they brought us back,” Star says.
The ideal Engman-Taylor customer, Star says, is one that understands that value and puts a premium on reducing overall cost. “Everybody wants low price, and that’s what we try to give them,” Star adds. “But we really target those who want to use our services to also lower cost.”

Online Ordering

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Shop online and get the same great customer service and support you are used to. ETCO’s catalog is just that - ours. ETCO does not subscribe to a service or put ETCO’s name on someone else’s site. Contact us or go online today.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

2016 Carbide Insert Catalog Now Available

Premium Quality Tooling at Competitive Prices

Our 2016 Carbide Insert catalog is now available.  Milling and grooving inserts have been added along with several new chip breakers and coatings.  It doesn't matter if you are a one person shop or a large scale production facility we will save you money with our inserts.  We have a near 100% success rate when we test against any one of the big brands carbide companies out there.  Not only do we perform equal to or greater than your existing tools, we are almost always less expensive.  Whether you are looking at cost-per-part or cost-per-insert we can help drive down your total production costs.  Engman-Taylor has partnered with some of the best manufacturers in the industry and carbide inserts are no exception.

Contact us today to request a catalog or to arrange a trial.

Don't get us wrong, we represent many of the world's premier carbide manufacturers and they are often the first choice for turning and milling operations.  There are a lot of choices out there and we are here to recommend the best insert for the job no matter how the package is labeled.  Every job, material, and machine presents a unique challenge; we will help you determine which inserts are, or are not, good candidates to try.  We rely on our cutting tool applications specialists and so should you.

We know that every job is a balance between cost and performance and we strive to always provide the right tool for the job.  Whether or not you make a profit often comes down to this choice and we realize that you may not always need, or want to pay for, indefinite tool life.

We carry all popular styles, sizes, chipbreakers, and grades.  From CCGT to VCMT we have you covered.   Browse our online catalog and don't let the prices fool you; these are premium quality cutting tools without the big brand markup.  Call today to learn more 800-236-1975.

Carbide Inserts

View the complete catalog here (pdf)

View a cross reference / grade comparison chart here (pdf)

Shop Online here

Round Tooling

View the complete catalog here (pdf)

Shop Online here

Monday, November 2, 2015

Compression Cutter for Composite Materials

This week we took an in-depth look at Harvey Tool compression cutters.  This one was an easy choice; first off we have had a few requests lately for tools specifically designed for composites and secondly Harvey Tool provides some excellent technical articles on their website.  If you do any machining at all you are already familiar with Harvey tool but on the outside chance that you are unfamiliar contact Engman-Taylor - we would be delighted to ship or deliver a catalog you.

Composite Materials

First of all let's explain "composite" materials.  Composites are materials, and the machining of, are growing in popularity mostly because of the aerospace industry and in performance automobile manufacturing.  These materials though are also appearing in bicycles, bathtubs, guitars and other commonly produced products.

Composites are a group of materials made up of at least two unique constituents, that when combined produce mechanical and physical properties favorable for a wide array of applications. These materials usually contain a binding ingredient, known as a matrix, filled with particles or fibers called reinforcements. Composites have become increasingly popular in the Aerospace, Automotive, and Sporting Goods industries because they combine the strength of metal, light weight of plastic, and rigidity of ceramics. Many times a composite is used in cases where an extremely high strength to weight ratio is needed. A composite is also often layered with varying fiber and tape orientations, which help to increase strength in the material.

Composite materials are generally machined using standard metal cutting end mills. These unidirectional helix mills bring a few issues to the machining process such as lifting, fiber pullout, and de-lamination in layered composites.

Machining composites can be difficult because of two primary factors.  First of all composites are very abrasive, and can prematurely wear most cutting tools including carbide tools.  Secondly, composites tend to de-laminate during milling and drilling operations.  Sharp edges and space -age coating can increase tool-life but tool geometries can help here too.

Harvey Tool Compression Cutters 

To combat these machining challenges, the compression cutter has both an up and down-cut helix. The top half of the flute, closest to the shank, has right hand cutting teeth with a left hand spiral, forcing chips down. The bottom portion of the flute, closest to the end, has right hand cutting teeth and a right hand spiral, forcing the chips up. When cutting, the opposing flute directions generate counteracting up and down-cut forces. The opposing cutting forces stabilize the material removal, which causes a superb finish on both the bottom and top of the workpeice, limits fiber pullout, and stops de-lamination.

Choosing the Right Diamond

Another factor to consider when machining composites is the abrasiveness of the material. Glass and carbon fiber filled materials have the tendency to wear down the edges of carbide cutting tools. To account for the rough nature of composites, the compression cutter is offered coated with Amorphous Diamond, a PVD coating with DLC properties, and CVD Diamond, a diamond coating that is chemically grown onto the carbide. Each coating is better suited for different materials. The Amorphous Diamond is a thin layer of diamond that does not experience edge rounding from the thickness of the coating, making it suitable for materials that contain less than 30% of abrasive fill. Since these materials are more matrix than fill, they will create a chip when machined. When cutting materials with a higher concentration of fill, the CVD diamond coating is found to be very beneficial. The CVD coating is five times thicker, and has superior abrasion resistance to the Amorphous Diamond. At the micro-level, the cutting action is similar to that of a grinding operation, which makes the coating best suited for heavily filled composites that will produce a powder-like chip when machined.

