This year, the Engineering Resource Center is celebrating 5 years in business and we can hardly believe it. In this week's blog post, we're taking a trip down memory lane to show just how far The ERC has come since 2015.
The ERC was first established in 2013 as a prototyping department of an injection molding company. However, it wasn't until January 2015 that we officially became a standalone company operated by owner Ryan Duffey and Manager/Engineer Matt Sweeney.
But we weren't just another rapid prototyping company entering the scene. The ERC had a different mission: to manufacture high quality, inexpensive plastic prototypes without asking our customers to compromise any of their design specifications. This would be entirely possible thanks to the development of our unique proprietary modular tooling system.
An empty 14,000 square foot warehouse became the Engineering Resource Center as we built in offices and set up our tool making shop with a Haas CNC steel cutter, Hurco CNC steel cutter, Hurco graphite cutter and Mitsubishi electrical discharge machine (EDM).
A year later in January 2016, we installed our first in-house automatic 55 ton injection molding press. Customers were now able to sample their parts at The ERC to test different materials and even order small production part quantities using their prototype mold. The fact that the machine was equipped with robotics and RJG software meant that we could run parts "lights out", 24/7.
2017 paved way for more brand exposure as we started to put our name on the map. In January 2017, The ERC hired Molly Skiba to manage the company's marketing. We attended a few industry trade shows in Charlotte, NC and Indianapolis, IN. We also spiffed up our office that summer by building a new game room to house a golf simulator, pinball machine, foosball and shuffleboard.
2018 brought many changes our way as we continued to grow our business. Our team attended Design-2-Part shows throughout the country in Chicago, Raleigh, Akron, and St Charles. Anticipating a wealth of new customers, we decided to bring on two talented employees: Austen Ballmann as our new engineer and Fritz Dowe as our a third journeyman toolmaker. These two have been great additions to our team and have helped take The ERC to where it is today.
2019 was The ERC's most successful year yet. We increased our capabilities by installing a 200 ton injection molding press. The new machine has given us the capacity to mold larger parts as well as the ability to make multi-cavity molds for manufacturing high production volumes of smaller parts. We also started offering a more efficient way to manufacture internally threaded parts with this cool threaded core mechanic.
Our increased efficiency can largely be credited to the two talented Journeyman Toolmakers we hired, Aaron Below and David Gosh. David's programming experience helped us automate our tool making process so we have been able to run our CNC's lights-out without worries.
On the marketing side of things, we launched a brand new modernized website.
2020 is all about keeping the momentum going. We added aluminum tooling as an option for customers that want a cost-effective option for projects that don't require the durability of steel, such as early stage prototypes or simple, low volume plastic parts.
Since 2015, we've come a long way in expanding our manufacturing offerings from prototypes to low volume production and production tooling. Being a small business in the plastics industry hasn't always been easy but each and every project we've helped make has made it worth it.
Being able to work closely with our customers makes each successful project even more rewarding. Sometimes it's seeing the parts we helped develop go into production and onto a product that's sold to millions of people. Other times it's seeing the excitement of an inventor as we show them their first 3D model of the product they dreamed up for so long. No matter what it is, our heart is in it.
Be a part of our story by developing your prototype parts at The ERC. Simply fill out our Rapid Quote form and our engineers will respond quickly with a no-obligation quote. We can't wait to work with you on your prototypes in 2020!