The Situation

An automotive supplier was facing an excruciating long tool change time, totaling 25 minutes per change, making it necessary twice per cycle. These instances not only increased the overall production timeline each week but also incurred additional costs. Compounded by the expense of $155 per insert, utilizing the current high-speed steel dovetail insert yielded 22,550 parts. However, achieving this output demanded resharpening each insert 15 times, with a mere 1,500 parts per sharpening. Consequently, production costs were $0.007 per part. Eager to remedy the long tool change times and potentially slash tool expenses, the customer sought a solution.

Current Process Results

  • HSS dovetail insert
  • $155.00 per insert
  • 22,500 parts per tool
  • 25 minute tool change time
  • $0.007 tooling cost per part
  • Total Tool Cost of $35,000

New GWS Solution

  • Coated Carbide Inserted dovetail
  • $51.00 per insert
  • 15,000 parts per tool
  • 10 minute tool change time
  • 60% tool change time reduction
  • $0.003 cost per part
  • New Tool Cost of $15,000
  • New Machine Cost Savings of $15,600
  • Total Cost Savings of $35,600


GWS successfully replaced the high-speed dovetail insert with a solid carbide insert at a remarkable 67% less cost than what they were previously paying. The custom carbide insert cost $51, compared to the hefty $155 for the HSS insert. With a new total tool cost of $15,000, this saved the customer $20,000. Introducing this new quick-change tool slashed their tool change time by a substantial 15 minutes, reducing it from 25 to just 10 minutes. Consequently, the overall cycle time has shrunk by a significant 4 hours each week.

With a machine hourly rate of $75, this saved a total of $15,600 in machine time over the year. While each tool now produces less, the beauty lies in the fact that these new inserts eliminate the need for resharpening, thereby freeing up valuable production time. As a result of these enhancements, the overall cost per part has decreased by an impressive 57%, plummeting from $0.007 per part to a mere $0.003 per part, courtesy of the reduction in cycle time and overall part cost. The overall cost savings were astounding, totaling to $35,600 from both machine and tool cost savings.

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