Banner
Fabricating

Civilian service

By Gretchen Salois

Above: Walker Knox (left) and Terence Reid (right). 

Ex-Marine, former salesman join forces and use military tactics to develop fab shop

November 2016 - A family business offers pros and cons. Pro: The owners know one another better than anyone else—which could also be a con, depending on the day. In the case of cousins Terence Reid and Walker Knox, a lifelong dream of opening a business together meant starting anew. The idea was to leverage Reid’s 30 years in the U.S. Marine Corps as commander of the repair and overhaul facility undergirding ground support equipment inventory, which included a weld and fabrication shop, alongside Knox’s 25 years in sales leadership roles. The result is Mid-Atlantic Fabrication & Finishing (MAF) in Knightdale, North Carolina.

FFJ 1102 webex fab image1

Running things like a well-oiled machine, Reid supervised the fabrication maintenance projects that keep Marine vehicles ready for deployment. After retiring as a colonel, Reid hoped to transition those skills into a civilian production setting. Knox began his career in the sciences, working in a lab. He discovered he felt more at ease with people, rather than specimens, and instead chose sales, focusing on telecommunications products as well as chemicals.

Although they were nearing retirement age, Reid and Knox both vetoed the idea of a work-free routine and instead sought out a fabrication shop for sale to mold it into a family business. After much research, the cousins felt MAF had a strong foundation with the potential for growth. 

FFJ 1102 webex fab image2

Because MAF manufactures precision sheet metal components, including 7- to 20-gauge CNC laser cutting, CNC punching, CNC forming, spot welding as well as MIG, TIG and stick welding services, customers order prototype work and short-run parts production, long part runs and welding, plated or painted assemblies of varying complexity. 

Customer demands for quick-turnaround cycles and high-tolerance requirements were unanticipated but, since opening the shop in 2015, the workforce adjusted and “we’ve gotten used to the changes,” Knox says. It helped a great deal to have workers with 15 to 30 years of experience: “They know exactly what they’re doing,” Reid says.

FFJ 1102 webex fab image3

Terence Reid (left) and Walker Knox (right)

To reinforce that expertise, Reid—who is familiar with well-defined rules and responsibilities—brought in some military tactics to improve operations and efficiency. “We systemized how you come in with a drawing or idea,” he says. In addition, continuing training moves employees through “ranks” of capability.

Business activity continues to grow for MAF as it relentlessly pursues the most efficient and accurate results, mirroring the most goal-oriented military operation. “Walker introduced new products and challenged us to provide different products and services,” Reid says. “But that expertise and attention to detail—as far as our workers [perform], no one in the military does it any better.” FFJ

 

Sources

Banner

Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

IRONWORKERS

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Trilogy Machinery Inc. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters

LASER TECHNOLOGY

PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC. Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

Mazak Optonics Corp.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. MC Machinery Systems Inc. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC Murata Machinery, USA, Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SecturaSOFT

BEVELING

TRUMPF Inc. Davi Inc. SigmaTEK Systems LLC
Steelmax Tools LLC

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Trilogy Machinery Inc. Striker Systems

COIL PROCESSING

MTS Sensors

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

STAMPING/PRESSES

Bradbury Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

Mate Precision Tooling AIDA-America Corp.
Burghardt + Schmidt Group EMH Crane Rolleri USA Nidec Press & Automation
Butech Bliss Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc.

PRESS BRAKES

STEEL

Red Bud Industries UFP Industrial AMADA AMERICA, INC. Alliance Steel
Tishken

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

Automec Inc.

TUBE & PIPE

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

Advanced Gauging Technologies MC Machinery Systems Inc. BLM Group
Mayfran International

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

SafanDarley HGG Profiling Equipment Inc.

DEBURRING/FINISHING

Cincinnati Inc.

PUNCHING

Prudential Stainless & Alloys
ATI Industrial Automation LVD Strippit Hougen Manufacturing

WATERJET

Lissmac Corp. Scotchman Industries Inc.

SAWING

Barton International
Osborn Trilogy Machinery Inc. Behringer Saws Inc. Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
SuperMax Tools

METAL FORMING

Cosen Saws Omax Corp.
Timesavers FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. DoALL Sawing

WELDING

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

MetalForming Inc. HE&M Saw American Weldquip
Beckwood Press Co.

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

Savage Saws Strong Hand Tools
Triform Titan Tool Supply Inc.

 

T. J. Snow Company

TPMG2022 Brands


BPA_WW_MASTER.jpg