Woodworkers who buy or own Delta machines should not notice a difference in availability, performance, or price following last week’s acquisition of the Delta brand by a Taiwanese manufacturer, says Bryan Whiffen, the new president and CEO of that company. Delta Power Equipment Corporation, a subsidiary of Chang Type Industrial Company, purchased the full line of Delta’s woodworking tools and machines, as well as the Biesemeyer line of accessories, from Stanley Black & Decker. This comes just six years after Black & Decker purchased the Delta and Porter-Cable brands from Pentair Group. (Stanley Black & Decker still owns the Stanley, Bostitch, Porter-Cable, and DeWalt brands.)
“We are committed to continue making quality tools and machines that mean something to the woodworker,” said Whiffen, a veteran of nearly 20 years in the tool business with Ryobi. (Joining Whiffen as executive vice-president and COO is Norm McDonald, a longtime veteran of operations and manufacturing with Ryobi.) “The Delta name is known as being the leader in this business for a long, long time, and we aim to continue that tradition. The transition from Black & Decker to Delta Power Equipment Corporation should be unnoticed by the consumer. That’s critical, because we don’t want to take any steps backward as we move forward and focus on growing the brand. And being an independent company with only one brand, we can really concentrate our energies and resources into making it the industry leader. That’s something that kind of gets lost in big companies.”
Whiffen wants Delta customers to be assured of several things:
• Some machines and accessories will continue to be made in the U.S.: the Unisaw tablesaw, Delta radial-arm saw, and Biesemeyer rip fences and accessories. These products, currently manufactured and assembled in Jackson, Tennessee, will now be made in Anderson, South Carolina in a new facility. Although he could not be specific about personnel, Whiffen said, “There’s a list of people specific to the Delta and Biesemeyer brands we’re getting from Black & Decker who will be coming to work for us. There may be more as we set this up further.” He added that Stanley Black & Decker has agreed to build up the inventory of tools made in Jackson to allow the new company time to move the manufacturing machinery to its new location and get it up and running without causing a distribution shortage across the country.
The remaining tools in Delta’s line will continue to be made in Asia. (Although Chang Type Industrial, also known as TOTY, currently makes many tools for DeWalt, it does not make anything for the Delta brand. It also makes several tools, such as mitersaws and radial-arm saws, for Ryobi, Ridgid, and Craftsman.) Whiffen said Chang Type Industrial does not plan to begin manufacturing Delta machines in its factories, but rather continue the relationship already in place with other manufacturers. “This is a pretty small fraternity of companies who make tools overseas,” he said. “Most of the guys who make tools for the Delta line I’ve known for years and have a good relationship with them. We’ve already talked to them about continuing manufacturing for us. That will help us maintain the quality of the tools.”
• This sale will not result in lesser-quality tools. “We will not be getting into the opening price-point area of tools,” Whiffen said. “We will continue to improve the quality of existing tools as well as the ones we’ll be developing.” Customers might notice a new look to some older-design machines several years from now. “I’m a big fan of the new Unisaw,” he said. “It’s a great saw and it has a distinctive look that separates itself from the competition. I can see building the rest of the line to mimic that look and design without compromising on quality.”
• Parts will still be available for older and current machines. The new company will take over all the warranty and replacement-parts business from Stanley Black & Decker, including the “servicenet” Web site, on Feb. 4. “That was a critical part of the negotiations with Black & Decker,” Whiffen said. “There’s a lot of people out there with old Unisaws and other Delta machinery, and we need to be able to take care of them and maintain their trust.” Current Delta service centers will continue to carry and service the brand, he said.
• Included in the purchase is the Web site domain “deltamachinery.com,” which will become the new company’s home site, Whiffen said.
Categories: wood | Tags: Anderson, bandsaw, biesemeyer, Black & Decker, Delta, Delta Machinery, DeWalt, Jackson, Porter-Cable, radial arm saw, rip fence, South Carolina, Stanley, Stanley Black & Decker, table saw, tablesaw, Taiwan, Tennessee, tools, woodworking
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