TGW International Offers Best Lead Time for MTO Knives in North America

TGW's reduction of lead times on made-to-order knives

Milestone achieved through strategic focus on work order management and lean manufacturing principles.

Wilder, Kentucky, Feb. 13, 2024 – TGW International, a leader in industrial machine knives and brand of EDGE Industrial Technologies, has improved its processes to provide customers with the best lead time on made-to-order (MTO) straight, circular and tray knives in North America. By the end of Q1 2023, straight and circular knife lead times were steady at three weeks after the receipt of order (ARO), and tray knives consistently achieved one week ARO.

“We set aggressive goals to provide our customers with unmatched lead times for MTO knives in this region, and by working as a team and never losing sight of our targets, we achieved them,” said Bob Woodbury, CEO of EDGE Industrial Technologies. “Even with shipping from our production site in India to our main distribution center in metro Cincinnati, TGW has set a new standard for lead times in the knife manufacturing industry. It’s an incredible achievement that we are very proud of.”

Becoming the Best

Major supply chain disruptions in 2020 and 2021 made meeting deadlines difficult. Understanding the impact they could make in getting knives to customers faster, TGW put a focus on dramatically improving lead times on MTO knives produced in their main factory in Indore, India. At the time, straight knife lead times were eight weeks or more ARO, circular knife lead times were 5-6 weeks ARO, and tray knives were approximately four weeks ARO.

Management and staff at TGW took a hard look at their operations, placing a strategic focus on value stream mapping, managing workflow, cross training, more consistent machine maintenance, and more to achieve aggressive new ARO goals: four weeks or less for straight and circular knives, and under two weeks for tray knives. By the end of Q1 2023, straight and circular knife lead times were steadily at three weeks ARO, and tray knives were consistently at one week ARO.

“TGW’s focus during this time to improve on lead times on MTO knives was a huge benefit to us,” said Shawn Powers, vice president of sales/purchasing and co-owner of Jorson and Carlson. “We not only were able to better service our customers, but this also aided us to compete in other industries. We can place an order on most MTO items and see delivery in as little as 3 weeks, compared to at least double that with most companies in the industry.” 

Looking to the Future

Understanding industry and customer demands fluctuate, TGW has set future ARO goals: two weeks for straight and circular knives, and four days or less for tray knives.

“For over 100 years, we have provided quality machine knives, reinforced with personalized service and technical expertise to nearly all manufacturing industries,” Woodbury said. “We’re always looking ahead, staying in tune with trends and expanding our goals. We’ll be relentless in maintaining our position as an industry leader and valued partner to our customers.”

About EDGE Industrial Technologies

EDGE Industrial Technologies is comprised of three industry leading brands – TGW International, Pearl Technologies Inc., and Leverwood Knife Works. EDGE companies are leading producers of industrial machine knives and blades, industrial punches, and related equipment, for a variety of markets, including packaging, processing, converting, printing, and general industrial applications. EDGE Industrial Technologies is a global leader in the manufacture of these products, with plants in Europe, North America, and Asia.