Friday, April 4, 2008
We came across this article written about the incredible depth and diversity of the Chicago manufacturing base. Best I can figure, this was written in the early 1970's. Have things changed since then in Chicago (and at Laystrom - see the highlighted section on page 3) - yes and the rate of change is constantly increasing. For those of you who are 'seasoned' like I am, seeing a few of the old company names serves as a reminder of how much things have changed.
I would argue that the Greater Chicago area still has the most depth and diversity of any US manufacturing center. Many of the company names mentioned are gone, but we still have a lot of talented companies!
Has Laystrom changed -- sure. Just like Chicago, we have developed a lot more depth and diversity to what we do. Back then, we made metal stampings for 'aircraft and automotive' markets. In 2008, we still make metal stampings but our processes are just as much CNC sheet metal fabricated parts (lasers/turret press/robotic welding) and short run type metalformed parts as it is stampings. And we do very little these days for the automotive marketplace and instead concentrate on other markets - Among many other market segments, we service medical, telecom, ag. and construction equipment, packaging systems, and lab testing equipment. We do a lot of prototyping today. Bob Laystrom