Next Generation Tooling Opens Two Offices in California to Provide Technical Support During the Pandemic.
Sacramento, CA. - Next Generation Tooling, LLC, a manufacturer's representative agency, founded in 1995 and servicing the California Nevada Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico CNC manufacturing markets has just opened TWO offices in California.
Most of Next Generation Tooling's customers know them as "the Next Gen guys" according to Chris Savolainen, the Founder and President of 'Next Gen Tooling'.
What was the rationale of opening not one, but two offices when the entire team has worked out of their own home offices for years?
"We've grown our market service area quite a bit since we started out servicing just Northern California. We now include most of the Western States of the US. We've s been adding some of the best technical CNC application people we can find to support the unique mix of principles we represent. The products that we represent are what are considered very high performance tooling and workholding. It's some of the premiere products in our entire industry! We determined that we really needed a place to provide on-site technical training. We also needed to carry some inventory to support the unique needs of the aerospace, medical, electronics and defense industries that we support." Said Savolainen.
Rob Aldama, Vice-President of Next Gen Tool picks up the story, "At first we thought that one training and showroom might be good enough, but as we started talk to our distributor, machine dealer and end-user manufacturing customers, we discovered that there was a real need for facilities in both Northern and Southern California. None of our competitors are providing the deep technical service that has helped us gain market share, so we really felt we should just take it to the next level and open two facilities."
But what about the Pandemic?
With the Covid-19 pandemic raging there are not a lot of companies expanding. Most are cutting costs and employees. When asked about this both Chris and Rob stated that their team of people have remained pretty busy throughout this entire period.
Chris said "We get asked in to shops to provide technical support pretty often. Putting on the full body PPE suits has been kind of common for us during the past few months."
Rob picked it up from there, "I think we may be some of the really select few that have been asked to come into shops because we're not just taking orders, we're reducing cycle time and we're improving efficiency"
Chris jumped back in, "And maybe its a little bit self serving, We can have the equipment set-up at both locations instead of trying to bring it into a facility. It's actually a lot easier, faster and safer to bring people to one of our locations rather than try to move things with lots of sweat and heavy breathing in PPE."
"Yea, We can bring people to either location and do the training. There are far less interruptions and the I think people learn a lot more, and learn it faster" stated Rob.
NGT Warehouse and Training
What types of training do they provide at Next Gen's new buildings? They start off with a lot of fundamentals that people running CNC machines may never had any formal training about. That's where their basic Training Classes fit in.
But they also can go much deeper with their Advanced Part Manufacturing training series
Please welcome Tim Fugazi to our Next Generation Tooling team. Tim will be working in Northern California as Regional Manager for our principals.
Tim graduated from San Joaquin Delta College with a Certificate in Computer-Aided Drafting December in 1999 and finished up his Associate Degree in Machine Tool Technology in May 2010 at the same college.
Tim spent 7 years as a Auto CAD Technician and then added Laser programming to the mix. For the past 18 years Tim has worked as a Machinist, SolidWorks Technician & Lab Technician.
His experience with SolidWorks software was to provide mechanical drawings for production, fabrication and/or machining. He operated SolidWorks & HSMWorks software to produce “G” code for vertical mills and lathes as well as working in quality control and dealing with customer warranty issues.
Our principals and distributors will be excited to know that Tim has a great understanding of shipping procedures so he has a great understanding of your capabilities and expectations.
OSG USA, Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of SOMTA brand cutting tools to the OSG product line up.
SOMTA brand cutting tools offer value performance solutions for threading, drilling, and milling, at economical pricing.
SOMTA specializes in the design and manufacture of standard and custom tools for the industrial and “do it yourself” markets. Drills, cutters, reamers, threading tools and tool bits, made in a wide range of sizes, using various materials (HSS and Solid Carbide) with surface coatings to extend wear life.
Click here for additional information about SOMTA brand cutting tools.
Next Generation Tooling is excited to announce that we have been chosen as he exclusive agent for Northern California and Nevada by Somta Tools.
In December 2016, OSG partnered with Somta Tools (Pty) Ltd. Founded in 1954, SOMTA is South Africa’s largest manufacturer of round cutting tools including Drills, Reamers, End Mills, Bore Cutters and Taps which are available in a wide range of sizes using various materials and quality surface coatings to extend tool life.
Somta Tools History
Somta Tools was founded in 1954 by Samuel Osborn Ltd of Sheffield, England. The name Somta is an acronym derived from the names of Samuel Osborn (founder of Osborn Steels U.K.), and Robert Mushet (the 19th century inventor of High Speed Steel).
The full name is actually Samuel Osborn Mushet Tools Africa.
Somta started out producing Twist Drills, Reamers, Toolbits and Chisels with a complement of about 20 employees.
Somta Tools Mission is to manufacture and supply superior cutting tools, driven by a culture of service excellence, to global markets.
One of Somta’s claims to fame is that its former parent company produced the first Twist Drill made from High Speed Steel. Prior to 1870, twist drills were made from a flat piece of steel and then physically twisted, hence the name. Thereafter the flutes were produced on milling machines until the grinding method arrived.
One milestone worth a mention is when Somta Tools purchased a Hertlein drill flute grinding machine in 1963, even before the parent Sheffield company bought one. This machine is still in operation today. This machine grinds the flutes of a drill (up to 13mm diameter) in one pass in a solid hardened blank. This was unheard of in those days.
