William Claffey, Plant Manager
A machine tool getting dull before its end-of-life is the worst nightmare for any manufacturing organization. A single malfunction caused by the poor quality of the tool can result in the entire production line coming to a halt; while the tool is replaced, production time is affected and eventually leads to monetary losses. Addressing this issue is AAA Precision Tool & Cutter Grinding LLC, who specializes in custom designing and manufacturing of the highest quality machine tools and also services that tooling for continued usage to enhance productivity on the manufacturers’ shop floor. “We are qualified toolmakers with over 80 years of combined experience and pride ourselves on precision, quality and customer satisfaction. We are committed to providing the best service to our customers as well as the best tooling by exceeding industry standards. What makes us different is our range of experience,” says Russ Martin, owner of AAA Precision Tool & Cutter Grinding LLC.
AAA started its operation in Los Angeles in 1955 to cater to the aerospace industry. In 1993, they shifted their base to the beautiful Clearwater RiverValley in the city of Orofino.
In 2013, Great Lakes Custom Tool Mfg, Inc. acquired AAA. This acquisition enabled them to climb an even higher trajectory by not only building a 10,000 sq. ft. facility and adding new machines but also increasing the amount of raw material in stock. The increase in storage enabled the company to reduce the lead-time drastically. “We could not deliver anything sooner than 15-20 working days earlier. Post the merger, we have streamlined our business, increased our inventory and quality, and have added more technology in equipment. Today, we deliver the product in 5-7 working days,” explains William Claffey, Plant Manager at AAA.
Not restricted to aerospace any longer, AAA has grown to serve other sectors like automotive, medical, dental, agriculture, ammunition, and more. They produce a wide range of custom cutting tools, form drills, end mills, reamers, circular form tools, carbide, or diamond tipped tools, broaches, boring bars and saws, and more to cater to various industries. AAA, with their goal to deliver the highest quality products, utilizes mainly HSS and Solid Carbide materials to engineer a superior cutting tool for their customers.
A customer in need of a custom tool usually hears about AAA through word of mouth, as the company believes that is the best marketing strategy. Thereafter, the onboarding starts with the client approaching the company with their set of requirements via email, telephone, or fax. If the client provides them with exact measurements and a drawing or picture of the tool or part, they design the tool and provide the quote quickly. If there is no customer drawing available then AAA is capable of solving the tool design remotely using today’s technology. After the order and signed approval are received from the client, the fabrication phase begins. AAA uses manufacturing software to manage the entire process. In addition, they have time tracking enabled for each tool in the shop; this helps them to keep a tab on each tool effectively and update their clients about the progress. Going the extra mile, AAA has a complete quality check department in place. Before tools are shipped, a 100 percent inspection is done to ensure there are no defects or deformities in the tool.
With an excellent group of employees working as a small-unitedcommunity, all of them work towards a single goal—utilizing their knowledge to make superior custom tools. Envisioning the growth with each passing year, Claffey mentions, “We are always looking out for our clients. We take pride in and express our desire to help them cut their production time by providing cost-effective and quality tools.”