The History of Williams Tool
· 1955- Ray Williams formed Williams Tool as a family owned manufacturing company supplying
model work and building tools, gages, fixtures, jigs and dies for companies in the local area.
· 1962- Mr. Williams along with a couple of his most experienced toolmakers developed the
process to manufacture Koldweld Wire Dies. This becomes another segment of the business.
· 1965- Becoming more involved in production side of the business, the company is running
screw machine and multi-spindle machine. In this year, the company purchased a Hardinge
ASM Automatic, a hydraulically controlled turret lathe.
· 1967- Company becomes incorporated and the name of the corporation is "Williams Tool Inc."
Mr. Williams expands into a new building that is 6,000sq.ft. The new facility is located on the
family property in Chadwicks, NY.
· 1972- Williams Tool Inc. purchases 2 Hardinge AHC machines to complement their existing
ASM. These machines were also hydraulically driven. The unique feature of these machines
was the ability to single point standard threads. By the end of this year Mr. Williams will
finish the expansion of the building to 10,000sq.ft. At this time, Ray is planning on renting
part of this new facility to a small local machine-shop that makes cutting tools.
· 1975- In this year the company purchased their first Hardinge HNC. These machines were
the first machines that were run by a computer generated paper tape. Each tool on the
turret had the ability to be compensated for tool wear through a numerical offset. The
operator could alter this number slightly and the machine would move automatically
when that tool started to work again. This was the end of manually moving a tool to
change the size on a particular part.
· 1976- Mr. Williams signs contract with Walt Kehrer of Vista Industries as a sales
representative for Williams Tool Inc. This acquisition gives Williams Tool sales
opportunities out of state.
· 1980- In this year we purchased two computer controlled vertical machining centers. This
gave the company more flexibility to do secondary operations. These machines could
contour mill, drill and tap off the centerline of a part.
· 1985-As the company is growing, the existing machinery and purchases of new equipment
has the business expanded into the full 10,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing. As the introduction
of computers has made the manual machines become obsolete, the company decides to sell
off all their manual machines and become a production machine shop of all computer-controlled
machines. At this time we seem to have found our niche of manufacturing high precision, close
tolerance machine parts for companies that manufacture products for valve, aerospace, and
instrument markets. We also purchased 4 new Hardinge CHNC. These were the next generation
HNC. These were one of the first Hardinge machines that featured constant surface feed.
· 1987- The purchase of Hardinge's 3-Axis lathe highlighted this year. This machine was one
of the first machines to have 2 turrets. This enabled us to have twice as many tools for one
setup to produce a particular part. It also gave us the ability to turn and drill at the same time.
At this time the second turret is only designed to go straight in and out on one axis for
drilling, tapping, knurling etc.
· 1988- As we discover the advantages of multi-axis machines we purchase one 4-Axis
machine. This machine has two turrets like the 3-Axis but now each turret can work in the same
manner. Now we are able to contour turn from both turrets simultaneously, removing twice as
much metal in one cut. This machine's spindle can index every 15 degrees and one of the
turrets has 4 live tooling stations. With this machine we are able to drill bolt patterns and other
secondary operations off centerline. This gave the customer a more precise part due to the fact
that it did not have to be repositioned on a vertical machining center. The secondary of a part
could be done before it was cutoff.
· 1989- Williams Tool Inc. purchases a Hardinge Conquest. This machine's spindle had the
ability to index every one-degree and was much faster than the previous multi-axis machines. It
was also equipped with more live tooling stations and had a sub-spindle that could pick-up a
part as it was being cut-off and finish machine the other side.
· 1995- Approximately 2 years prior to this year, Hardinge had introduced their first version of a
"Gang Tool" lathe. In this year we purchased one of these machines, along with a standard turret
lathe as we were looking to replace our 10-15 year old lathes that did the majority of our repeat
business. The main difference between the gang tool machine and the turret machine was that
there was no indexing mechanism to change from one tool to the next. All the cutting tools were
mounted on a rigid top plate. These machines are also equipped with live tooling and a one-degree
indexing spindle capability. Also in this year we begin working with a consultant to form our
manuals and procedures to become ISO9002 Compliant.