Growth at Somta: 1963 – 1999
Somta gradually grew in both output and number of employees. Numerous products were added to the range during this period. In 1979 the company was purchased by Haggie Ltd, one of the largest steel rope manufacturers in the world. The South African mining sector was their biggest market.
Continued Growth at Somta Tools in the 1980’s
With Haggie as its owner, Somta progressed and accelerated its growth. This was achieved by investment in capital equipment and by acquisition.
Introduction of Friction Welding (HSS body, EN9 shank)
Somta Tools introduced friction welding in 1980, the first cutting tool company to do this outside of the UK.
Introduction of CNC Grinding Machines
In the early 1980’s, CNC grinding machines were being developed in the USA and Europe for this industry. Somta purchased a number of these machines. This technology ensured greater consistency in quality and enabled Somta to enter and compete in world markets.
Clarkson & Mitco Acquisition
Somta Tools acquired Clarkson Tap and Die South Africa (conveniently located next door) in 1982 and Mitco Tools Pietermaritzburg in 1984. Clarkson had about 60 employees and Mitco about 160. The Mitco premises were closed with all of the employees and machinery moving to the present Somta site at Edendale Road.
Factory Expansion & Divisions
Working space was at a premium with so many more people and additional equipment. It was therefore necessary to extensively add factory space. It was decided to establish separate factories for product types, for instance Steel Stock and Blank Prep, Drills, Taps, End Mills and other factories.
Each factory had its own manager who was responsible for hiring staff, training, quantity, quality, cost etc. This occurred in 1986 and this concept remains today. The employees in each factory became product specialists.
Change of Ownership: 1999 – Present
In 1999 Haggie decided to ‘unbundle’ its non-core or non-mining related companies, of which they had quite a few. Somta was then purchased by Brooke Industrial Holdings in the UK. Unfortunately Brooke ran into difficulties in 2003 and went into liquidation. Somta Tools then underwent a management buyout largely funded by the SCMB (Standard Corporate Merchant Bank).
US $2M Investment in Balzers Coating Plant:
Immediately after the MBO in 2003, Somta Tools integrated a state of the art Balzers PVD Rapid Coating System into it’s manufacturing programme, offering the innovative range of Balzers BALINIT® high performance coatings on all cutting tools. This has enabled Somta to offer coated cutting tools to compete with the very best high tech tool producers in the world.
Somta Workers Get 7.5% Stake
In late 2010, Somta Tools launched an empowerment initiative through the establishment of the Somta Employees’ Trust, which gave the company’s 500 employees a collective 7,5% stake in the company.
This all came about when management bought-out, and restructured the company, from its main shareholder, SCMB (Standard Corporate Merchant Bank). The deal was part of the company’s broad-based black economic empowerment strategy in its attempt at initiating its own “African Renaissance” with the aim of making employees feel like they are part of something great.
Carbide Production Facility Expansion
In 2012 Somta Tools invested over ten million rand that year alone on state-of-the art CNC equipment, which saw the company quadruple its carbide tool manufacturing capacity, thereby improving delivery times.
Included in this investment was a Walter Helicheck Basic 3, for non-contact complete measurement of rotationally symmetrical precision tools with complex geometry, which significantly improves quality and inspection procedures as well as 7 other machines with a further 3 to be added.
This expansion allowed for a dedicated test and training facility which included the addition of a HAAS VF-3YT CNC vertical machining centre, to test, run and enhance current and new tool designs, as well as for training purposes.
Somta Tools can now utilize its state-of-the art R&D facility to find solutions to difficult machining applications or material types. SOMTA is able to simulate the production conditions so that their customers no longer have to break into critical production lines to conduct testing. No other facility on the African continent boasts the combined manufacturing, measuring, coating and testing capabilities.
Company StatisticsProduct Distribution
Somta Tools has about 370 distributors in South Africa making it the market leader. Somta exports to 70 countries around the world. 58% of sales are to the export market. Somta sells to distributors, catalogue houses and a number of other cutting tool manufacturers worldwide.
Product Range Today
Somta Tools offers 7 000 standard items, and a further 3 000 made-to-order items, to DIN, ISO, ANSI and JIS standards, as well as custom tools to drawing.
Somta Tools currently employs more than 400 people in total, which includes the Johannesburg sales office and warehouse.
Somta Tools has separate factories for Blank Prep, Heat Treatment, Drills, End Mills, Taps, Reamers, Specials, Carbide and Coating all on one site.
A world class provider of cutting tools. This vision is supported by being ISO 9002 which was achieved in 1991 and ISO 9001 in 2003 and 2008.
Somta Tools is pleased to announce a new partnership with OSG Tap & Die, a global leader in the cutting tool industry, which sees the Japanese based company taking a majority stake holding in Africa’s largest round shank cutting tool manufacturer.
Somta Tools will continue to operate as it does today but now with full support from OSG.
Through this partnership, Somta Tools will have access to OSG Tap & Die technologies and expertise that will help the company to improve its manufacturing process, technical capabilities, and quality of tooling – with the goal of ultimately adding greater value for our customers.
For the first time in its 62 year history, Somta becomes part of a global cutting tool organisation and we believe this will have substantial benefit for Somta’s stability, growth and advancement.
Somta employees celebrated the announcement by holding a lunch and ribbon cutting ceremony in Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg with OSG Tap & Die Directors, Bobby Osawa and Massy Mashida.
Our NEWS blog section is written by several different people. Sometimes, it from our team here at Next Generation Tooling & at other times it's by one of the manufacturer's we represent.