Precision Screw Thread expands capabilities with Echo Aerospace

Precision Screw Thread Corp.
S82 W19275 Apollo Drive, Muskego
Industry: Precision solutions
Employees: 45
www.precisionscrewthread.com

Some of Precision Screw Thread Corp.’s thread rolled and thread ground solutions are used in aircraft engines, on the International Space Station and in exoskeletons.

The Muskego manufacturer serves clients through three business units: Heli-Tek, which serves industrial applications with standard ball screws; Precision Industrial Products, which provides thread rolling services; and Helical Kinetics, which serves the aerospace and life science industries with design and build products.

Precision Screw Thread is now, however, entering into its newest foray with Echo Aerospace, a separate but affiliated company.

Precision Screw Thread provides thread rolling services through its Precision Industrial Products business unit.

According to Precision Screw Thread president and chief operating officer Mark Tiegs, Echo Aerospace reverse engineers new original equipment manufacturer parts, develops detailed drawings, and then manufactures new replacement parts that are stocked and ready for sale as replacement parts to the aerospace industry.  

Precision Screw Thread will manufacture the parts for Echo Aerospace.  

“Many times the OEM will mark the part up significantly higher than the PMA (parts manufacturing authorization) company will, so we can offer the same part at a lower cost to the end user,” Tiegs said.

Echo Aerospace received its first PMA in February, and is currently looking for other applications to add to its portfolio.

Precision Screw Thread started in 1951 on Milwaukee’s southeast side as a standard machine shop before going on to specialize in thread rolling, a process in which the threads in a piece of metal are formed instead of cut.

Forming the threads results in a higher quality, harder thread with a better surface finish, according to Tiegs.

In the late ’80s and early ’90s, however, the company’s primary thread rolling service business declined due to customers outsourcing the work overseas.

Precision Screw Thread then redirected its focus to the aerospace industry, designing and building specialty ball screw products.

One of the ball screws’ applications is in thrust reversers of aircraft engines, which slow the airplane down after it lands.

“So when you feel that sudden forward momentum in your seat when the plane lands, that’s part of our ball screws in the airplane,” Tiegs said.

Due to its work in the aerospace industry, Precision Screw Thread is AS9100-certified, in addition to ISO 9001-certified.

The aerospace business went on to account for 60 percent of total revenues until 2010, when the Heli-Tek and Precision Industrial Products business units began a resurgence with new marketing and sales initiatives.

Today, Helical Kinetics makes up 40 percent of the company’s revenues; Precision Industrial Products accounts for another 40 percent; and Heli-Tek is responsible for 20 percent, according to Tiegs.

Overall, the company grows, on average, 15 percent per year, he said.

Precision Screw Thread, which was recently featured on the Fox Business Network’s “Manufacturing Marvels,” has 45 employees, and Tiegs said he is constantly looking for qualified people.  

Precision Screw Thread spent a little over $1 million in 2013 on new equipment, and it is planning to invest another roughly $1.3 million on three new pieces of equipment in the next couple of years.

It is located in an approximately 48,000-square-foot facility in the Muskego Industrial Park.

Thread rolling is a process in which the threads in a piece of metal are formed instead of cut.

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