DTB is the largest independent testing laboratory in the United States. Founded in 1950 in New York by Dayton T. Brown Sr., the company began work testing military aircraft systems and components and evolved to provide a full range of testing services for military and commercial applications under one roof. Today, they offer precision machining, engineering, technical publications, logistics support, and mission systems services in addition to testing.
DJ Landwehrle, a manufacturing and test engineer/project manager at DTB., spent countless hours conducting tooling research in order to complete quotes. He would search several different tooling websites and occasionally had to contact multiple suppliers to determine which tools were in stock and what their lead times were. “It was quite a long, enduring process,” he said.
Unfortunately, the process often led to no-quotes. “If we couldn’t find the tool or didn’t know it existed, we might have no-quoted the part because we thought we didn’t have the right tooling to machine it.” In these instances, DTB spent hours of valuable time only to come to a dead end.
Their process slowed them down in other ways, too. There was no streamlined solution for viewing and sending models or drawings, so seeking input from coworkers or outside experts was disorganized. Identifying the right tooling for intricate features on a specific part meant cropping, highlighting, and emailing snippets of drawings and models, which created an unwieldy chain of communications.
DTB implemented MSC and Paperless Parts’ TechMateTM—a free, secure file sharing and communication application–at the beginning of 2022. Since then, DJ has been using the app religiously to expedite the quoting process. Finding the right tooling for a part feature used to take up to 2.5 hours. Now, it takes just 5-10 minutes. “Being able to use TechMateTM has freed up our time and helped make sure we get the right tool the first time,” DJ said.
Thanks to TechMateTM, DTB’s engineers can reallocate time spent interrogating features and finding tooling back to higher-value tasks, like programming and machining.
They can confidently find the right tools to get almost any job done. With MSC’s Metalworking Associates on call, DTB doesn’t need to worry about no-quoting projects because they can’t find the right tool or turning around quotes slowly due to drawn-out tool research.
But DJ’s favorite thing about the Paperless Viewer, where TechMateTM is available, is the interrogation feature that allows him to highlight his manufacturing concerns on 3D models. He can bring direct attention to the feature in question, relay the information to MSC’s Metalworking Associates, and communicate within the software to quickly find a solution. “It’s a beautiful, logical interface that takes your attention exactly where it needs to be,” he said.
An added bonus: Easy access to tooling advice democratizes the tool selection process, enabling newer hires with less experience to find the right tools quickly.
With TechMateTM, DTB:
- Reduces tooling research from 2.5 hours to 5-10 minutes. With TechMateTM’s streamlined solution, DTB’s engineers no longer dedicate hours to researching the tooling for a single part. This time is reallocated to programming, machining, and other higher-value tasks.
- Finds the right tools the first time. The Metalworking Associates at MSC help DTB quickly determine which tooling they need for specific features. TechMateTM eliminates the guesswork.
- Sends more quotes. With TechMateTM, DTB sends fewer no-quotes. They quickly turn around quotes for parts with complex or detailed features requiring special tooling.
As a national leader in testing and precision machining services, DTB doesn’t have time to spend on lengthy tooling research. MSC’s Metalworking Associates, available through TechMateTM, help them efficiently find the right tools for complex parts so that they can reclaim valuable time and send more quotes. The team is looking forward to training additional staff members to use the software to make tool selection easier across the company.
“I certainly would recommend other companies use TechMate, but I’m hesitant only because the tool is so helpful, I’m not sure I want our competition to have it.”