Tooling Profile: Euro-Tech Corporation

Engaging in High-End Solutions

By KENNETH CARTER, Gear Solutions editor
reprinted from Gear Solutions | November 2018

Euro-Tech Corporation has been offering quality spline gaging, hydraulic expansion arbors and chucks, as well as custom engineered solutions for a quarter of a century.

Euro-Tech Corporation prides itself as having a limited
number of highly–engineered solutions in the
fields of profile gaging and workholding.
Those high-end solutions often translate into
working with its customers from the beginning of a
challenge, essentially starting from scratch more often
than not.

“Our philosophy is not to have a book or catalog of
products,” said Jerry Kowalsky, president of Euro-Tech.
“That’s why we have only a one-sided, one-page line
card. The philosophy of Euro-Tech is to handle boutiquestyle
companies. They’re smaller companies, normally
in the 75-and-under number of employees, and we are
their applications engineering and sales office for the
United States.”

Euro-Tech has two primary product lines for the gear
industry: Frenco and MyTEC.

“Frenco makes spline gaging and gear-gaging products,”
Kowalsky said. “They have primarily specialized in
splines until about 10 years ago, when they realized that
their expertise in the toothed profile gave them some good credibility to do very high-end double-flank gear measurement. They have a software that’s second to none in the industry for gear measurement and analysis.”

Frenco Concentricity ring for runout checking

MyTEC’s owner created the first brazed hydraulic
expansion tool, a technique still used today, according
to Kowalsky. This technique is used instead of O-rings,
sleeve seals, and grease.

“We truly are not a grease arbor,” Kowalsky said. “This
is a major difference from other methods of construction.”

“The primary advantage is that we’ve created a
rupture-proof tool that you can expand with no fear of
damage or blowing itself up,” he said. “To my knowledge,
only two other German companies are producing tools
using this technique. While it’s propagated to two other
companies in Germany, still to this day this method of
construction is not produced in the United States as a rupture proof hydraulic expansion tool, giving it a great
deal of hardness, stability, and longevity for manufacturing

In addition to the Frenco and MyTEC product lines,
Euro-Tech has an additional product it manufactures in
house: the PG1000. It’s designed to measure cutting tool

A Frenco tech works on
the final assembly of a
cluster shaft checker.

If the customer has exhausted their options with “off the
shelf” products, Euro-Tech will work with a customer to
provide a custom design and build a solution, according
to Kowalsky.

“The solutions that we look for are problems with
‘toothed profile’ gaging and part workholding,” he said.
“Each solution that we develop with our suppliers is actually
a prototype because there’s no catalog to open up and
choose a product from. So, in most cases, everything that
we make is a prototype, and it’s made only once. Unless
it’s reordered, we never make another one identical to it.
Whether it’s measurement of a spline, a gear, a shaft, or
something more unique like maybe a gerotor (a generated
rotor used in pumps), we always start with a clean sheet
of paper and begin the design there.”

In order to start a proposal from scratch, Euro-Tech has
to know each and every detail of the part and processes,
according to Kowalsky.

“We have to gather a lot of critical information about
the product that we’re quoting on a workholding or gaging
request, and we send it on to the manufacturer to create
a solution to the problem,” he said. “As we have no offthe-
shelf solutions, we are never going to be the cheapest
solution or the fastest solution. But we have a core group
of customers who understand this and are willing to come
to us early in their project and to give us the time we need
to create something that we know, in some cases, may produce
product that lasts longer than the amount of time
that someone’s actually working at a company. This is
especially true with our aerospace applications where the
yearly production of a part may be quite small compared
to something like hobbing at a transmission plant. The
production rate in aerospace is quite limited, yet highly
demanding in terms of quality. We’ve seen tools come back
to us that are 35 years old as well as tools that, in under 1
year old, have produced hundreds of thousands of gears.
In both cases, they are just now needing a first repair.”

MyTEC hobbing arbors
with 74 Rc carbide

Kowalsky said, in addition to the products and services
Euro-Tech offers, he is proud of his company being
approachable, friendly, and customer-service oriented.

“We have no voicemail,” he said. “When you call, we
answer almost immediately. Our seasoned staff, some
with us over 25 years, are cross-trained employees who
can pitch in on all the aspects of the company. When
you reach out to us, we’d like you to be able to finish

with an answer to the reason you called no matter who
answers the phone.”

“We’re going to be very honest about our abilities
and what we’re going to be able to do or not do.”

Part of that approachable nature of Euro-Tech comes
from having a factory-trained technician at the company’s
headquarters who can perform necessary repairs on
the hydraulic expansion arbors and chucks, as well as the
spline gaging hand tools, according to Kowalsky.

“Many of those can be repaired right in our facility in
Menomonee Falls,” he said. “That, in many cases, will circumvent
the need to send the product back to Germany.
That round-trip transportation can be very costly and
time consuming just to have a repair that can be done in
Menomonee Falls. We’ve actually had customers, local
customers in the Menomonee Falls/Milwaukee area — a
major one like Harley-Davidson — who have actually had
a hydraulic expansion arbor used for hobbing needing an
adjustment. They will hand-carry it in, enjoy a cup of coffee
in our lunchroom while our service tech gets the tool
back up to snuff so it goes back into immediate service
when the guy leaves. It’s only about 10 minutes from us
to the Harley plant.”

