How Bettcher Industries Cut Down on Cutting Fluids
September 7, 2021
By Blue Print Editorial Team
By Blue Print Editorial Team
Bettcher Industries | Birmingham, Ohio
A HISTORY OF EXCELLENCE
If you did business in 70 countries worldwide, what would your main facility look like? For Bettcher Industries, the answer to that question is a big red barn. Or, more accurately, a high-tech facility in the Ohio countryside that was purpose-built to look like it belonged with the farmland that surrounds it.
For close to eight decades, Bettcher has designed and manufactured food processing equipment. Across the globe, processing plants trust Bettcher’s handheld cutting and trimming tools for meat, poultry, and seafood applications.
“Bettcher is a company that prides itself on leading in the industries they serve. I think it’s very important to Bettcher to provide innovative, precision tools that give their customers a better return on investment.” - Robert Mery, a project manager with Fluid Service Technologies who works with Bettcher
BRINGING IN EXPERTS
Bettcher turned to Fastenal for lean solutions that could save time. By putting supplies right at the point of use, workers at each location could easily get what they needed.
Then a Fastenal Metalworking Sales Specialist brought in Fluid Service Technologies. FST is the leading industrial fluid maintenance company. They worked with Bettcher on custom fluid maintenance programs, recycling systems, and waste minimization.
LOOKING TO UPGRADE
Walk the floor of Bettcher’s facility, and you might see Glenn McNeelege. He’s Bettcher’s director of special projects. One project he oversaw was finding a way to gain control and visibility of Bettcher’s metalworking tooling. This was no small project considering they have 44 different CNCs working.
“We needed a way to bring more of the tooling under inventory control in a system that captured the knowledge of what we used,” said McNeelege. “A couple of us had experience with Fastenal at other companies. Brad Skinner, our strategic sourcing manager, did some research and found out Fastenal was the #2 tooling supplier in the U.S. And then later in the process, Fastenal introduced us to FST.”
FINDING COST SAVINGS
The Bettcher/Fastenal/FST Partnership
“We’ve gone from a first-shift tool crib attendant and half-time attendants on second and third shifts to just having one employee on first shift spending only 50 to 75% of his time on tooling management. We have also realized some hard cost savings based on reduced prices, reduced usage, and process improvements.” - Glenn McNeelege, Bettcher’s director of special projects
CUTTING DOWN ON CUTTING FLUIDS
Remember Robert Mery from before? He’s been to Bettcher’s facility, but he works for FST, which is short for Fluid Service Technologies. If you’re dealing with industrial fluids, FST will keep your equipment clean and workspaces producing. In this case, Fastenal and FST partnered to help Bettcher streamline their operations.
“A lot of companies fall into a trap where each operator kind of does their own thing; before you know it, you have concentrations all over the place and six different fluids,” said Mery. “So part of our mission was to get things leveled out from a concentration standpoint and then also to reduce the extra fluids that weren’t necessary. And we did that with our program in conjunction with Fastenal.”
Together, FST and Fastenal’s metalworking specialists did some fluid selection to start narrowing down the list of six. Bettcher’s end goal was to reduce their total number of cutting fluids. This would allow them to take advantage of recycling and other value-added services. FST tested SharpCool to find what Bettcher could expect as an output
from the fluid. When the tests showed good results, Bettcher was able to reduce the number of cutting fluids in their facility from six to two.
McNeelege is on a digital call explaining everything that Bettcher’s four business units do. When asked what the single most impactful change that Fastenal was able to help Bettcher make, he doesn’t hesitate.
“Point-of-use tooling,” McNeelege says. “Prior to Fastenal, our tooling supplier had some vending machines throughout the facility, but not all tools needed in areas were in the vending machines. We provided a list of areas where we wanted point-of-use tooling, and Fastenal delivered.”
Fastenal turned to Joe DiVencenzo to run the Onsite for Bettcher. Joe has been with Fastenal since 2014, has worked in four branches, and has held every position in a branch. His first experience with Bettcher was in 2016 when he took care of a small fastener bin stock. Since then, Bettcher and Fastenal have grown their relationship. Joe now oversees the Onsite that provides tooling and point-of-use supplies.
What does your ideal supply chain look like? Less inventory? Less paperwork? Better productivity? Fastenal can help you get there by tailoring a solution for your supply chain that helps you reach your unique priorities and goals. Visit us here if you want to find out more.
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BETTCHER ON THE PARTNERSHIP WITH FASTENAL
“We are extremely happy with choosing Fastenal. We invited four
companies to make proposals. Fastenal distinguished itself as being
a company solution; whereas the other three, their solutions were
as good as the one individual servicing our account. And though
those individuals were well regarded, even by companies used as
references, they were one-person solutions. Fastenal customer
service across all aspects of tooling, value-added services, etc., is well
developed and a corporate solution not dependent on one person.
They are always receptive to helping us solve the next problem.”
- Glenn McNeelefe | Director of Special Projects
FST ON THE PARTNERSHIP WITH BETTCHER
“The partnership with Bettcher is mutually beneficial because we’re
each able to capitalize on our core competencies. Fastenal has the
opportunity to focus on the supply chain while FST takes work off
of Bettcher’s plate allowing them to focus on production. FST has
accountability for the coolant program and machine cleaning program,
and we help Fastenal provide documented cost savings to Bettcher.”
- Robert Mery | Project Manager
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