WEST LAFAYETTE -- Jones Metal Products Company in West Lafayette is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year and will have an open house on Friday, June 14.
The public is invited for tours from 1 to 3 p.m.
"Ninety years ago, the company was a stamping and enameling factory. Over the years, it has transitioned to a metal forming and heat treating specialist," said Marion Sutton, chairman. "Ed Mulligan, who led the company for many years, saw the opportunity to move it in this direction and develop it as a valuable niche player in the metal forming industry."
"We are continuing to add capabilities to complement our metal forming operation," added Dan Erb, president and CEO.
Computerized laser cutters, milling machines, and advanced aluminum and vacuum heat treating services are examples.
"Customers are looking for these additional services to be performed on the parts we manufacture, so we have worked to add them," he said.
Mike Baker, vice president and treasurer, commented on the transition in a different way.
"We have moved through the years seeing our products evolve from bedpans to aerospace parts and where raw material inventory in 1940 cost less than one sheet of titanium at $2,467 today," Baker said.
He also noted that the company has been in continuous operation in West Lafayette all these years and is proud to be a part of the community.
Commenting on Jones Metal, Fred Williams, vice president of Operations, said the company has available more than 160,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 80 employees.
A highlight on the tour will be the hydroform department, which he said, "has the most deep-draw hydroform machines in operation in the country."
Machines will be working during the tour, and safety glasses will be provided. Visitors are asked to wear appropriate shoes (no sandals, open toe shoes, please).
The tour will include stops at shipping and receiving, laser, tool and die, stamping, hydroform, quality control, ProBell, maintenance, and heat treat departments. Because the hydroform department is at the core of the business, visitors will be invited to see demonstrations on several of the 11 machines in the department. Demonstrations will be provided also at the 3 and 5 axis lasers, Omera trimmer, 5 axis machining, CNC lathe, aluminum and vacuum heat treat furnaces, and mechanical presses.
The company's tour guides will include Allen Young, Quality manager; Doug Share, director of Technology and Development; Chris Barlow, Engineering manager; Matt Cabot, Tool designer; Eric Dennis, Tool Room supervisor; Greg Mast, Product Development manager; Ed Myers; Manufacturing manager; Mike Finton, Technical Services supervisor; and Clyde Bean, Supply Chain manager.
History will be highlighted. Products and parts from Jones Metal's past will be displayed and discussed by Dan and June Markley, West Lafayette historians. Old photographs, some taken by Frank E. Jones, the company's founder, will also be on display, along with photos and parts manufactured today. Visitors will also see a decade by decade listing of events in the company's history (attached), prepared by Marion Sutton as a companion and update to "The First Seventy Five Years," which was published by Ed Mulligan in 1998.
Earlier in the day on behalf of the company, Todd Kohl, President of the JonesZylon Company division, will present a donation of 20 iPads to the Ridgewood School system. "This is another way that we are commemorating Jones Metal's 90th anniversary," he said. "They will be used in science and math labs as learning tools for the students."