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2022 marks the 20th consecutive year State Machine Tool (WI) and JTEKT Machinery Americas Corporation (IL) have enjoyed a fruitful partnership

Aug 29, 2022

20 Years and Counting

State Machine Tool Awards
Many well-deserved awards line State Machine Tool's shelves.

State Machine Tool Has Been in Business for Nearly 90 Years

Located in Menomonee Falls, WI, State Machine Tool has been serving the Wisconsin and upper Michigan markets as machine tool distributor since 1933.

This year marks the 20th consecutive year in the JTEKT Machinery-State Machine Tool partnership. The two companies first started as competitors, citing the days when State Machine Tool was selling Hitachi Seiki. Upon learning JTEKT Machinery did not have a distributor in the area, State Machine Tool reached out.

“We knew they built high quality Japanese machine tools,” President Jeffrey Kaye said. Since then, the two have worked closely, finding that the products brought them together, but a common philosophy kept them together. “Both companies are geared more toward engineering—providing engineering solutions with the JTEKT Machinery product,” Jeffrey continued.

Upon walking into the recently renovated facility, visitors are greeted with an AMS DTC-400XL.

Citing State’s clientele as mainly tier 1 and 2 customers and medium and large job shops, providing turnkey and customized solutions are at the heart of what State Machine Tool does. Their Wisconsin location proves to be exciting in their industry. Jeffrey listed automotive, agricultural, fluid power, and construction components as routinely being machined on JTEKT Machinery products to serve the diversified market that the Wisconsin manufacturing industry is known for.


Going Beyond the Price Tag

Vice President Robert Zell holds a casting being machined on multiple JTEKT FH400J machines for ZF.

Vice President Robert Zell offered a sobering take on what often seems like the biggest deterrent to purchasing a JTEKT Machinery machine: the price tag. “If you put [the machine] on a spreadsheet and put the price at the bottom, it’s not going to win,” he said.

Robert instead sees the price as an investment. “JTEKT Machinery machines have the least cost of ownership of most machine tools,” he concluded.

“That’s why it’s worth more money,” Jeffery added. “You’re not going through constant down time or service time with the product.” Less burden rate, more up-time on the spindle means making more sellable parts. Both President and Vice President agreed on a common adage: you get what you pay for. “Of all the equipment we’ve sold throughout the years, they’re one of the highest reliable equipment. Extremely reliable, extremely accurate,” Jeffrey offered. “The customers are very happy with the machine’s performance.”

Automotive Part
President Jeffrey Kaye holds an automotive part machined with a JTEKT FH400J.
Valve Bodies
Allison valve bodies used in their transmissions are being machined on several of JTEKT's FH500J. The internal slots were deburred with a robotic arm.

One Hand Automates the Other

“Especially if you automate the equipment, you see tremendous increased productivity and number of sellable parts at the end of the day,” Jeffrey continued. State Machine Tool prides itself on being quick to adapt to technological advancements and industry sore points, such as labor shortages. Automation is a key feature in both. “That’s what makes the union of the two companies exceptional,” Robert noted. “JTEKT Machinery has the machine tool; State applies the automation.” State Machine Tool is also an authorized integrator for Robotic solutions. State Machine Tool utilizes well know supplier Fanuc for Robot’s required for their automation projects. This division of the company is managed by Jerry Kaye, who has extensive knowledge with PLC’s, integration, and Robotics. Jerry Kaye has been with the company since 1978, and has a long history of successful integration projects which was provided under his leadership.

JTEKT and State Machine Tool have successfully partnered on various projects for well-known large manufacturers, such as Harley-Davidson, Henry Rifle, Allison Transmission, Case New Holland, recently installed, and more.

State Machine Tool embraces technological advancements, like automation, with many of their projects. Automation is particularly useful in combatting labor shortages, Jeffrey explained. In this project for CAT, State Machine Tool built a conveyor for parts to easily get loaded and fed into the Takisawa machine, where a robot arm receives and works on the part.


Instruction Manual and Committed Relationship Included with Purchase

The partnership JTEKT Machinery and State Machine Tool share proves business can be a pleasure.

State Machine Tool approaches the buyer’s journey with relationship-building in mind. “We do a lot of hand holding as a distributor with the customer and working with the builder to make sure any issues are resolved,” Jeffrey said. “We don’t just go out with a catalogue or quote and drop it off and try to sell a machine tool. That’s not JTEKT Machinery's business, that’s not State Machine Tool’s business. We’re trying to supply a complete overall package at the best overall value for the customer, because we are dealing with a higher end product than most of our competitors. But it’s worth it!”

You Can Trust State Machine Tool Because State Trusts JTEKT Machinery

“A customer is more willing to try a new model or try a JTEKT Machinery product where they may not have had any experience with them because of the long-standing relationship,” Jeffrey explained. “It means a lot to the end user that they know that when they buy this machine that we’ve been around 20 years selling the same product.”

Prioritizing relationships and working to upkeep reputations is what has made the partnership between State Machine Tool and JTEKT Machinery run for as long as it has. It speaks to a commonality in philosophy: listening to the customers and tailoring a solution to their specific needs. This mindset has allowed State Machine Tool over the last 20 years to be very successful in the sales and automation of the JTEKT Machinerymachines.

Since the JTEKT Machinery partnership, State Machine Tool has been able to expand its core business, move into a larger 25,000 sq. ft. facility, and add a large number of satisfied and repeat customers to their business.

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