One And Two Man Shops —An American Phenomenon 








LABS, founded in 1987, is a prime example of an American Phenomenon — the one and  two



man shop. Many of todays major U.S. manufacturers began with one or two very aggressive people and went  on  to  be-

come large competitors in the world market.

EDM LABS may one day be such a shop. Frank Wenzel, owner of EDM LABS, is a member of this progressive two man team. "I joined EDM LABS as an operator/program­mer, and had no idea that I would eventually own the com­pany. Today we have four wire EDM machines and two operators — myself and my brother — so you can imagine that productivity is extremely important to us."

EDM LABS is a busy contract job shop located in Fre­mont, CA. producing parts for the medical, aerospace, tool and die, electronics, jewelry, injection molding, extrusion molding industries and "any other odd jobs."

For a small one or two man shop to be competitive, reli­able equipment that can operate while the employees tend to other tasks must be utilized.

These "silent partners," the machines and equipment, can effectively double the work force. Of course, the machines can't setup themselves, but by implementing an efficient workpiece management program, jobs can be pre-set and ready for loading as soon as a previous cut is complete.

Smaller shops, such as EDM LABS, can produce a high volume of work equal to larger competitors with higher over­head. Their secret to survival is 100% utilization of every resource at their disposal.






















competitive. With just  two  operators,  you  can  imagine  how

important accuracy and a high level of efficiency is to us

 "One of the systems we use that has made a major  contri­bution to our productivity is System 3R tooling.  It's  been  here

since day one when I joined the  company.  When  I  acquired 

EDM LABS, I just  continued  to  use the 3R tooling  because

Overall view of EDM LABS facility in Fremont, CA. Frank and Richard Wenzel and their wire-EDM "partners" run a very productive operation with excellent machines and proper tooling.

               e asked Frank Wenzel  of  EDM  LABS  how  he

               competes with some of the  larger  companies and

               he told CNC  WEST:  "The  productivity  level  of

the equipment we use is what gives us the opportunity to  be


One of our cover photos After pre-setting outside the machine, part and 3R tooling are loaded quickly and accurately on Mitsubishi wire EDM at EDM labs, Fremont, CA.