JWB Group | Haas Customer Success Story
JWB Group started business in 1969, as Warwick Bowring Engineering Limited. It was set up by Warwick and Gay Bowring in Panmure, Auckland, as a general engineering company with manual machining capabilities. Their son, Grant, later joined the company, and now is the sole proprietor.
In 1978, the business took a huge evolutionary step into specialist machining, with the purchase of the first of the new generation of CNC machines to enter New Zealand. The company renamed itself JWB Group in 2003, and today, the firm specializes in precision engineering and product design.
Grant Bowring explains that relationships are important to him – and to JWB. So, when he took over as Managing Director, he continued the traditions established by his parents when they formed the company, of making it a priority to treat people in business the way he wants to be treated. The result has been some very long-lasting business relationships, including with Haas.
“We bought our very first Haas – a VF-3 – in 1996,” says Grant. It was actually the very first Haas machine sold by Haas Factory Outlet New Zealand. “It’s still going strong,” he says. “Sure, like all machines that age, it’s done endless miles and had a little maintenance along the way, but it started a bit of a Haas trend in the JWB workshop.”
The Haas VF-3 vertical machining center may have been the first Haas machine to hit the company’s workshop floor, but it was by no means the last. The next year, JWB doubled its Haas numbers, and today there are five Haas machines on site, including an ST-10 lathe and bar feeder that were installed in 2011, a VF-2SS in 2016, and a VF-3SS in October 2018.
Grant explains that the VF-3SS was brought on to provide a “safety net,” and to handle the “tight work,” where accuracy is critical. “The work we are currently doing means I cannot afford to be down for any reason,” he says, “so adding an accurate, modern machine tool that I could rely on was essential.”
Also essential is JWB’s relationship with Haas Factory Outlet New Zealand. “If we have an issue of any kind,” says Grant, “they prefer to get on and get it sorted first to keep the machines running. They worry about the business side of it second, so keeping our machines up and running is really important to Haas.”
Such a collaborative relationship can make a big difference to the business running day-to-day. “They have my interests ahead of their own, which makes a huge difference,” says Grant. “It’s a very happy working relationship.”