Based in the Houston suburb of Conroe, TXSWISS bills itself as a one-stop shop for Swiss-machined parts across an array of industries.
"We wouldn’t stand a chance of programming most of our parts without ESPRIT",Chris Armstrong, Applications Engineer, TXSWISS
Led by Applications Engineer Chris Armstrong and President Ryan Madsen, the team at TXSWISS balances their collective experience with their interest in pushing the manufacturing envelope. “Lots of newcomers to the industry are deterred because they feel like they don’t have the requisite experience to suggest new ideas. But we believe that’s where the real innovation happens,” says Ryan.
TXSWISS has trusted its projects to ESPRIT since the company’s founding in 2016. During his time working for machine tool dealers in applications, Chris built a reputation in the service industry as the “go-to” guy for challenging Swiss-turn projects. “As word got out that we opened TXSWISS, our capabilities were immediately tested," says Ryan. “It took no time at all for Chris to convince me that without ESPRIT, these complex jobs we were getting would inevitably end in 'death by a thousand paper cuts.' We also run a lot of high-volume production parts where every second of cycle time is crucial." Ryan says that the faster cycle times they've achieved with the combination of their Citizen Swiss Machines and ESPRIT are what gives them their biggest edge against the competition.
Chris’s long-term love for ESPRIT doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what else is out there. “Years ago, at a previous job, they wanted me to learn a different CAM software that didn’t have posts processors,” he says. “Eventually, the machines stopped supporting it and I ended up writing my own macro just so I had full control.” However, manual programming limited his ability to complete finite details and surfacing. “It took way too long to get compound radius blends done, especially for milling. Around that time, a customer brought two mating components and our CAM software couldn’t do it. But ESPRIT did it on the first try,” Chris says, adding that reseller Victor Davila of Houston’s Shape Design Technologies was especially helpful
Pinch Turning on a Citizen Lathe at TXSWISS.
When asked about a specific project where ESPRIT has helped, Chris is enthusiastic. “Oh, every single problematic project ever,” he says. “There are two things that act as my lie detectors in the shop: ESPRIT and my indicators. When I need to prove something, ESPRIT is one of my first go-tos. It’s so much more than CAM, it’s also a forensic tool.”
“We wouldn’t stand a chance of programming most of our parts without ESPRIT,” Chris says. The past five years have seen him become a bit of an ESPRIT evangelist, too. “I’ve shared ESPRIT with my customers and watched them adopt the program. Clients especially love the ESPRIT process summary sheets. The visualization gives everybody peace of mind, and the time savings are incredible.” He explains that some of their most complex parts would take weeks or even months to program without ESPRIT; but with ESPRIT, the process is whittled down to a couple of days.
Oddly enough, the Covid pandemic turned out to be kind to TXSWISS. “Right now we are continuing to add machines and looking to continue to add passionate members to our team," says Ryan. "We have not done any advertising, so all of our growth has just come from word-of-mouth.” Effectively managing that growth while retaining their existing customer base is a balancing act that Chris and Ryan look forward to perfecting—especially with the help of ESPRIT. “ESPRIT is ready for our growth already. There are so many features that we haven’t even used to their full potential yet,” Chris enthuses. Like many people in manufacturing, the team at TXSWISS is beginning to turn their attention to automation. “All of our machines have more than one task to do; it’s not strictly Swiss anymore. We know ESPRIT will be the perfect companion to guide us to success,” he concludes.