Machinist buddies thrive as business owners using FeatureCAM

The story of H&R Precision is about two guys who chose to start a business rather than be laid off. They credit much of their success to Delcam software.

Hector “Stanley” Renderos, left, and Ron McReynolds started H&R Precision in 2006. The business has grown by 50% every year.

In 2006 Moog Inc., the global designer, manufacturer and integrator of precision motion control products and systems, decided to close its in-house machine shop in Salt Lake City. For staff machinists Hector (Stanley) Renderos and Ron McReynolds, the decision meant they were going to lose their jobs.

Instead of accepting fate, Renderos and McReynolds became partners and asked Moog if they could purchase the shop assets and and open a business that would support the company’s machining requirements.

“The company said ‘yes’, and we opened for business as H&R Precision,” remembers McReynolds. Success wasn’t guaranteed, however. While Moog knew of the partners’ capabilities as employees from their combined fifty years of service, the company needed to see how the two operated as a business entity before committing to a significant volume of work.

“It evidently went well,” McReynolds adds, “because we continue to expand the business we do with Moog exponentially. Now, H&R not only does work for the Salt Lake City facility but also for Moog’s California and New York operations. We have recently taken on a substantial amount of R&D and tooling work through the Moog model shop.”

Business couldn’t be better for the young manufacturing entity. The company has nearly doubled the size of its facility, with more than 10,000 square feet of capacity, and it runs three shifts. H&R now employs seventeen staff; almost all are former Moog employees.

H&R Precision has gone on to achieve 50% continued year-on-year growth. The founders are quick to credit their use of Delcam FeatureCAM, a software suite for feature-based computer-aided manufacturing, as one key to their success.

“One of the key contributors to our success is FeatureCAM,” McReynolds claims. “Moog did an extensive software evaluation on competitive CAM solutions while I was employed there and the company settled on FeatureCAM. Everyone involved in the purchasing decision felt that FeatureCAM was superior to other machine shop software solutions for two main reasons: ease of use and cost.”

Moog then trained its machine operators to program with FeatureCAM. McReynolds says “the FeatureCAM software is so user-friendly; it was easy for the machinists to pick it up.”

When the partners decided to open their own business, there was no question that they would use anything other than FeatureCAM. “We were comfortable with the software and we knew it was a superior package,” McReynolds says. What surprised the start-up entity was how flexible FeatureCAM was with helping them to get started. “We just didn’t expect that Delcam would really work with us to get the software we needed.”

“The service and support we get from Blaine Duke, our FeatureCAM sales engineer, is outstanding,” McReynolds adds. “He knows his product line inside and out, he spends time teaching us and he is so patient. Blaine and the rest of the FeatureCAM team are just great to work with.”

McReynolds now programs hundreds of parts per week using FeatureCAM. “The software allows us to make amazing parts,” he says. “FeatureCAM takes the average machinist and makes him or her into a superior machinist and programmer. For example, I am not a trained lathe person but, with FeatureCAM, I am now able to do NC lathe work.”