Special Focus

Making owners of private aircraft feel as if they are in a five-star hotel rather than flying in an airplane is largely the result of a cabin’s furnishings. Producing aircraft interior components with a world-class level of luxury and quality that their owners demand while still meeting the aviation industry’s requirements for weight and flammability is the specialty of Odyssey Aerospace Components. 

Owners of Greenpoint Technologies – which has been furnishing custom interior completions for private aircraft in Kirkland, Wash., for more than 25 years – founded Odyssey Aerospace Components in 2008 in Denton, Texas. 

Odyssey’s origination ensured a timely supply of interior components with exceptional quality. Besides supplying interiors to Greenpoint, Odyssey supplies components to additional customers, some of them located internationally.

Fullerton Tool Co. has manufactured high-quality solid carbide cutting tools since 1942. “It is our 71st year and we have always been a precision tool-maker,” says President Patrick Curry, a member of the third generation to head the family business. “We produce tools for maximum removal and minimal energy. We make diverse types of cutting tool that produce chips or holes.”

Fullerton Tool serves a wide variety of industries with its tools, including aerospace, automotive, firearms, heavy equipment, medical, mold and die, power generation, recreational and small engine manufacturing. The company offers solid carbide cutting tools including drills, saws, PCD, burrs and end mills manufactured in a 40,000-square-foot facility in Saginaw, Mich. 

Fullerton Tool products are known for their high metal removal rates. The company is also known for having the shortest lead-time in the industry for solid carbide saws.

Frequent fliers may not give a second thought to airplane components such as cabin lighting, but it is the name of the game for Wisconsin-based EMTEQ.

EMTEQ was started in 1996 by CEO Jerry Jendusa and Jim Harasha, executive vice president. “It’s a great American story,” COO Mark Ciepluch says. “They borrowed money from friends, banks and took out second mortgages. They started the company with zero revenue and zero products and last year we exceeded $100 million in sales.”

Fifty-five percent of EMTEQ’s business serves executive and regional aircraft OEMs, and the remainder serves the aftermarket. The OEM market has seen steady growth since the 2007-2008 market crash. “The aftermarket is still pretty healthy also,” Ciepluch says. “There is still a fair amount of used aircraft on the market, but we have been able to capture our unfair share. We’ve seen consistent and steady growth.” 

Ace Clearwater has been providing aerospace customers with welded and formed metal assemblies for more than 60 years. The company has seen dramatic changes in the industry in Southern California, and has weathered these swings for decades. Its longevity has made it a resilient and experienced contender in a marketplace plagued by closures, budget cuts and wildly changing military allocations. 

The Torrance, Calif.-based company has been under the direction of President Kellie Johnson since 1984 when she took the reins from her father, Tim Dodson. The future of Ace Clearwater was secured through Dodson’s ability to create a vertically integrated manufacturing enterprise. A true entrepreneur, Dodson was able to grow the small weld shop, which was started by his father-in-law in the 1950s, into a manufacturing powerhouse.

American manufacturing is poised for a comeback thanks to companies such as Wauseon Mach­ine and Manufacturing (WMM). Found­­­ed as a small contract machine shop in 1983, the company continues to evolve as it nears its 30th anniversary in 2013.

People who can set up a small shop to assemble material handling manipulators and tooling might consider themselves competitors to Positech Corp., but that is not the way President Mike Olson sees it. “We consider our strongest competitors to be about a dozen [companies], but if you look at people who sell material handling manipulators and tooling, they’re probably in the hundreds,” Olson calculates. “Anybody who can build this little piece of equipment in their garage gets to consider themselves qualified, but we don’t agree with that.”

Unlike many battery manufacturers that work strictly for OEMs, Global Technology Systems (GTS) has made its name by working directly with end-users of its batteries since its inception in 1999. This distinction, according to COO Mike Grosberg, is the difference between customers getting the best performance available today vs. having to purchase new devices to get the latest in battery technology from manufacturers.

Some firms limit the autonomy of their workers, but not Applied Energy Solutions (AES). Instead, President Vern Fleming says the company gives them the opportunity to make important decisions on its work floor.

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