The Situation

The customer was working with a European manufacturer that had an 8-week lead time, which was causing supply chain issues and machine stoppages. 

The current process to create the external screw utilized an 8-insert whirling cartridge. Four inserts for roughing and four inserts for finishing the thread, to simultaneously rough and finish a complete thread. Aside from the lead time issue, the bigger problem (and opportunity) was the process itself. The constant stopping of the machine to change inserts was expensive, and therefore limited. Tracking finishing and roughing inserts wasn’t manageable across dozens of machines, and stopping to switch between inserts was not cost-effective. This led to the manufacturer having to change all of the inserts, which meant inserts were not run to their full tool life.

Current Process Results

  • 8-week lead time
  • $15,120 insert change cost
  • $54,190.08 annual tool cost
  • Annual cost of $69,310.08

New GWS Solution

  • 6-cage cartridge with our ZOMBIE WHIRLER ™ inserts
  • Customized PVD nano coating technology
  • 1-week lead time
  • $35,985.60 annual tool cost
  • Tool life increased by 112%
  • 33.5% change cost savings with 2 fewer inserts
  • $25,764.48 total cost savings


In the end, the customer asked for better delivery, and GWS delivered improved tool life, faster tool changes, greater product versatility, and much better delivery. From design engineers to our sales teams, everyone worked with the customer to create the optimal solution for the customer. The customer was so satisfied with the results of this change that GWS was given the opportunity to apply the ZOMBIE WHIRLER ™ across the entire facility.

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