Industry Scuttlebutt

Hydromat of St. Louis is suffering through a soft spell and has let about 35 people go from its peak employment. But a sign of the times is a fresh notice on the company’s Web site looking for new people.

They need a design engineer, a draftsman and an electrical control integrator.
I also heard through the grapevine that Bruno Schmitter, the head of the company, would like to buy a couple of CNC lathes to make more components in-house.
There is a strong rumor that Pfiffner in Switzerland has a severe cash flow problem and that company founder, Mr. Pfiffner, has infused the firm with a sizable sum of personal cash.


Tad Yamamoto has been named CEO of Okuma America. He spent 1994 to 2002 in the U.S., then went back to Japan for six years and then spent a year getting reacclimated to the American company. This is not an unusual career path for a top executive of a Japanese multinational company.
By moving back and forth between Japan and the U.S. a Japanese executive keeps his ties and credibility strong in both places. The home Japanese execs keep their confidence that the man still shares the parent company values and the Americans believe that he knows the territory. Larry Schwartz continues as President and COO of Okuma America.


The glutted screw machine market is going to get even more saturated in September. Niagara Machine Products in St. Catherine’s, Ontario, is being auctioned off by Glenn Gray’s Premier Asset Recovery Group September 16th and 17th. There are 50 multi-spindles including an MS32-C Index and (2) 8 spindle Euroturns to go with 40 Acmes and 60 centerless grinders.
This sale will be followed a week later by a DoveBid sale in Athens, Alabama, with 25 more 8 spindle Acmes and Conomatics.


Chad Arthur, whose Arthur Machinery was the most dynamic dealer in machine tools in Illinois until his company spiraled into bankruptcy, has resurfaced as exclusive distributor for DMG in Illinois. Chad’s company, CDA Machinery, is based in Elk Grove Village Ill., as was Arthur Machinery. I think this is a good move for DMG because they needed a surge of energy, and few people in the business have more energy than ex-hockey player Chad Arthur when he is truly engaged.


Which machine tool builder from your experience has the best service?

And, which is more important for customer service, the builder or the distributor? (You can also comment at

Tad Yamamoto

Tad Yamamoto

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0 thoughts on “Industry Scuttlebutt

  1. Steven Kontout

    Machine tool builders will promise you any thing when you are thinking about buying a new machine. All will help you during the warranty period. After the warranty period is over the blame game starts.
    Soon after that the sales person disappears and then the Tech people do not even return your call.

    Now your on your own in till the next sale.

  2. John Bacsik - Air Parts Mfg.

    In my opinion, Mori Seiki is one of the few machine tool builders (or distributor, whatever) that offer superb service whether you have just purchased a new machine or have a machine that’s 20 years old. We have a 1989 AL-2 turning center that we bought used in 1992 and a 1991 SL-25B5 that we bought new. Late last year, we had several problems due to past operator negligience. The techs stayed on the phone sometimes as long as 3 hours until the problem was solved. I was impressed with the extent they went to solve my problem despite the fact that our machine was old and long past its warranty coverage.