Reshoring Precision Small Parts
Posted by: Ashley

GLE-Precision, Precision Small Parts Manufacturer, Participates in Reshoring Forum

Small Parts with Precision

GLE-Precision is a precision manufacturer located in the countryside of Bridgeport, MI. A company with history and expertise, GLE has fifty employees, most of whom are precision machinists. In reality, these machinists are artists, working with parts they can barely hold and tolerances they can’t see. Small parts, lapping, and precision tolerances are what we do best and how we help our customers solve their most difficult problems.

Core Capabilities: Our Precision “Hedgehogs”

We provide value-add product solutions for global creative thinkers and we do it with pride and dedication. On many occasions, we hear that the tight tolerances we hold are “beyond belief” because our customers sometimes think we specialize in the absurd.

  • Small parts (ID/OD/OAL: .002” [ .0508mm] or less)
  • Lapping (.4 RA or less [.01016 micron])                                                                  
  • Precision tolerances (.000003” or less [.000076mm])

Markets Served with Precision Parts

GLE services a diverse market segmentation with small parts. Aerospace and Defense, Fiber Optics, Medical, and Semiconductors are a few of the markets we serve. On carbide and steel directional pins, we had tolerances down to .000003” (.000076mm). Fiber optic coating dies are produced at GLE, used to manufacture the fibers needed for the 5G network. We produce catheter dies, swaging dies, and precision small parts such as pins for the medical industry across the world. GLE machinists create several details of wire bonding guides to service our customers in the semiconductor industry. As you can imagine, we have stayed open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic due to the many essential companies we serve.

Middle Market Companies: ACG Fall Summit General Session Reshoring’s Impact on Middle-Market Manufacturing

GLE-Precision General Manager, Clint Bucholz, participated in a forum on November 11, 2020, in regards to the reshoring impact on middle-market manufacturing. Due to increasing tariffs and supply chain disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, our business, like many others, have had to consider bringing the supply chains back to the United States. GLE has faced long lead times and increasing costs due to the global pandemic, resulting in using more domestic vendors.

The Benefit for the Small Company

GLE has benefited from the reshoring of products globally by seeing “step increase projects”, which are projects that would increase GLE’s overall business by 15% to 100%, and worth anywhere from $1 million to more than $10 million. There has been an explosion of these opportunities at GLE-Precision. One project in particular was the reshoring of ejector pins used to form insulin syringes.  Bucholz believes that China was the former manufacturing location. Unfortunately, low wages outside of the United States can make it hard for manufacturers to compete against other suppliers globally. To help control costs, companies like GLE have invested in automation technologies. However, at GLE automation will only get a project started. Due to the tolerances required by our customers, our machinists must finish many parts by hand.

Reshoring Precision Machining of Small Parts

Despite being a small business, GLE is a great indicator of the manufacturing industry’s reshoring efforts. Middle-market companies rely on their supply chain to operate efficiently and with good margins. When they shift their supply chain and see good results, large corporations will follow suit to improve their bottom line. Because of our diverse and high-profile customer base, we are able to see a change in the trajectory of multiple Fortune 500 companies. Even though this change will take time and create new challenges, GLE is seeing a clear push toward reshoring.