That extra mile is the domestic part of Euro-Tech, but
Kowalsky is not shy about boasting of the quality of his
European suppliers.

“The expertise of these suppliers like Frenco and
MyTEC — both companies have founders who created
companies with the core values of quality, precision,
and technical expertise — just doing unique things in
the industry like creating a brazed hydraulic arbor or
sitting on a worldwide standards committees that set
them apart around the globe, not just in Germany or
America,” he said.

Both Frenco and MyTEC have rich, 40-plus year histories.
The founder of Frenco, Rudy Och, has sat on nearly
every standards committee for splines that exist in the
world, and to this day, even in retirement, he still writes
publications, according to Kowalsky. He was involved in
ISO and ANSI and AGMA.

A MyTEC technician
checks the runout of a
large clamping tool.

The founder of MyTEC, Gerhart Horn, is also still
involved in every aspect of his company.

“If you were to visit MyTEC in Germany today, you
would still find Mr. Horn in a shop coat down on the
floor doing whatever it takes to get hydraulic expansion
tools out the door, each and every day,” Kowalsky said.
“He has actually called us from his vacuum furnace at
midnight his time because he’s waiting for a brazing
process to finish over there. He’s an amazing man.”

And locally, Euro-Tech has a proud history with its
“neighbor,” Harley-Davidson, according to Kowalsky.

“Going way back to when we first started business in
the mid-’90s, we were contacted by a man who was the
gear lab manager at Harley-Davidson,” he said. “Being
local to us, it was easy to visit regularly, and we successfully
presented our hydraulic arbors and chucks to
Harley. Armed with our product information, the lab
manager decided to try an interesting design with wobble
washers, which allow the locating bore to ignore a
non-perpendicular face and greatly enhance the repeatability
of the inspection. He loved them so much that
he asked me one day if it would be possible to actually
produce gears on these tools rather than just have the
light duty job of inspection.”

Euro-Tech jumped at the challenge, Kowalsky said.
“We developed a full line of hobbing, shaving, and
grinding arbors,” he said. “To this very day, they are still
using many of the same arbors, and when a new project
comes up, they will buy updated versions of the same
arbor for the new gears in their next transmissions.
The neat thing is that the man who was the gear lab
manager rose all the way up through the ranks to ultimately
become the plant manager of the Pilgrim Road
Powertrain facility. We started so early in life together,
that this is how far we’ve proceeded. That was a very, very
rewarding achievement for us to see a fellow who was a
gear lab manager become the plant manager of the Harley
Powertrain facility.”

With product supplier Frenco, Euro-Tech helps promote
that company’s technical spline seminars, according to

“I’m very proud of the fact that Frenco offers technical
spline seminars,” he said. “Gear seminars are very
commonplace. You can open up any gear technology
book and find an AGMA or equal offering of a gear seminar,
but only Frenco offers technical spline seminars.
These in-plant seminars, taught by Norbert Weiss who
has spent his entire 37-year career with Frenco, are typically
two days of extensive spline training, with day one
being designed for anyone who touches a spline. If you
are a person on the shop floor and you’re asked to do a
go-and-no-go check of a spline, many of them only know
the go gage is supposed to fit and the no-go doesn’t,
but they have no idea why that is or what happens if a
go gage doesn’t fit or a no-go gage does. What are the
ramifications down the line on potential assembly or
failure of that spline once it’s in a gearbox or wherever
it’s going to live?”

At the end of the class, they understand perfectly why
this inspection is important.

Day Two of a spline seminar gets much more technical
with topics such as backlash, classes of fit, data field
creation, and international standards. These and other
topics allow for the proper production of splines due to a
better understanding, according to Kowalsky.

“We have actually trained thousands of workers in
spline technology over the last 20 years. It’s a unique
product for us and one we’re quite proud to offer,” he

said. “It’s not a Frenco advertisement; it’s a true technical
spline seminar. At the end, people in some cases didn’t
even know it was Frenco teaching it because they did not
make it an infomercial. You don’t want to charge people
for attending a seminar that’s an infomercial; you want
them to leave with very good technical knowledge. It has
helped so many companies to have their workers understand
what a spline is, because, in a lot of cases, it’s the
heart of a product.”

With all that Euro-Tech can offer, customers are appreciative
of the company’s overall honesty and integrity,
according to Kowalsky.

“I’m going to tell someone honestly if I think there is
someone out there with a better, faster, more reasonable
solution,” he said. “I mentioned ‘boutique solutions’ earlier
because we aren’t for everybody. We actually love the
challenges where someone is having an issue or a problem
and they come to us because we’ve been providing solutions
for so long. We’re going to be very honest about our
abilities and what we’re going to be able to do or not do.”

And part of that honest reliability comes from the
quality products that Euro-Tech offers, according to

“Someone once said that these products coming out
of Germany are usually so beautiful, that if they didn’t
weigh 35 pounds you could put a chain on them and wear
it around their neck for jewelry,” he said. “It’s usually a
fantastic solution that gets us a lot of kudos when the
product arrives and gets opened up and put out on the
shop floor. We’ve had people say, ‘It’s actually too pretty
to use.’ They’re not your run-of-the-mill ‘open up a catalog
and order an item’ products.”