The Situation

A large American motorcycle manufacturer was using a competitor’s face mill to mill aluminum cast engine cases and saw their tool costs soar after seeing how expensive it was to constantly buy new inserts for the mill. They immediately started looking for an overall cost reduction. The face mill the application required had six to fifteen inserts brazed on. When any one of the inserts became worn,  they were scraping the entire face mill. This meant that they were also scraping other inserts that were still usable, instead of replacing just the worn inserts. This resulted in extremely high tool costs, totaling $127,800 in annual costs.

Current Process Results

  • 1,800 inserts per year
  • $71 per face mill
  • High scrap rates
  • $127,800 annual tool cost

New GWS Solution

  • Retipped existing tools
  • $40.50 per face mill
  • New inserts brazed on
  • 50% less cost per cut
  • $72,900 annual tool cost
  • $54,900 total savings


GWS created a custom solution by reworking the current face mill used, using a higher grade of carbide that allowed for longer tool life. The inserts were now rebrazed when needed, eliminating the previous scraping of the entire face mill. The tool cost dropped from $127,800 annually to $72,900, a savings of $54,900! In addition to the tool cost savings, time was saved with less tool changes and the tool life was now extended. Their scrap rate was also now greatly reduced due to the improved tool life of the inserts and the new rebrazing process. GWS was able to offer a custom solution that solved the problems the manufacturer had previously faced, showing yet again that our sales and engineering teams go above and beyond to find the right solution to the problem.

Interested in finding out more information about our standard and custom tools? Consider contacting the experts who make Custom Come Standard, and let us find the perfect cutting tool for you. Just send us an email at to get started!

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