The Situation

A medical device manufacturer was producing bone screws using a boring bar for internal threading being supplied from a European company, which meant the tools came from outside the United States. This led to challenges with the European supplier having inconsistent lead times averaging 10-12 weeks, along with severe quality concerns. In addition, the European boring bars demonstrated unreliable lifespans and unexpected breakdowns, leading to production halts and extensive quality inspections being constantly needed. To make matters worse, the customer had to use a time-consuming triangle tool holder, which finally pushed them to find a better alternative to their current high tool costs and manufacturing expenses.

Current Process Results

  • 10-12 week average lead time
  • Standard triangle tool holder
  • Inconsistent tool life
  • 145 parts per tool
  • 7,100 boring bars needed per year
  • Annual tool costs of $300,000

New GWS Solution

  • New custom quick change tool holder
  • New carbide boring bars
  • Increased tool life by 33%
  • 435 parts per tool
  • 2,365 boring bars needed per year
  • New annual tool cost of $92,000
  • Annual tool cost savings of $208,000!


When the medical device manufacturer reached out to GWS Tool Group, we knew we had the perfect solutions for their problems. We introduced our quick-change tool holder system which switched them from their previous European triangle holder to our American-made custom round holder for a more universal application. In addition to the custom tool holder, we provided our solid carbide boring bar, which led to enhanced tool life and reduced changeover times.

Transitioning from cobalt chrome to solid carbide tools increased tool life by 33%, resulting in 290 more screws being produced per tool. The reduction in tools required was staggering now, a 67% drop in tools required went from 7,100 annually to 2,365! This led to substantial annual tool cost savings totaling $208,000! In addition to the huge cost benefits, GWS ensured reliable lead times and consistent American-made tool performance, thereby significantly improving the overall operational efficiency for the medical device manufacturer.

Interested in finding out more information about our standard and custom tools? Consider contacting the experts who make Custom Come Standard, and let us find the perfect cutting tool for you. Just send us an email at to get started!

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