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DeVlieg Bullard II revamps its machine-tool-production operations.

The owner of more than a dozen vintage American machine-tool brands is reorganizing its new-machine-tool business, putting emphasis on the repair-parts trade. A key component of the changes involves scaling back manufacturing work at a suburban-Cleveland plant.

Over the past several years, DeVlieg Bullard II, Inc. (Rockford, Ill.) has become owner of the following machine-tool brands: American Tool, Blanchard, Brown & Sharpe, Bullard, Conomatic, DeVlieg, Futurmill, Mattison Woodworking, Mattison Grinders, Motch, National Acme, New Britain, Rockford Machine Tool, Springfield, and White-Sundstrand.

For the past three years, DeVlieg Bullard II (www. devliegbullard.com) has been owned by a private equity fund, KPS Special Situations Fund L.P. (New York, N.Y.), which purchased and renamed the DeVlieg-Bullard Inc. in mid-2000, following the machine-tool company's declaration of bankruptcy in 1999.

With new liquidity from KPS, the re-vamped DBII continued its shift toward parts and services, concentrating what new-machine-tool production work it had to a remanufacturing factory it had built in Twinsburg, Ohio, outside Cleveland. Alan Konieczka was retained as chief executive officer at the headquarters; the Twinsburg plant became the center for the DeVlieg Bullard Machine Tool Group; spares inventories--some 600,000 + parts--were moved to the DeVlieg Bullard Services Group located at the headquarters site in Rockford, Ill.

In mid-November the company abruptly halted manufacturing at the Machine Tool Group and dismissed several employees there and at a sales operation in Claremont, N.H. affiliated with the Cone automatics and Blanchard grinding products once made in New England.

Some parts for new machines had been made by Titan Componente de Precizie (Bucharest, Romania). There's now talk--unconfirmed--that Blanchard grinders and Motch turning machines could be manufactured there completely.

Part of the restructuring includes launching a new Parts Outlet site on the World Wide Web that offers discount prices on machine-tool parts. The new service is at www.dbpartsoutlet.com.

The Tooling Systems Division (Frankenmuth, Mich.), is apparently not affected by changes to machine-tool operations. Its brands include Universal Engineering tooling systems, DeVlieg Microbore precision boring tools, Cushman Industries chucks and workholding devices, and Microset tool presetters.

DeVlieg Bullard 11, Inc., Rockford, Ill. 800-248-8120.
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Publication:Metalworking Insiders' Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 20, 2003
Words:349
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