Fom Garage to Global: Don's machine shop takes on the World

Fom Garage to Global: Don’s machine shop takes on the World

December 11, 2013 2:50:11 PM

In 1981, Don Eifert set up a milling machine and a lathe in his one-car garage and opened up Don’s Machine Shop. Holding his day job, he worked late nights taking cutting and fabrication jobs that no one else wanted. Over the years, Don’s business grew steadily—thanks to his dedication to quality parts and timely delivery. He now services clients around the world in a wide variety of industries from his 77,000-square-foot, two-building shop— with help from more than 30 employees.


“Our shop is unique because we have both machine and fabrication facilities,” says Don. “We can do just about anything for our customers and we’re very conscious about continually updating our equipment and acquiring the latest technology.”


Over the past three years, Don’s shop has purchased a grand total of 12 MC Machinery machines, including EDMs, mills, lasers and waterjet machines, making it a unique and versatile shop.


Making the Cut


Don’s Machine Shop typically takes on smaller runs, ranging from one to 50 parts. Though the shop produces parts of all sizes, it specializes in heavy industrial components weighing as much as 15,000 lbs. Before purchasing his first Mitsubishi laser, however, Don was using another manufacturer’s 4,000-watt laser, and struggling to cut the larger parts.


“We were having trouble cutting ½-inch metal,” says Eifert. “There was too much vibration—we needed a machine that could handle the bigger parts and produce cleaner cuts.”


In March of 2011, Don bought his first Mitsubishi laser, and everything changed. He was able to produce higher quality parts faster. The shop produces parts with a tolerance of ± .0001 and spends less time and manpower doing so.


The biggest difference for Don is the Mitsubishi resonator. Don noticed the resonator on his old laser couldn’t handle the bigger cuts on thicker components, and he was growing tired of replacing the resonator every few years. The Mitsubishi Laser, however, uses a patented resonator technology. The resonator delivers a unique rectangular high-peak pulse for the highest cutting power per watt. This makes for a sharper beam, cleaner parts and 90 percent lower gas consumption than competitive machines. Though most lasers require a resonator replacement every few years, Mitsubishi resonators are married to the machines for life. With more than 1,700 Mitsubishi lasers sold, not one has required a replacement—making Mitsubishi resonators the most reliable on the market.


Holding Steady


“We pride ourselves on being a reliable shop,” says Eifert. “We are able to compete in the global market because our customers put a premium on quality and precision. Our customers value us because we’re reliable and it’s thanks in part to a reliable machine supplier. That’s what we’ve found in Mitsubishi Laser and MC Machinery as a whole.


”“Mitsubishi builds   that are more reliable,” says Eifert. “Since installing our second laser this year, we haven’t experienced any problems. We’ve always had a great relationship with Mitsubishi’s service team. They’re very quick to respond to any questions or concerns. I will continue to purchase MC Machinery equipment before considering anything else.”

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