Monthly Archives: June 2018

  • Manufacturing Spotlight: Waterjet Cutting

    Courtesy of Tyler Ruffino

    How does waterjet cutting work?

    There are various machine tool processes for cutting materials, including waterjet cutting, laser, plasma, and more. To most, the idea of using water to cut through industrial materials may seem surprising. However, in manufacturing and processing, it’s a process growing in popularity due to its versatility and ease of operation. Waterjet cutters are often used in metal fabrication, but applications range from used from creating custom floor tiling to cutting frozen meat in food processing.

    So how does water cut through such tough materials? The key is waterjet pumps' ability to force ultrahigh-pressure water through a tiny nozzle. The jet of water strikes the work surface, and the erosive force of the water removes material, not unlike a saw or any other cutting mechanism achieved by abrasion. The high pressure from the waterjet causes the water to flow at such a great velocity, that the force on impact is great enough to create shear in the work piece. That’s why waterjet machines always include the water pressure in its specs.

    Pure water jets, which provide a very thin stream and therefore cut width, are used to cut soft, light materials such as silicone, foam, cork, plastic, and more. Applications include disposable diapers, tissue paper, and automotive interiors.

    Abrasive waterjets are the much more powerful version of waterjet technology. These machines include abrasives in the water to facilitate the erosion process. Since the abrasives option can also be switched off, abrasive waterjets can cut through virtually any material, from paper to steel.

    An intensifier pump is used to create high pressure water.


    Interested in buying a new waterjet table?

    If you’re in an industry that involves cutting processes, chances are you’re already familiar with waterjets. Have you considered adding waterjet cutting capabilities to your shop? There are many considerations when selecting a cutting method.

    One consideration is accuracy: an advantage of waterjets is that they can make parts to very tight tolerances, which translates to cost-savings due to greater material utilization. However, if precision is more important than speed for you, certain processes such as electrical discharge machining can often achieve even higher precision.

    Waterjets also do not require as much uniformity of material, as compared to processes such as laser cutting or electrical discharge machining (EDM). They also do not cause thermal distortion or hardening as no heat is involved. This is an advantage over processes that cause heat transfer, such as laser, plasma and flame cutting.

    Compared to laser cutting, abrasive waterjets can machine certain materials lasers cannot, such as reflective metals like aluminum or copper. Furthermore, unlike machining or grinding, waterjets have the benefit of not producing dust or particles that are harmful if inhaled.

    A potential disadvantage of waterjet cutting is that the abrasives used are usually disposed, so they constitute an additional operational cost. However, abrasives management systems are becoming more available, which may be an investment worth considering due to their ability to recycle a portion of used abrasives.

    Interested in affordable and reliable cutting equipment? Shop our selection:

  • Toolots Attends Chinese-American Elected Officials 2018 Installation & Awards Dinner

    Pictured – CEO Board of Directors

    City Council Member and Vice President Chinese-American Elected Officials Board of Directors, Grace Hu, invited Toolots and Chief Executive Officer, Jason Fu, to attend the Chinese-American Elected Officials (CEO) 2018 Installation & Awards Dinner in Whittier, California.

    Founded in 1997, CEO counts over 100 current and former elected officials in Los Angeles County. Their mission focuses on civic engagement, member education, and community outreach. From federal and state governments, to local city councils, education boards, and water districts, members serve in all rungs of public office.

    The evening was spent celebrating and honoring current and former elected officials, including an inspiring speech by the first Chinese-American woman elected to Congress, Judy Chu. Current CEO President, Honorary Scarlett Kwong, provided welcome remarks and reinforced CEO’s mission and accomplishments. The evening concluded with the presentation of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award. Recipient, Kim Toon Larry Wong was away on business, so his family accepted the award on his behalf. Kim Toon Larry Wong has spent over 60 years as an active Chinese-American community volunteer, leader, and mentor advocating the betterment of Chinese-Americans in America and overseas.

    The Installation & Awards Dinner is a pleasant reminder of how involved Chinese-Americans are in supporting the community. We look forward to a successful year with the support of CEO.

    Pictured – Toolots’ Chief Executive Officer, Jason Fu. CEO VP Board of Directors, Grace Hu

    Pictured – Judy Chu (speaker)














    To learn more about CEO, please visit their website or Facebook page.

  • How Toolots Fulfillment Services Help Vendors Grow Their Distribution


    Part of Toolots' turnkey solutions for our international machinery and equipment vendors is providing local fulfillment. Why’s that so important? For our overseas vendors, shipments to the US can take a long time, especially for large, heavy items that are common in the industries we work with.

    Our US-based warehousing and other services allow vendors to sell in the US even if they don’t have teams of their own here. However, our fulfillment services don’t just help overseas vendors who have few other options. They’re valuable to our domestic vendors as well.


