Universal Grinding Corporation
UNIVERSAL GRINDING CORPORATION (U.G.C.), A PRECISION GRINDING facility, was founded in 1944 in downtown Cleveland across from what is now Jacobs Field. With the need for grinding on the rise following the end of World War II and the boom in the automotive industry, business flourished. In the early 1950’s, the Flats became the second home for the company. An increase in business brought about U.G.C. ‘s move in 1979 to its current, 80,000-square-foot building on Cleveland’s near west side.
Like other manufacturers in the area, the company experienced tough times in the otherwise high flying 1980’s. Return on investment was low and competition was high. In 1986, the former owners of U.G.C. announced that the company would shut its doors for good.
This announcement changed the lives of many, including Donald R. Toth, who had gone to work at the U.G.C. plant where his father had once been a grinder. Don Toth began working at the company as a shipping clerk in 1958. While his coworkers contemplated their future unemployment, Don refused to throw in the towel. He recognized opportunity where others saw only despair. He believed that the quality of the products, the commitment to service, and the dedication of its employees had kept U.G.C. afloat in previous hard times, and that the company could have future success if man aged well. After the announcement, Don approached U.G.C. ‘s owners and negotiated the purchase of the company. Upon successful negotiation, U.G.C. reopened and was back in business. In a matter of days, Don had become the company’s owner.
Don made the decision to maintain U.G.C. in Cleveland. “We have access to skilled metal working personnel, a superior transportation system, and a history of business in Cleveland that enables us to get our completed products to our customers on time. Cleveland is conveniently located in the Midwest and gives us the ability to serve our customers no matter where they are,” comments Don. Although the majority of its customers are from Ohio and the surrounding states, U.G.C. also serves customers from coast to coast, as well as some international businesses.
Don is the owner/president and his wife, Nancy, serves as vice president. Four of their six children play a significant role in U.G.C. ‘s day-to-day operation. Don explains, “We not only have a business commitment to our customers, but a family commitment to U.G.C. and Cleveland as well.”
While many industrial companies have left the city, U.G.C. has stayed and continued to succeed. A solid marketing plan, quality products, and timely deliveries have helped the company become one of the largest job shop grinding facilities east of the Mississippi. The products that U.G.C. manufactures are utilized in many industries such as automotive, food, and medical.
In the past decade, U.G.C. has gone from hard times to a successful, thriving company. From 1993 through 1996 alone, 14 new pieces of equipment were added to handle the increase in volume. Monica Toth, U.G.C. ‘s sales/marketing manager, maintains, “The trust the company has inspired and the partnerships it has developed with its customers are responsible for the continued growth. U.G.C. ‘s motto is ‘When It’s Universal, It’s Ground to Be Good,’ and we truly believe that. Our customers look to us to produce the very best product and we continue to strive for excellence. We are willing to help with the research and development for our customers to obtain the end result they want.”
Don adds, “From the standpoint of diversity in services offered, U.G.C. maintains a leading edge in the industry. Our capability to perform most all grinding operations makes our service very marketable.” Among the grinding services offered are blanchard, centerless (infeed and thrufeed), double disc, hypro lapping, internal/external, and surface. In addition to grinding, U.G.C. can furnish items complete to blueprint specifications. “In lay terms, that means a customer provides a blueprint and U.G.C. will work with the necessary vendors to create a quality product. This is only possible by using some of Cleveland’s other quality companies and resources to get the best final product possible,” Don explains.
U.G.C. ‘s dedication to service is reflected throughout the organization in the personal pride its staff take in performing their jobs. “My goal is to improve my service every day. The better I perform, the more efficient we become,” comments an employee. That attitude, Don explains, helps the company produce better products. U.G.C. also continues to upgrade as it grows, taking advantage of opportunities to enhance its reputation for providing high-quality products and superb service. Recent additions include a new computer system and a laser that marks, or etches, metals.
“Universal Grinding Corporation—as a company and a family—is firmly committed to Cleveland. We will continue to address new ways to improve our service and customer relations, to show the pride of a Cleveland based company,” concludes Don. “Our customers as well as our employees are the ones to be congratulated for the continued success of Universal Grinding Corporation.”
U.G.C.’S Products Live Up To The Company’s Motto: “When It’s Universal, It’s Ground To Be Good.”
Since 1944, Universal Grinding Corporation has been committed to customer satisfaction by providing high quality grinding service both nationally and internationally. The key to customer satisfaction has been and always will be performance. To further back that motto we have been ISO 9001 certified since 2006.
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