"With our current and foreseen business levels, we are fortunate enough to have the resources to make significant investments into our future, which led to a conversation about advancements in our machine tools."
French Oil replaced three machines and repurposed one additional machine as a result of the expansion, she said.
"By keeping the majority of our machining work in-house we can effectively manage the quality control of our products, using our internal Q100 Quality Policy and ISO-9001 certification to ensure that we deliver the high-quality equipment and parts that we promise our customers, and the high quality they expect from French," Lutz said.
Each of the three machines offer varying benefits for French Oil customers. The five-face CNC bridge milling machine is capable of machining parts up to 44,000 pounds and features a high-speed spindle and a 90-degree, two-speed geared head with programmable indexing increments.
The vertical turning lathe is a live tool that features a programmable fourth access. French Oil now is able to mill and drill on the machine, as well as have a table load capacity of 11,000 pounds.
The third machine, a CNC horizontal machining center, features a 15,000 RPM high speed machining controller, dual pallets and a full fourth axis 360-degree programmable rotary table.
"We evaluated a number of different options to improve our machining capability, from existing machine rebuilds to new machines from multiple vendors and in varying sizes," Lutz said.
"The capabilities of the new machines aligned with our current machining needs and our anticipated future needs."
Beyond the additional machinery, French Oil invested in new programming software and tooling.
"With the new machines, we evaluated several different software and tooling solutions," Lutz said.
"The new programming software and tooling we purchased provides us more enhanced machining capabilities across the new machines as well as on many of our existing machines."
While there are no immediate plans to expand into new markets, Lutz said, increased capabilities allow for increased opportunities.
French Oil is a fourth generation family-owned business that custom designs, manufactures and supports hydraulic press systems for molding rubber and composite materials, screw presses for synthetic rubber processing, and oilseed equipment used to extract vegetable oil from seeds and nuts.