Absolute Machine Tools Celebrates 30th Anniversary

The company, which Steve Ortner and Hayden Wellman founded in a garage in 1988, now sells and supports a range of machine tools and offers engineering solutions.

Absolute Machine Tools Inc. (Lorain, Ohio) is marking its 30th year as a machine tool importer and distributor in North America.

The company sells and supports a range of machine tools, including:

  • Johnford machining and turning centers 
  • Tongtai high-production machining and turning centers
  • You Ji vertical lathes; QuickTech mill-turns
  • Lico multi-slide, multi-axis screw machines and mill-turns
  • Apec five-axis, gantry-style linear motor machines
  • Nexturn Swiss-type lathes
  • AccuteX wire and sinker EDM machines
  • Yougar EDM hole-drilling machines
  • Precihole gundrilling machines

Steve Ortner and Hayden Wellman founded the company in 1988 in a garage. While working as a representative for digital readout maker Anilam, Mr. Ortner made contact with Taiwanese machine tool manufacturer Johnford in 1990, which became the company’s first OEM partner. Partnerships with You Ji and Tongtai came next, followed by relationships with Nexturn, QuickTech, and Precihole.

In 2009, the company bought a building in Mason, Ohio, and added the AccuteX line. In 2013, it opened a technical center in Elgin, Illinois, and achieved authorized integrator status with FANUC Robotics America. In 2017, it acquired Advanced Machinery Systems, becoming the exclusive importer/distributor of Lico machines. Yougar also became a partner in 2017.  

The company now has direct full-service technical centers in Lorain and Mason, Ohio; Livonia, Michigan; and Elgin, Illinois.

In addition to the selection of machine tools it provides, the company offers engineering services. Chief Marketing Officer Courtney Ortner says that customers have gone from wanting standard machines they can apply themselves to purchasing more complete turnkey solutions. “We want to be a partner in solving their manufacturing challenges by providing profitable solutions,” she says. “Having multiple sources of machine tools allows us to apply the best machine to the job.” President Steve Ortner adds that these services are critical for manufacturing trends such as Industry 4.0 and other emerging technologies that are difficult for job shops to implement.