Mayday’s move

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David Minton/DRC
A worker uses fluorescent dye to test for defects of parts for aircraft landing gear at Mayday Manufacturing on Thursday, Dec. 12, in Denton.
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Plant to relocate entire operation into one building

Precision. Everything done in the Mayday Manufacturing headquarters in Denton is precise.

The aerospace materials created in the plant can be required to be within .001 inch of specifications outlined by major original equipment manufacturers around the world, with more than 100,000 types of parts produced in the company’s nearly 50-year history.

“If we made a car with these specifications, number one it would never die, and number two it would be a $3 [million] to $4 million car,” said Gus Whiteman, aerospace sales manager.

Now the company is taking precision one step further. To maximize efficiency and streamline how the materials are made, the company is moving its headquarters to a new location in Denton, with plans to open the new facility in March.

Company President Dan Caine said the new space will help accommodate the rapidly expanding businesses. Mayday and its sister company, Hi-Tech Metal Finishing, have grown up to 12 percent a year recently, and they expect the company to do the same in 2014. Both companies were purchased by Tailwind Technologies in 2009.

“This positions both Mayday and Hi-Tech to grow with the aerospace market much nicer than we were previously,” Caine said. “We’ve made a strategic decision to stay here in Denton and our owners, Tailwind Technologies, on behalf of Mayday and Hi-Tech, made a strategic decision to stay in Denton. It’s a great place for our business.”

The company is best known for its precision bushings, which are components used between more expensive parts that would otherwise rub together when in use. It also makes sleeves, pins and other components for planes and helicopters, and other plane parts.

The current facilities are in two buildings along Interstate 35W, with about 56,000 square feet that hold both Mayday Manufacturing and Hi-Tech Metal Finishing, which is co-owned by Mayday, Whiteman said. One building holds a machine shop and some offices; the other holds more offices, more machinery and Hi-Tech Metal Finishing, which basically coats and seals many of the parts made at Mayday to prevent erosion.

Drivers can frequently see golf carts moving between the two buildings to transport the unfinished products, Whiteman said.

“We quickly realized a year and a half ago that ... we would meet our capacity in this building. We’re out of room,” he said. “We needed more machines. We don’t even have a sufficient-sized parking lot.”

With the move, everything will be housed under one roof on Jim Christal Road in a building that is approximately 130,000 square feet.

“It helps from the standpoint of putting two companies under one roof again,” said Doug Wulf, vice president of manufacturing for Mayday. “We’re looking for a lot of efficiency increases with transportation and communication, reducing our lead times to our customers and other cost efficiencies because of our close proximity.”

Mayday acquired the new facility about a year ago, and hired a local construction company to do some demolition and remodeling, including adding 15,000 square feet of office space in the front of the building, Wulf said.

The company kicked off the move on Thursday, by transporting some of the machines over to the new facility. In February, it expects to move the rest of the manufacturing components as well as the processing facilities for Hi-Tech. During the first week of March, the offices and anything left is scheduled to move, Wulf said.

By having most steps of the manufacturing in the same building, Mayday can complete an emergency order in a day if necessary, something its competitors can rarely, if ever, do, Whiteman said.

“Part of Mayday’s success has been that we’re a bushing company, and we’re going to stay a bushing company,” Whiteman said.

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.

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