by Bob Castle
Many of us stand amazed at the feats of modern machinery. From the production of hair-thin hypodermic needles to the life-support equipment and docking stations of the International Space Station, machines impact our lives in phenomenal ways. Behind the scenes and often unnoticed, design engineers are plying their genius to create these incredible contraptions. Enter machining factories like Boos Products, Inc. of Unadilla. Here lathes, mills and gear-cutting machines use computer numerical control (CNC) to forge design engineers’ dreams into reality.
Founded in 1952 by Harry Boos, the company currently employs 10 full-time employees to machine and tool detailed specialty parts, and the company is seeking to hire more people.
Boos Products’ storied history speaks to its management’s quality focus and long-term vision. In the early ’70s, Harry Boos transferred control of the company to his sons Paige, Dennis, Tim and Tom. The business continued to do well under the brothers’ stewardship, and then a Detroit-based gear manufacturer caught their attention.
Boos Products Inc. was in the machining and tooling field; Michigan Gear & Engineering manufactured gears. A merger made sense. In 1988 Boos Products acquired MG&E. The combined company, operating at Boos Products, Inc., moved under one roof at the Unadilla location.
In 2000, the sons sold the company to Darwin Snider and Bill Jewell. Fourteen years later, following Darwin Snider’s untimely death, the company once again operated under sole proprietorship with Jewell becoming its owner and president.
In an interview, Jewell said he was “impressed with the ethics of the Boos family” and how those ethics impacted the business when he purchased it. He said he intends to continue that vision of keeping a healthy work atmosphere with motivated employees producing quality products. Jewell indicated he hopes to see future company growth, and fortunately, the property has adequate room to do so.
Today the company offers both prototypes and production along with CNC machining and gear manufacturing. To quote the company’s website, “We are currently producing parts for the following industries: Defense, Computer, Robotic, Heavy Equipment, Food Processing, Medical and General Manufacturing. Our customer base numbers in the hundreds throughout the U.S.”
Also according to the website, “In the defense area, we have the highest quality rating by General Dynamics Land Systems Division, known as Inspection Delegation (ID) Supplier, which enables us to ship direct to General Dynamics without their inbound inspection. We also service our customer’s QS 9000 requirements.” No minor achievements, considering that QS stands for quality standards specific to suppliers to automobile and truck manufacturers.
When asked about the positive aspects to operating in the vicinity, Jewell cited “good workers from the area that stick with you.” The downside to running a manufacturing company in this area, he said, was “the pool of qualified workers is smaller than in a metropolitan area.”
Regardless, Jewell is happy to be one of the local area’s manufacturers, and he looks forward to years of quality manufacturing at Boos Products. If present success is prelude, the company’s future looks promising.