What was it that inspired Ralph “Buck” Cates to decide to go “solo” in 1982? Buck had worked in machine shops all of his life, but he saw precision beyond precision. Buck understood what “the system” meant . Buck knew that no matter how good a machinist could be, a system must be in place in order to make the machinist flourish, in order to make precision happen. So it was in 1982, that Buck and a select group of hand-picked machinists turned on the power at a modest but powerful 5,000 sq. ft. machine shop in Walworth, Wisconsin. Buck called it “Precision Plus” because of his belief: precision should always go beyond its expectations.
17,000 sq. ft. and 50 employees later, Buck saw it as the perfect time to pass on his legacy. It was in 1988 that Buck sold his company, his vision to Phil Reader. Soon after the transition, Phil was confronted with the reality of “a global economy.” It was no longer manufacturing as usual. Emerging economies were making strides into the U.S. manufacturing arena. Phil had to consider his current aging equipment situation and come up with a solution to stay ahead of the trends and competitiveness of this “new” economy.
As fate would have it, Phil’s son, Michael Reader, who had studied finance and worked in areas of international affairs, joined the company in 1995. Michael understood both the importance of running a competitive U.S. manufacturing business and the strategies of how it would fit within a global economy.
The transition took Precision Plus through a series of renovation and expansion: Retrofitted machines were replaced by state-of the-art equipment able to maximize efficiency, while a new, expandable 45,000 sq. ft. facility in Elkhorn, Wisconsin made it able to accommodate rigorous schedules and just-in-time deliveries.
Precision Plus Inc. has never stood still during these years. It’s always been keen in anticipating industry changes, always making sure to capture trends, always ready to respond to the most challenging requests that will make efficiency shine.
Michael, now at the head of the company, has never forgotten Buck’s mission: “Precision beyond precision. “ Even in a non-tolerant industry as the Swiss-turning precision component one, innovation is always the answer. Michael, Phil, and everyone at Precision Plus know that.