Tom Hoban


“The biggest challenge right now is just to stay on top of technological advances,” Hoban said. “I do that by attending IMTS and seeing what's going to revolutionize my business. Every two years things change so drastically, whether it is tooling or just general technology. It's always worth the trip to see what's new and exciting in this industry.”

According to Tom Hoban, operations manager of JTD Enterprises in Chilton, Wis., everyone can make a widget. That’s why it’s important to differentiate a company from the many others out there. Hoban has built that advantage by taking on more highly advanced machining to make difficult parts.

JTD has capabilities in fabrication, CNC machining (lathe and horizontal/vertical mill), welding, emergency repair, engineering and precision Swiss turning for a variety of industries. To beat out competitors for high precision work, Hoban knows that new technology will usually make all the difference.

Tom Hoban

Hoban made major purchase decisions based on what he learned on the show floor. He chose new software for a Swiss lathe and a programmable CMM to cut inspection time.

“The manual CMM we had took 40 minutes to inspect one part we were producing so the production machine sat idle in between parts,” Hoban said. “We chose the programmable CMM because it dropped inspection time for that part down to 1.5 minutes, which gave us valuable time back to complete our jobs.”

“I use IMTS to my advantage for acquisitions and to decide where things are going,” Hoban said. “I can research online, but IMTS is the place to come if I want to compare apples to apples because everything's in one spot. Even though I may be leaning toward one machine or software, it's nice to be able to compare them to others. Most of my best options are at IMTS.”

New equipment is not just a luxury but a requirement for Hoban, who feels technological advances are the only way to stay competitive.

“It’s my dream to upgrade equipment at a five-year interval instead of waiting 10 years or even more,” Hoban said. “We save so much money by investing in new technology. I’ve made a lot of purchases the past five years, but there's still some older equipment that I want to replace. I want to get into that cycle of replacing every five years to stay on the cutting edge.”

Having access to so many technical experts at IMTS gives Hoban the information he needs to make smart technology investments that grow his company.

“Most companies have an arsenal of talent that knows the product, and no matter who I talk to, I get a lot out of each booth,” Hoban said. “At IMTS, I get all my questions answered in one place so I’m confident that I’m making an educated decision.”

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