As its name implies, DTG’s diversified capabilities include being a full-service manufacturer of prototype and production stamping dies, low-volume stamped parts and assemblies, as well as fabrication, machining, and assembly of highly-engineered components.
DTG is a privately-held company with third-generation management. “In 1973, my father started this business in a small 5,000 ft2 (465 m2) shop with three employees making tooling aids for copy mills and stamping dies,” said John J. Basso, owner and president. “I came on board in 1975. Fast forward to today and my son John Michael Basso is also an owner and vice president in the company, and we have grown to four companies with a total of 775,000 ft2 (72,000 m2) of engineering and manufacturing floor space with 425 highly-skilled employees.”
Diversified Tooling Group’s four affiliated companies include Superior Cam, Midland Design, Bespro Pattern Inc. and American Tooling Center Inc. With the integration of these four companies, DTG has the capability to supply complete tool and die service to its customers. “Prototypes are made at Superior Cam, the production die designs are made at Midland Design. The patterns are made at Bespro Pattern, and the production stamping dies are made by American Tooling Center. And those dies are sold to North America’s major automotive OEMs,” said Mike Austin, director of manufacturing engineering.
“We are a Tier 1 tooling supplier. Most of the parts that we make today with our tools are the large Class A parts that are the visible parts of an automobile or a heavy truck where there is a requirement for high surface quality,” said Austin. “The other part of our business is in the defense sector. We became involved in the defense business 20 years ago to round out our business and make use of excess capacity that naturally occurs in the tool and die business. We started making the parts that would be installed on ground defense vehicles. We began by making armor plate and heavy sheet metal. And this was one of the first applications for us in laser cutting with Prima Power. Because we were supplying thinner gage steel plate that would be used in various defense vehicles, we needed to have 2D laser cutting. And we also needed a laser for 3D laser cutting for trimming and piercing holes.”
Through the years, DTG companies had become familiar with lasers from Prima Power North America, Arlington Heights, Illinois, including an early model of the Laserdyne, two Platino 2D lasers, four Rapido 3D lasers, and, most recently, two Laser Next five-axis lasers.
“By 2014, we needed a large and fast five-axis laser to support our hot stamping press,” said Basso. “When we evaluated the machines, we compared the Prima Power Laser Next to the competing five-axis machines and robotic laser cutting. We tested each of these machines for ease of setup, ease of programming, the accuracy of the cutting, how fast we could do the trim lines, the ease of maintenance, support from the manufacturers, the technical level of the machine and the overall cycle time of the machine. The Laser Next was selected because it clearly beat the competition in almost every category,” said Basso.