Importance of Flexibility & Expandability

Schulte Machine Works in Rosenberg, TX, founded in 1982, is now housed in their 30,000 sq. ft. facility with over 25 employees. The precision manufacturer is a bustling business machining parts for many different industries, some of which include: energy and oil field, food processing equipment, robotic welders, among others.

The company has been family owned and operated and began as a one man operation machining parts for oil field equipment by Weldon Schulte.  As the business grew,  Mr. Schulte’s three sons: Marcus, Greg and Matthew, all joined their father as partners.

Today, Schulte Machine Works occupies an 11,000 square foot facility with 25 employees. Although they still make parts for the oil field industry, their success has expanded the business to include major   customers in electronics, avionics, pipeline valves, forklifts and heavy and agricultural equipment.  With each new customer came a new CNC machine, suited specifically to them.  It became apparent that learning all the idiosyncrasies of each CNC control was affecting efficiency and productivity.

In 2010, the company was operating with approximately 20 lathes and mills, mostly Okuma, when they began researching machining centers with greater tool capacity.

“Doing our research, Matsuura had a great reputation.  And, the expandability of the tool changer was important to us,” said Matt Schulte, Vice President of Schulte Machine Works.

Their first Matsuura purchase in 2010 was an H.Plus-300 Horizontal Machining Center with PC 11.  When Schulte Machine Works purchased the H.Plus-300 Horizontal Machining Center, it was a 2 APC.  However, six months later, they wanted more flexibility.

“We then added many pallets at a relatively inexpensive cost.  The expandability of the tool changer was important.  Often, when you buy a machine, you don’t always get expandability,” said Schulte.

Schulte was thrilled with the large tool matrix offered for the H.Plus-300 Horizontal Machining Center.

“Since we don’t have to change jobs all the time, we saw the advantage of looking at the large tool matrix.  We originally had 90, but were able to expand to 160, and still have the option to go to 240,” said Schulte.

Within the next year, Schulte added the Matsuura MAM 72-42V 5-Axis Vertical Machining Center with PC11.

“When the customer needs parts, we don’t have to set-up each time.  This is the key to productivity with the low change time,” said Schulte.

Schulte is appreciative of his Matsuura Distributor, SMI Machine Tools in Houston, TX.  “SMI has been a Class A support system.  They arranged parts and did our service,” said Schulte.

Schulte Machine Works received a visit from Mr. Katsu Matsuura, President of Matsuura Machinery Corporation last month.  Schulte is aware of the significance of successfully managing a family business.  “It says a lot about a company when the President comes from Japan to visit.  I spoke with Mr. Matsuura about the fact that Matsuura is a family-owned business like us, we can relate,” said Schulte.

Schulte has been pleased with his two Matsuura machines.  “A lot of machines, you say, it’s good, but you have to qualify the statement.  Very few machines you can talk about as enthusiastically as you can Matsuura,” said Schulte.

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