The Momentum Machine Tool Company was established in 2015 by Jack Butts, Bill and Tim O’Connell, and Pitch Tseng, who are present owners. The rallying purpose of the group was to solve three sets of shortcomings historically endured by users of CNC vertical turning lathes (VTLs). Specifically:
How did the the VTL market niche become so underserved? Historically, the largest machine tool builders have underinvested in the space. A patchwork of smaller builders and importers filled the void. And the shortcomings above became the norm.
Momentum’s founders had other businesses with longstanding, good customers who routinely expressed these reservations about then-available VTLs. Jack Butts had started AmTTech in 1993 and grown his Texas-based distributor of diverse machine tool types to be a leading sales and service provider in the state. And brothers Bill and Tim O’Connell are the second-generation owners of Buffalo-based O’Connell Machinery, since 1951 a national rebuilder of Bullard and other manual VTLs. Though both companies earned outstanding reputations and loyal followings, neither could recommend a new CNC VTL that fully satisfied customers. So Jack, Bill, and Tim resolved to do better for them.
THE EUREKA MOMENT
After many years evaluating various VTLs, this pursuit eventually led to the identification of one built to the heavy-duty standards that they had sought. The product, manufactured by Eureka, in Taichung, Taiwan, was introduced to AmTTech by Pitch Tseng, a longtime industry veteran. AmTTech’s customers quickly endorsed it. One purchased two units in 2012 and today owns a total of eight units. Those machines have run 24/7, under very demanding conditions, and with little downtime.
Thus, the founders had confirmed the identity of an ideal machine. However, their initial business model – a simple importation agreement – replicated and preserved the arms-length flaws of the VTL market as described above. The product was terrific but not yet matched to necessary customization and support capability.
MOMENTUM IS BORN
The ultimate solution arrived in early 2014, when Jack, Bill, Tim, and Pitch were able to purchase Eureka. They renamed the firm the Momentum Machine Tool Company. They created a Houston-based sister organization, Momentum North America, to help distributors here provide sales, service, and other support. Momentum’s integration reduces barriers between its factory floor and its customers’ shop floors here. As a result, Momentum’s VTLs, as well as its recently developed flat bed lathes, each come wrapped in these unique, value-enhancing characteristics: