Production Machining

NOV 2017

Production Machining - Your access to the precision machining industrial buyer.

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The Zaisers do not consider themselves weapons specialists, but rather manufacturing specialists who find ways to make things better and more efficiently. :: Len Zaiser III and IV have effectively grown their busi- ness by staying focused on a narrow segment of manu- facturing. Their Tsugami Swiss machines have played a big role in keeping parts moving out the door. N umerous factors can play into the ebb and flow of firearms production. Predictions surrounding the last presidential election and related concerns about gun control, for instance, drove up sales of certain models such as the AR platform, only for demand to sharply decline once the votes were counted. As with many other manufacturing sectors, the cyclical nature of this market can force shops to broaden their scope, reaching out to other areas to strategically diversify their opera- tions. But some may view this step as a sure way to stagnate technological advancement by limiting specialization. To quickly grow as a prominent supplier of firearms compo- nents, one Naples, Florida, shop has remained specifically focused in this area of manufacturing. Specialization Len Zaiser III is a self-proclaimed machine tool nut. His love for the industry is reflected in his life-long devotion to his career in making parts. He no doubt handed much of this enthusiasm down to his son, Len Zaiser IV. e two previ- ously owned a contract manufacturing company together, producing complex five-axis medical implants to some of the biggest medical supply companies in the world. After selling the medical implant shop, the Zaisers began considering other possibilities. ey observed what they viewed as inefficiencies in the firearms industry, and realizing they could establish a significant niche there, opened Azimuth Technology in 2012. e company does everything from full assembly of light firearms to compo- nents, producing many small firearms products such as match grade barrels and slides for such name brand products as Glock, H&K, Smith and Wesson and Beretta, along with grenade launchers, suppressors and IED finders. Lot sizes range from a few hundred to tens of thousands in such materials as aluminum, titanium, stainless steel and unique alloys. e Zaisers do not consider themselves weapons specialists, but rather manufacturing specialists who find ways to make things better and more efficiently. And they feel that by focusing on one specific end market, they can refine the production process to a highly competitive art. But there is a little more to it, as weapons manufacturing can require a fair number of qualifiers. As such, beyond being ISO 9001:2008 certified, Azimuth is DOD-registered, it has a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code to identify as a supplier to defense agencies, it's licensed in International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) for export of defense-related articles and services, and it has class 7 and 10 ATF licenses to allow the production and sale of destructive devices such as grenade launchers. e younger Mr. Zaiser says they have spent a lot of time, effort and money building their "Field of Dreams," and the customers are coming in droves. e company's services are in such demand that capacity limitations forced 60 percent of the potential business to be turned away last year. It's clear why there's no real need to reach out into other areas of manufacturing. e philosophy seems to be working, as the company has quickly grown to 130 employees and 107 CNC machines, making an assortment of products for more than 130 different customers. Applying Swiss e Zaisers were first introduced to Tsugami Swiss machines at their medical implant business, where the machines were used in the production of bone screws. Azimuth now runs two Tsugami B0125s, two SS20s, and one B0206 on lot sizes from 500 to 50,000 pieces. e younger Mr. Zaiser says Tsugami machines will be the only Swiss machines his company will ever own. He is currently looking to acquire a slant-bed lathe with a Y axis on the turret. Firearms Production productionmachining.com :: 33

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