Example of Milling Carbon Fiber:


Let us know some of the challenges you face in machining composites or show your composite material finished products.

Monday, October 26, 2015

An All Around Success - 2015 Wisconsin Manufacturing Show

Wisconsin Manufacturing & Technology Show Review

Engman-Taylor had another great show at the Wisconsin Manufacturing & Technology Show at State Fair Park. Thank you to everyone who stopped in to see us!

This year we were also honored with a visit from our own Lt. Governor!  Lt. Governor Kleefisch was at the show for National Manufacturing month and Dale Boschke couldn't help but demonstrate our 3D printing and prototyping services.

If you were unable to visit our booth (or even if you did) continue reading for information on the show's "hot" items and limited time offers!

3D Printing

Solutions for Manufacturing, Fabrication and Assembly. 

ETCO now offers 3D printing services including models and mock-ups, engineering prototypes, pre-production parts, low-volume manufacturing, machine and fixture components.

For more information on 3D Printing, to discuss your project, or schedule a presentation at your facility, please contact:

Dale Boschke - Director, Lean & Manufacturing Solutions.

Hercules Lift Table - 660 lbs. Capacity
Only $450

Lift height of 14.4 in - 35.1 in
Platform Dimensions: 19.7x32.3 in
Weight capacity: 660 lbs.
Price Valid through December 31, 2015

BOSS® Anti-Vibration Hi-Viz Gloves
  • Built in Anti-Vibration Features
  • Nylon/Polyurethane Synthetic Leather Palm
  • Gel Palm Patch
  • Polyester Spandex back for comfort
  • Neoprene cuff with pull and hook & loop closure
Ideal for power tools, lawn equipment, heavy pounding, and impact related tasks.

Only $25.00 per pair! 

HexPro™ Wrenches Promo!

HexPro™ Pivot Head Hex and TORX® Wrenches
  • For Inch and Metric Hex, TORX® and Star Screws
  • Available in 24 sizes to cover most fastener heads
  • Heat treated high quality industrial tool steel
  • Long handles for extra reach
  • Matte chrome finish to prevent corrosion
  • Heavy duty folding canvas pouch/holder (included)
  • Lifetime Warranty
Download the complete Hex Pro Flyer

Order Online Now

WIHA Insulated Tools Special!

80 Piece Insulated Master Electrician's Tool Set, 7 Piece Insulated Tool Set, and 11 Piece Insulated Tool Set

See flyer below for more details, along with other WIHA Show Specials!

80 piece set - show special price valid through October 31st! Sale price of $1,372 and all other specials valid through December 31, 2015.

Monday, October 19, 2015

New IR QX Series Precision Fastening System


Next-Generation Productivity.

Looking for cordless torque control?  How about cost-effective cordless torque control?  Then look no further.

The innovative QX Series tools from IR are a revolutionary step for your entire facility, one that shows how a smarter tool can improve process control, operator comfort and data communication in a single package while increasing productivity, lowering costs and ensuring a high-quality product at the end of your line — all at a price you can afford today. Select QX Series tools are on sale through December 28th.  Contact Engman-Taylor today to learn more or to arrange a preformance trial.

Low-cost high-precision torque tools.  Precision sensing technology and accurate motor control combined for unmatched performance and durability.  No costly external controls means lower entry cost and longer up-time without sacrificing fastener configurations, operator comfort, or end-of-run data.

Tools that put you in total control are the future of assembly. That future is here, that future is REAL.

• Multi-function display module and password protected keypad offer quick setup and visual feedback
• Eight programmable torque/angle/speed configurations allow one tool to do the job of eight
• Closed-loop transducer control ensures precise torque and accurate, traceable results

• Compact, cordless assembly tool gives you the freedom to work without constraints
• Lightweight, ergonomically balanced design maximizes operator comfort
• Safe and clean operation – no cords, air hoses or brush dust

Ingersoll Rand’s breadth of line gives you the flexibility to choose the tool that fits your application.  Precision Screwdriver torque ranges: 0.8 Nm - 18Nm.  Angle Wrench torque ranges: 1.0 Nm - 27Nm.  Tools start at only $955 - a fraction of any competitor's tool.  Packed with all the features and durability you expect from IR

IR QX Series Promo Pricing
From light duty circuit board work to industrial assembly lines - the new IR QX series tools are right at home.  Choose from 1/4" square dive, 1/4" quick change hex, or 3/8" square drives.  Pistol grip precision screwdrivers up to 18 Nm and angle wrenches up to 27Nm are available.

View/Download the complete brochure here (pdf)
Contact Engman-Taylor Today - Application Support, Performance Trials, Service