The Chicago Technical Center (CTC) was established in 2013 to enhance our ability to create total solutions and provide training programs for customers. Marketing Director Mike Pace said, “We provide materials, products and services that meet and exceed individual customer needs with the aim of maintaining our position as a respected leader in the cutting tool industry. The extensive range of solutions provided by us includes cutting tests, technical consultation via telephone, seminars, and technical support designed to ensure that our customers are able to utilize the full capability of our cutting tools.” The CTC is located near O’Hare International Airport, one of the major hub airports in the United States. The geographical advantage enables Mitsubishi Materials USA to provide outstanding services to customers not only in North America, but in Mexico and Canada as well. Local time in Chicago is 15 hours behind Japan. Taking advantage of that time difference allows the company to accept orders for cutting tests in the evening in the US, outsource the testing to Mitsubishi Materials in Japan, and have the tests results ready for the customer by the next morning. This quick response time is a significant CTC strength. Of course, they can do the same thing in reverse for customers in Japan. With technical centers around the world, Mitsubishi Materials can provide a speedy response to all of its customers. The CTC also has the machining room, located right next to the lecture room where specialized techniques and skills are taught, for demonstrations using actual tools. This layout is extremely convenient for customers. Customers can see the actual machining processes and results in the machining room, which is equipped with the most advanced machining center and a 4-axis lathe, which has increased the learning effect. Each training session accommodates 16 participants. This makes efficient and effective class management possible for the nine training sessions we provide each year. Because the United States is so large, we also dispatch lecturers to customers for which it is inconvenient to send representatives to the CTC. Pace said, “We want more customers to use the CTC as a means to meet their needs; and we would like to present proposals that reduce processing costs, including tool costs, and provide solutions for high efficiency processing to improve the productivity for each customer.”
Marc Kinnemann (in his 12th year at Mitsubishi Materials) is in charge of management at the CTC. The CTC conducts cutting tests for a wide range of tools. They also accumulate machining data on hard-to-cut materials and a wide range of processed parts to provide prompt solutions that meet individual customer needs. Mr. Kinnemann said, “We focus on the accumulation of machining data on parts for automobiles, aircraft, medical devices, and oil & gas equipment, and we are confident and proud of our ability to provide total solutions in all of these areas. The CTC leverages the experience and data it has accumulated in over 1,000 cases to provide high-quality value analysis proposals. Because machining conditions and environments can and often do vary significantly from customer to customer, and tools may be used under conditions that we may not yet have encountered, we consider the widest variety of machining conditions possible in our search for more creative tools and machining methods.”
CTC places a priority on not only providing customers with a place to learn, but on facilitating interaction with other seminar participants. At the end of the first day, participants have dinner and enjoy bowling together. Facilitating interaction on the first day deepens communication and understanding among participants, which encourages greater interaction in the sessions that follow. After lunch on the second day, participants go sightseeing in downtown Chicago and at Lake Michigan before having dinner at a lakeside restaurant. The CTC provides customers the chance not only to learn machining techniques that provide solutions to their individual problems, but also to establish partnerships with others in the industry.