    Our fulfillment services can help US vendors expand operations

    We’re happy to announce that we’ve received our first container from a US-based vendor. Most of our overseas vendors use our warehousing and fulfillment services, but NobleLift is our first US-based vendor to do so.

    NobleLift makes material handling equipment, specializing in pallet jacks and pallet moving equipment. Included in the recent shipment were some of their best-selling pallet jacks and stackers. (As always, we are a third-party platform, so we do not buy any of our vendors’ goods.)

    Most of our US-based vendors either have logistics and order fulfillment functions in place, whether it is their own operations, through their distributors, or a combination of both. But that doesn’t mean they can’t take advantage of our fulfillment services.

    NobleLift has a warehouse in Illinois whose central location has been able to support their distribution needs so far. Of course, as with any other company that warehouses in strategic locations to cut the time and price of shipping, growing demand means it might make sense to open a second location.

    However, opening new warehouses is no small consideration as it involves investing in and training a new team as well. As NobleLift has seen rising demand on the West Coast, they decided to use Toolots’ fulfillment services for their West Coast orders instead.

    NobleLift pallet jacks and stackers have arrived in our warehouse in Cerritos, CA


    What do our fulfillment services look like?

    Sellers on any marketplace platform need a good fulfillment solution. Although the term “fulfillment” is used rather broadly, it generally means anything to do with storing and shipping: warehousing, inventory, software, distribution, shipping providers, returns, etc.

    Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a great example of how sellers can streamline sales and cut costs when a marketplace offers fulfillment services fully integrated with their platform. Of course, fulfillment needs are different for consumer goods. Amazon FBA’s competitive advantage is in the various pick-and-package efficiencies they’ve developed for the purpose of fulfilling many disparate small purchases with high turnover, so the cost per square foot is priced accordingly. Industrial equipment orders are higher in value and require less pick-and-package, so it is not cost-effective to pay for fulfillment that is catered towards consumer goods. We charge 50 cents per cubic foot for storage – cheaper than the industry average.

    But cost is not the only consideration. Warehouse location and ship time are just as important for B2B equipment than for consumer goods, if not more, because operational downtime is costly for businesses. It’s important that it’s done right.

    Contrary to Amazon FBA and third-party logistics companies who handle consumer goods, our fulfillment services are specialized for our industry. In fact, Shopify’s guide to third party warehousing and fulfillment lists “similar industry specialization” as the number one consideration in choosing a fulfillment company. Our warehouse and personnel specialize in handling large, high-value equipment and machinery. By using our services to expand operations, vendors can optimize cost-efficiency and our buyers can rest assured that their purchases are handled properly and arrive in a timely manner.

    Are you a US-based vendor interested in selling on Toolots? For more information, contact Toolots customer service.

  • Ningbo Municipal Office of Overseas Chinese Affairs Visits Toolots

    Last week, Toolots had the pleasure of hosting representatives from the Ningbo Municipal Office of Overseas Chinese Affairs at our headquarters to discuss the present position of Toolots and CEO Jason Fu's vision for the future.

    While engaging in lively discourse with these representatives, Jason spoke about how Toolots is helping small and mid-size Chinese manufacturers break into international trade. Jason created a groundbreaking model to help manufacturers sell overseas while keeping costs low for consumers with the Toolots e-commerce platform. Other e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Alibaba have tried to tap into overseas industrial equipment, but have only had success with consumer goods. Industrial equipment is highly technical, and because of the language barrier, manufacturers can't effectively communicate equipment specifications or set up a business presence in the US, making it challenging to sell on other e-commerce platforms and increasingly difficult to break into the US market.  Because of this, people all over China are talking about the great things Toolots is doing for Chinese manufacturers.

    Our guests from the Ningbo Municipal Office of Overseas Chinese Affairs were excited to hear that Toolots is working with manufacturers in their region to improve product quality and demand for their products. Ningbo is a harbor city in the Zhejiang province located at the fifth largest port in the world, the Ningbo-Zhoushan port. In 2013, Ningbo's exports totaled $65.7 billion, ranking second in economic performance in the Zhejiang province. Some of Ningbo's key exports to the US include metals, papers, plastics and agricultural products. Ningbo hits home for Jason because he was born and raised in this city. He has great rapport with the business owners in the area, and because of this, most of Toolots' Chinese vendors are from his hometown.

    Jason also discussed several goals he has for Toolots with the Ningbo Municipal Office of Overseas Chinese Affairs representatives.

    "Our goal for this year is to onboard 300 merchants from China by October," said Jason. "We are also in the process of seeking series A funding."

    Because Toolots is growing so rapidly, we have encountered challenges in product specifications and shipment. We are currently working with vendors to alleviate these problems and ensure that their products meet US standards.

    "We all learn from our mistakes," Jason said. "Each mistake is a learning experience, and we will continue to grow this way."

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