Metzfab is a 7-year-old company that continues to morph itself, to reinvent itself, and each time it does so, growth occurs. Company founder Brandon Metzger is a seasoned business owner, at the young age of 27.
The company launched with 1 employee, just Brandon. From his early childhood years, Brandon loved working with cars, so it was logical that when Metzfab opened for business, it designed and manufactured automotive accessories, including brackets, chassis, shock mounts, aftermarket grills, and switch panels. Brandon used the fabrication equipment he had purchased over the years for his automotive hobby. He outsourced about 50% of the work to manufacture final products, because Metzfab didn’t have the equipment or the experience needed to completely manufacture the parts.
Demand for Metzfab’s automotive accessories was strong from the onset, and the company grew quickly, so much so that Brandon required more space to run the business. He had already purchased his own home (before he turned 20!), and so he constructed a 3200 square foot shop on the property.
Brandon was forced to look for a new home for Metzfab when the county Brandon lived and operated his business in forbade him to run the business on his property. Less than 4 years ago, Brandon relocated Metzfab to a commercial space in Deer Valley where it resides today. The move was very good for Brandon and Metzfab, as he says, “Once we moved to Deer Valley, local shops started coming to us for our fabrication capabilities.” Brandon is a bold entrepreneur, and he is always willing to invest in the company. Shortly after the move to Deer Valley, he purchased his first waterjet, a Flow MACH 2 4020b. It wasn’t long after that the company purchased its 2nd Flow waterjet, this time a 5-axis waterjet (MACH 4 with a 94,000 psi pump). Brandon says that the addition of the 5-axis waterjet enables Metzfab to cut parts faster with a lower cost per part. The company invested in a vacuum suction 1-ton crane, and can lift up to 1 ton of metal, granite or other material. “We are cutting 2” thick steel”, Brandon elaborates.
Today, Metzfab is a full-fledged contract manufacturer, with the ability to fabricate and now machine parts for its customers. I mentioned that Brandon doesn’t like outsourcing any part of the manufacturing, because the turnaround (and sometimes quality) doesn’t meet his requirements. Months ago, he purchased his first CNC mill, a brand new Haas DM-2. Employee Alan Morrison says, “The Haas DM-2 is perfect for the dipstick adapter for the 7/3 power stroke that our company manufactures in volume.” He adds, “With the Midaco automation pallet system, the DM-2 is ideal for production runs, and we are able to support customers with contract manufacturing for volumes ranging from 100 to many thousands.”
Brandon says, “We made the decision to purchase the Haas DM-2 over other builders’
CNC mills for a number of reasons:
- The Haas DM-2 is considerably more cost effective than other builders’ machines with similar options and functionality (The company evaluated 3 machine tool OEMs).
- We like the Haas brand and the way they do business. Haas builds an intuitive, easy to use machine. Their controls are logical, and I even like the ‘Tip of The Day’ that comes in to my inbox each day and gives examples of how others in the industry are machining parts in creative ways.
- Chris Hansen is our Sales Engineer from Ellison Machinery. So often you get ‘typical sales people’; they might not know much about machine tools, and they push you for the sale. Chris is the opposite, he has a machining background, he knows machines very well, and he isn’t aggressive in his sales approach. I had Chris revise the initial quotation so many times with different options, and he was always responsive and professional.
- The Next Generation Control has the ability to send you, and others you designate, email and text notifications about the operating status of your Haas machine. Set up is simple and easy through the MyHaas Portal and HaasCNC.com website. HaasConnect is free with every new Haas that has the Next Generation Control.
- 5) We were able to cost effectively add a number of enhancements to the standard off the shelf DM2, including:
- a. The Midaco Automation Pallet System, an ASDM25D model designed for the DM-2
- Haas Through-Spindle Coolant system, which provides up to 300 psi (21 bar) of coolant to the cutting tool, allowing for heavier cuts, higher feed rates, deep-hole drilling, and better surface finishes.
- Renishaw Wireless Intuitive Probing System (WIPS-R) enables you to set up your Haas mill up to 5 times faster using theWIPS. It’s is a complete probing package that includes the spindle probe, tool-setting probe, and optical machine interface, along with powerful software. WIPS allows you to quickly and easily define work offset coordinates, set tool length offsets, and perform in-process inspection, for both part inspection and tool breakage detection. WIPS is the single best productivity improvement you can add to your Haas mill.”
- The Haas Automatic Coolant Refill System monitors the machine coolant level and automatically adds coolant to the tank. This saves the machine operator valuable time for other tasks, such as keeping the machines running and producing parts.
- The Haas High-Speed Machining option allows faster feed rates and more complex tool paths, without hesitation or starving the machine. Using a motion algorithm called “acceleration before interpolation” combined with full look-ahead, HSM provides contouring feeds up to 1200 ipm (30.5 m/min), without risk of distortion to the programmed path. This yields reduced cycle times, improved accuracy, and smoother motion.
- The Haas Through-Tool Air Blast (TAB) option, which supplies high-pressure/high-flow air through the tool to the cutting edge. TAB is ideal for applications for materials that require cutting dry and where coolant cannot be used.
Long term employee (Brandon’s right hand man) Cody Hukil says that the new DM-2 is doing the work of 3 of the company’s older machine. To further put it in perspective, Metzfab’s machines were cutting about 500-600” per minute and today with the new Haas, they are cutting at speeds of 2400” per minute.
Brandon says that Haas introduced the Next Generation Control (NGC) for lathes at a week long event they hosted in October at the company headquarters in Oxnard, CA. Brandon was waiting to purchase his first Haas CNC Lathe when NCG is available.
What’s next for Metzfab? Brandon admits to having a touch of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and the shop he operates is clean and well run. Brandon says, “We are putting processes in place to prepare for ISO certification; its not that our customers are asking for it as much as I believe it will help us to run the business more efficiently.” Metzfab has been your source for fabrication, including sheet metal, welding, waterjet cutting, and now they’ve added CNC machining. Contact this innovative company at 602.780.2308 or visit MetzfabIndustries.com To learn more about how Ellison Machinery can support your business growth, contact them at (480) 968-5877 or visit ellisonaz.com. You just could be as excited about Haas’ Next Generation Control (NGC) as Metzfab is!