· 1996- The "Gang Tool" machines are a huge success for the work we are doing, and we decide to
replace all our 10yr. old equipment with the gang tool style machine. At the end of this year we
have met our customers criteria for being ISO 9002 Compliant.
· 1997- Continuing our quest of replenishing our old equipment, we purchase our final group
of gang tool machines. Mr. Williams, with his engineering expertise, develops what we call
"The Williams Tool Option Package" for the gang tool machine that gives us even more versatility.
We are able to regain some business which in the past we could not be competitive on because
this versatility helped us eliminate operations and become much more efficient.
· 1998- In this year we purchased 2 Sodick CNC Edm hole-drilling machines to help make some
of our secondary operation become more efficient. We also upgrade our Conquest. This machine
now features a spindle that has a "C - Axis." This gives us the capability of milling and turning
on the same machine within the same operation. This opens up even more opportunities.
· 1999- As the year 2000 is drawing near. We are making sure all our software is "Y2K Compliant."
We need to purchase new production software because our custom software will be obsolete. After
careful consideration we choose "Vista" by Epicor. This production software will give us more
information, which will give us better control of our shop floor, as well as giving our customer
better service and satisfaction.
· 2000- In this year, Mr. Williams's engineers and designs concept for "pick and place" robotics for
our secondary operation machines. This engineering concept will give our customer's better parts.
Through the use of a more precision loading device, there is less chance of nicks, dents, or scratches.
· 2001- Our main concentration the last couple of years has been continuous improvement. As we
analyze where our business is, we focus our energies on giving our customers real time data
analysis on all their parts to insure dimensional integrity. We also want to control our process,
identify tool wear, and eliminate chances for scrap at final inspection. Having the software interact
with operators to help organize and give the quality department the feedback that the jobs on the
floor are continuously running "in control" was essential in our investment for this type of a
program. After researching for the better part of the year we decide on "Micronite" by High Tech
Research, Inc. This software gives us exactly what we are looking for. At the end of the year we
have full implementation of 9 workstations tying 18 machines into the quality department
downloading real-time dimensional data.
· 2002- In the spring of this year we began construction on a 7,000sq. ft. addition to our existing
10,000sq.ft. by the end of the year we have rearranged our equipment into the new manufacturing
area. When we are finished we will be able to facilitate more business, which is part of our
· 2003- We have officially started production within our new addition. We also expanded our capabilities
by purchasing two new C-Axis gang tool lathes. Sadly, our long standing relationship with our sales
representative from Vista Industries, Walter Kehrer, was ended with his passing in the fall of this year.
We owe much of the success of this company to his hard work and dedication. He will be greatly
· 2004- Due to the growth of the company, it was necessary to purchase three new machines. We are
now operating 12 workstations that are comprised of one bar fed machine and a robot-loaded machine.
During this year, Williams Tool also purchased a Mazak vertical milling machine. This machine allows
us as a company to produce our own custom tooling for use on the shop floor. In order to increase
our potential sales, we hired a New England area sales representative, Jim Kalfaian with Target
· 2005- With buisness increasing, and our customers increasing demands, Williams Tool began a
second shift to increase production. At the same time, we expanded our Engineering and Quality
department. With the purchase of a heat-treat oven and passivation equipment, we are beginning
to offer our customers Turn-Key products.
· 2006- This year we acted on one of our continuous improvement elements, to decrease set-up and
machine down time. To achieve this it was necessary to invest greatly in inventory for machine tooling.
This was done thru the use of our new Mazak vertical mill. We also hired a Quality Manager/Electrical
Techincian to decrease our service costs.
· 2007- This was a big year for us. Many changes took place due to the upgrade of our shop management
system from Vista 4 to the Vista 8 system. We are also able to streamline our set-ups by assembling
both tool and pin kits for each manufactured part. Williams Tool expanded our sales force with the
acquisition of Component Technologies based in South Carolina