Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 78

Midwest

Wiegel Tool Works

decision-makers at their fingertips," Wiegel explains.
Growing up in the company gave
Wiegel credibility among his coworkers when he joined WTW full time in
2001 after earning an engineering degree from Northern Illinois University. There can sometimes be a stigma
when the next generation comes into
the family business - like the owners
are handing their children the keys
to a Corvette even if they don't know
how to drive it.
But Wiegel's background gave him
the perspective of both the business
and manufacturing sides of the company, and his peers at the company
respected him for it. That made it easier as Wiegel and his siblings began
moving into leadership roles. Wiegel
began running the business alongside
his father, Martin Wiegel, in 2005 and
took over as president in 2010.
The transition was further eased by
Martin's foresight. Martin partnered
with a financial advisor to begin succession planning in 1992 so that once
he passed the company to his children
they would not suffer major consequences from the federal estate tax.
Minimizing the tax hit was especially important for a manufacturer
such as WTW because so much of
the company's value is tied to capital
equipment. Without proper succession planning, the Wiegel children
could have been forced into taking
out massive long-term loans when
they inherited the company, stymieing further growth.

Capability Advantage
WTW separates itself in the industry by embracing its reputation as a
specialist in metal stamping, even as
competitors cut support services. "A
lot of metal stampers just look at the
bottom line. They've abandoned their
78

manufacturing-today.com JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017

wtw invests 5 to 7 percent
of its revenue back into
equipment each year.

tooling and design capabilities," Wiegel says. WTW's capabilities go beyond merely stamping. The company
also assists customers with engineering, prototyping and produces its own
tools in-house. "Our customers don't
have to go to multiple places to get
their product," Wiegel says. "We can
do the whole gamut."
WTW serves a range of industries,
including aerospace, telecommunications, construction, solar and the military, but 70 percent of its customers
are automotive manufacturers. The
company got into the automotive industry in the mid-1980s when it redesigned and built its systems to achieve
automotive certification standards.
Automotive standards are more
intense and require greater precision than most other markets. The
overhead of meeting those standards resulted in a cost structure

more geared toward the automotive
industry, so WTW pursued customers in that market.
The company operates two warehouses in Wood Dale and Bensenville,
Ill., but all of its manufacturing is done
out of its third facility, also located in
Wood Dale. The plant has presses
ranging from 30 to 450 tons and capable of a wide variety of stamping processes. WTW invests 5 to 7 percent of
its revenue back into equipment each
year, giving it the funds to procure the
mechanical press, the latest CNC machines, CNC optimal grinders, wire
EDM equipment and water jets.
Additionally, WTW was one of the
first metal stampers to install 3-D
modeling systems in 2003, giving the
company a quality advantage by enabling it to simulate the entire production process and find faults instead of having to debug errors on the


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017

Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 3
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Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Cover3
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