OUR HISTORY IS OUR STORY
Travel back through time and relive the history of Integrated Components!
Larry Shorter opened his aircraft manufacturing company, J&L Gear and Machine, located at 1551 N. Barwise, near 13th and Mosley, on September 11, 2001. This unfortunate timing brought challenges in launching a business in the aviation industry. J&L was founded on the basis of a sizeable portion of business from Bombardier/Learjet, but their orders were all placed on hold. Nevertheless, J&L Gear began purchasing equipment and diversifying into other industries. The shop soon housed three gear shapers, two gear hobbing machines, a broaching machine and a CNC lathe.
Larry continued to grow his customer base. Robertson Press was a large customer in need of gear cutting at this time. Larry purchased his first CNC Mill, a Hitachi Seiki which the company still uses today. The machine was purchased mainly for tooling requirements bit it did give J&L Gear the opportunity to start pursuing more complex machining work.
J&L Gear hired the first non-family employee to help with the expansion of aviation related business. After weathering the aviation market downturn, Bombardier/Learjet released orders on J&L Gear’s 60+ part numbers to support multiple production lines at the Wichita facility. This made J&L Gear a bona fide aerospace supplier. The next few years brought the addition of such aviation customers as Cox Machine, Weaver Manufacturing and Eaton Corp.
2006 was a year of significant growth for J&L Gear. 3 new employees joined the team. J&L won a large contract from GKN Aerospace to provide parts for the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner production line. In order to support this contract and other growth opportunities, J&L Gear added two new machines while also expanding into the north half of the building at 1551 N. Barwise.
Boeing 787 production was increasing and J&L Gear needed to add another machine to the production floor to keep pace with rate increases on Boeing 747 production. J&L Gear purchased a Mori Seiki DuraTurn which offered automation in the lathe department. J&L Gear had grown to 8 employees by this time.
In order to add needed production capacity in the mill department, J&L Gear added a Mori Seiki Dura Vertical CNC Mill. This was outfitted with tooling which allowed for quick change of fixturing to reduce setup times. Integrated grew to 10 employees.
A year of big change for the company. Production relocated to the current facility at 2525 S. Leonine and the name was changed to Integrated Components, Inc. The move doubled the square footage available for production while also opening up more updated offices, a programming room, an inspection area and an inventory room.
Integrated Components became an OEM supplier to Cessna Aircraft, now Textron Aviation. Integrated Component’s first contract with Cessna included over 160 part numbers feeding the center wing box on the CJ line. Integrated Components added a Sharp CNC Mill to help with the increased need for extrusion production on the center wing box project.
Integrated Components production performance with Cessna opened the opportunity to be an early supplier to the Textron AirLand Scorpion Jet. Production added another Dura Vertical CNC Mill as well as 3 new employees. With the Scorpion project, Integrated Components became well-known for working with hard-to-machine materials, as well as all around difficult parts.
Integrated won a package of bushings feeding the Boeing 787 production line. In order to keep up with demand on this project, as well as working on the Scorpion, Integrated added a Mori Seiki NLX CNC Lathe. This was the most advanced CNC Lathe on Integrated Components’ production line. It included a parts catcher, bar feeder, sub-spindle and full Y-Axis capabilities. This increased the size of parts Integrated Components could produce as well as the quantity, due to increased automation.
In the fall, Integrated Components added a large, 50-taper Akira Seiki Vertical CNC Mill. This opened up capacity with large titanium plate and hardened stainless steel due to the rigidity of the new machine. The new Akira Seiki also opened opportunities to machine other difficult metals such as tungsten and Inconel.
In the fall, Integrated Components fulfilled a long-term plan by adding a Kiwa KH-4500 Horizontal CNC Mill with an 8-pallet system. This added 4th axis capabilities to Integrated Components’ production line as well as automation with the 8-pallet system.
By 2017, Integrated Components was running between 1,500-2,000 unique part numbers a year supporting dozens of the industries best companies. Integrated Components bought a competitor’s gear business which increased production capacity. It also increased the size and complexity of parts Integrated Components could run through the gear department. The employee count had grown to 15 full-time and 2 part-time employees. In order to better support the increase in production and to prepare for the future, Integrated Components also took over the building at 2151 S. Leonine, increasing available plant square footage by 50%.
Integrated Components added a full-time tool crib and a shop floor scheduler/expediter. Allowing machinists to focus on running parts opened up hidden capacity due to less downtime on the floor. Integrated Components also moved finished goods inventory and shipping into the north building. This allowed for an expansion to Integrated Components’ assembly capabilities, as well.
Integrated Components, while still committed to the general and commercial aviation industries, has expanded into the federal sector. Integrated Components is working with all Federal Small Business Offices, from NASA to the military (Air Force/Army/Navy). Integrated Components is also working with all NASA centers, as well as direct NASA primes. Integrated Components builds quality parts at the level of precision demanded across the Federal spectrum. We are excited to see what the future holds.