Toolholding Specialists Techniks Industries Expands and Transforms into Frontline Tooling Solutions

Techniks Industries
Written by Nate Hendley

Techniks Industries of Indianapolis, Indiana, a leader in CNC tooling solutions, recently initiated an ambitious growth strategy to triple the size of the business within the next five years. Through strategic acquisition and organic growth, Techniks Industries is on pace to reach their goal, and with this expansion, they are changing their name to Frontline Tooling Solutions.
Frontline Tooling Solutions will act as the parent firm to a number of businesses that make or supply a wide range of CNC tooling and cutting tools for the metal and woodworking industries. Frontline will now be the industry’s premier provider of CNC solutions; including toolholders, CNC router tools, cutting tools, boring tools, saw blades, magnetic workholding and more. Toolholders will remain a particular specialty for Frontline, under the corporate identity: Techniks Tool Group (TTG), made up of industry leaders Techniks L.L.C. and Parlec L.L.C.

“Frontline’s aggressive growth strategy is rooted in their long-standing reputation for high-quality products, excellent customer service, and assertive ‘buy and build’ strategy,” says Frontline’s CEO Vern Cameron. He continues, “This strategy has been proven successful with our purchase of Parlec, one of Techniks’ strongest competitors in the toolholding segment, propelling TTG as the industry’s premiere provider of aftermarket toolholding solutions.”

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Techniks Tool Group maintains a broad presence across North America, thanks to their strategic distribution partnerships and extensive sales network. TTG pride themselves on delivering high-quality products, industry leading customer service and responsive delivery.

Toolholders, Techniks Tool Group’s flagship products, are devices that act as the interface between the spindle of a machine tool and a cutting tool. Toolholding products can include collet chucks, tap adapters, shrink fit tooling, boring tools, and other associated products. Workholding solutions, meanwhile, are “any device that is used to secure a workpiece against the forces of machining,” explains Modern Machine Shop magazine. These solutions include vises, clamps, dovetail systems, fixtures, and magnetic chucks.

“TTG is adept at providing such products to manufacturers throughout North America. Prime customers include machine shops and manufacturers who cut or machine ferrous and non-ferrous metals, composites, wood, and other materials. Focusing on this market has allowed TTG to carve out a lucrative niche in the face of strong competition from giant cutting tool companies such as Kennametal and Sandvik,” says Mike Eneix, Vice President of Sales. He continues, “These large cutting tool manufacturers do not necessarily specialize in improving the critical connection between their cutting tools and the machine spindle as does Techniks Tool Group. This is our exclusive focus, every day.”

When a manufacturer requires new tooling, it is often in their interest to turn to a company that specializes in such solutions. This is where TTG comes in. “We aim to provide clients with productivity-enhancing solutions packaged with best-in-class customer service, so they stick with us beyond their initial order,” says Cameron.

Techniks Inc. was established in 1997 and acquired by Tenex Capital Management in 2012. The Company merged with diamond and carbide cutting tool manufacturer, NAP Gladu, creating the corporate identity, Techniks Industries.

In September 2015, the Company was acquired by Audax Group, a Boston-based private equity company, who remains the equity sponsor of Frontline Tooling solutions, formerly Techniks Industries. With the backing of Audax Group, Frontline embarked on an aggressive ‘buy-and-build’ growth strategy that included the purchase of RKO Saw, based in Cullom, IL in 2015 and Riverside Tool Corporation, a leading provider of diamond and carbide cutting tools located in Elkhart, IN, in 2016. These two acquisitions set the stage for the future, as the organization acquired several more firms over the next two years to expand their solutions offering and service network reach in their cutting tool division.

New corporate acquisitions have been complemented by the purchase of new equipment. In recent years, Frontline has invested millions of dollars in high-quality machinery and equipment for its operations. The NAP Gladu division has twelve production and service centers throughout the United States and Canada. According to NAP Gladu, this network is the largest tool service network in North America in the sector. Customers who use this network can get their industrial diamond tools and saws repaired and sharpened, among other services.

In 2017 Parlec became the largest acquisition to date for Frontline, complementing their already strong presence in the toolholder segment. With roots going back almost seventy years, Parlec makes toolholders, tapping and boring systems. The ISO:9001-certified firm has a vast inventory of over eight thousand individual products, nearly all of them manufactured at the firm’s Fairport, NY headquarters. “The majority of Parlec’s tools are proudly made in America,” notes Cameron.

The Parlec acquisition, in particular, gave a huge boost to Techniks’ forward momentum. This momentum created the genesis for renaming the company parent to Frontline, and allowing the Techniks and Parlec brands to be held under the Techniks Tool Group label. Frontline continues to look for new firms to purchase, to add to its already impressive portfolio of services and products.

Frontline has 620 employees across all its locations. Keeping these employees safe is a major concern at TTG. The company has a “philosophy of safety,” says Cameron. As such, safety training is emphasized and safety protocols and procedures strictly adhered to. The ultimate goal is to have zero workplace accidents.

Frontline takes great pride in the tenure of its workforce. Maintaining a talented workforce will be key to staying on course, as Techniks Industries becomes Frontline Tooling Solutions and continues to expand. To this end, a new CEO for Techniks Tool Group, Dean Glover, was recently brought onboard.

“This is an exciting time to be part of the Frontline Tool Group as we look to leverage our numerous strengths and market reach to further serve the needs of our customers. Our commitment to on-time delivery of superior quality products and industry-leading customer service will continue as we execute our growth initiatives,” states Glover.

Cameron is highly optimistic about the future of the firm. He believes Frontline can triple the size of the business within the next five years. Last year, the firm saw significant double-digit growth, so the company is on pace to meet this objective.



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