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Fine-tuning Production

A new high-speed saw helps a guitar accessories manufacturer cut through a production backlog

A capotasto, better known as a capo, is a small device designed to quickly change the pitch of a stringed instrument. Used by virtually every musician, from famous touring professionals to campfire players, a capo is an essential tool for every kit. Kyser Musical Products, founded in 1980 by Milton Kyser, has made a name for itself as the worldwide leader in capo manufacturing. Kyser has distributed its product throughout the world of music and into the hands of many well-known musicians. From George Strait and Katy Perry to John Mayer and Bon Jovi, Kyser capos are a staple for guitarists, bassists, banjoists and other musicians. 

Handmade in the United States, every capo starts as two cross-sectional aluminum extrusions, each with a different profile. The extrusions are sliced into narrow pieces, which are joined together to make the final clamp-like product.

When David McClung, director of safety and maintenance at Kyser Musical Products, realized production was not keeping up with demand, it became apparent that the sawing equipment just wasn’t cutting it. The company’s existing machine was delivering less than 50 percent of required volumes; the saw simply was not fast enough, accurate enough or consistent enough to get the job done.

McClung needed a solution, but this wasn’t as simple as choosing a new supplier and moving on with production. It was an important capital equipment acquisition. He needed to make an investment in a piece of machinery that would be efficient, dependable and hold tight tolerances—and a good investment requires research.