Small Business Showcase: United Gear & Machine Company
Each month, we profile a Connecticut small business, showcasing the ingenuity and innovation driving the state’s economy. For July, we spoke with Kurt Malec, president of United Gear & Machine Company, Inc., based in Suffield.
When was your company founded?
How many employees work for your company?
Who are your customers?
Military aerospace and space exploration customers
What makes your company unique?
United Gear & Machine specializes in precision gear and spline cutting for the aerospace industry, including military, and space exploration customers.
UGM’s capabilities include gear shaping (both manual and CNC driven), broaching, hobbing, and gear grinding for high precision work on hardened materials.
Primarily a job shop, we work typically in lot sizes from one to 50, but are capable of handling larger production runs as needed.
Gear shaping and splining is a very niche procedure, and UGM’s history and experience with this process is invaluable to our customer base.
Whether it is directing the conversation on manufacturability or coming up with solutions for understanding acceptance criteria, UGM is able to draw upon its years of experience and wealth of knowledge to help get jobs done right.
We excel at handling complex jobs, whether that comes in the form of a unique set up, an extra coarse spline pitch, or a non-standard pressure angle.
UGM’s network of resources provides fast, reliable services, such as custom tooling and product finishing.
Additionally, United Gear & Machine helps customers with their design for manufacturing needs.
Once again relying upon their expertise, UGM helps to ensure customer drawings are created reasonably and properly the first time, to avoid the struggle of dealing with an impossible design once a part is already in WIP.
What is a fun fact about your business or its history?
We are a third generation family business. Our founder, Victor Malec, lived on site in a Quonset Hut he got after returning from World War II.
The Quonset Hut is still on site and now houses a great flower and gift shop, Vine & Ivy!
Why did you choose Connecticut?
We’ve chosen to stay in Connecticut because of the advantage of being in the nation’s aerospace alley.
We are part of an excellent network of precision, advanced manufacturers, and companies across the country known to seek out that supply base.
What is the greatest advantage to operating in Connecticut?
The same reason we stay in Connecticut, the vast variety of aerospace companies and suppliers in the area.
How do you try to give back to your community?
We support local sports teams and various charities throughout the area.
You’ll often see one of our avid golfers at tournaments in the greater Hartford area.
Where do you see your company in five years? Ten years?
The company has grown significantly in the last decade, with yearly capital investments in machinery upgrades, building updates, and an entirely new CNC only building that came online in 2020.
There are also plans for another 16,000 square foot mixed use building on site to be completed by 2024, which will add 13,000 more square feet of manufacturing space.
What is the main thing policymakers could implement to make your company more competitive?
Encourage trade schools at a high school level, help end the stigma around manufacturing jobs, and highlight how entering the workforce out of high school is just as good as attending a four-year university.
Offer more funding for workforce training at local community college manufacturing programs from employers.
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