St. Paul, MN (July 18, 2018) — Located in Ravenna, Ohio, Allen Aircraft Products, Inc. is an industry leader in the production of aircraft fluid systems components. With over 70 years of experience, and over 100 employees, Allen Aircraft has grown from a small company into an international supplier.
The success at Allen Aircraft, both in the past and the present is credited greatly to their ability to deliver superior products, on time. Allen Aircraft bases their approach on innovative engineering, committed to developing products that meet their customer’s needs at the highest levels of quality, service and performance.
Allen Aircraft maintains strict international standards, as is exemplified in their various industry certifications including ISO 9001:2000, AS9100 and FAR Part 21, yet they remain flexible enough to meet the varying needs of their customers.
When looking at the various options available for 5-axis machines on the market, Allen Aircraft decided on an MX-520 from Matsuura. Although they had done some positional 3+2 work in the past, they did not have a machine that was true simultaneous 5 axis machine.
With high-precision, performance, speed, accuracy and reliability, the MX-520 provided a simple, effortless and cost-effective transition from 3-Axis to full 5-Axis operation.
The MX-520 has a compact footprint and outstanding ergonomic design, allowing rapid set-up and processing of complex parts and guarantees high rigidity, a generous machining envelope and excellent operability. The MX-520 also offers an assortment of configurations, which are ideal for all applications, all industries and all materials.
The Matsuura MX-520 is designed with a RAM type structure, which offers a compact and highly-rigid machining platform. The machine guarantees high rigidity, as well as, a generous machining envelope with excellent operability. The MX-520 also offers an assortment of configurations, which are ideal for all applications, all industries and all materials.
The headstock and trunnion on the MX-520 have been configured to minimize collision while maximizing tool access and reach. The MX-520 is offered with two table sizes: 11.81 in. and 19.68 in. (option). Loading capacity is 440 lb.
Like all Matsuura 5-axis CNC Machines, CAMplete TruePath came standard with Allen Aircrafts MX-520. This relationship between Matsuura and CAMplete, offered a complete solution of software and hardware that allowed Bill Kemble, Manufacturing Engineer at Allen Aircraft to hit the ground running from day one.
Dealing with CAM systems directly for a post can be difficult and time-consuming, with CAMplete TruePath serving as a universal post processor, Allen Aircraft was able to eliminate the machine downtime that comes with waiting and proving out on a custom post.
With CAMplete Truepath you don’t need to be a computer software engineer to get the output that you want. The universal post was not a perfect match for the custom needs at Allen Aircraft, but with the visual drag & drop post-editor, Bill Kemble was able to edit the post to the exact machine function he wanted to output.
What came as a surprise to Mr. Kemble was how quickly he was able to make use of CAMplete TruePath. Learning a new software can be daunting, especially when your time is already stretched thin. Bill noted that he was able to learn it and start running parts within a day.
The ready-to-go post processor paired with CAMplete TruePaths easy to learn and intuitive interface meant Allen Aircraft was running parts on their Matsuura within no time. Making the transition into true 5-axis machining easy and painless.
When asked the biggest advantage of CAMplete TruePath, Mr. Kemble had this to say: “Being able to run the verification and send it to the machine, knowing what I programmed is going be a good part, on the first part, with no guessing or checking involved.”
Allen Aircraft Products, Inc., recently celebrated the company’s 70th anniversary at the Ravenna Elks Lodge. In attendance were the entire workforce, nine retirees and several board members, along with Neil Mann Jr., president, and his children, Neil “Trey” Mann III, senior vice president, and Debbie Mann, vice president of operations.
Allen Aircraft was a vision in the eye of Neil Mann Sr. While working at Wright Airfield in Dayton after World War II, Neil had the idea for a more efficient drop-tank valve to be used on the government’s long range military aircraft.
Returning to his hometown of Ravenna, he set up shop in the corner office of a friend, George Walter. With the aid of another friend, Hugh Riddle, Neil was able to design and manufacture his valve. To raise capital for future ventures and ideas, Neil and Hugh organized Allen Aircraft Products, Inc. (named in memory of Douglas Allen Mann) and sold 80 shares of stock to investors in the Ravenna community.
The first order was from Boeing for a drop tank disconnect valve for use on the B-50 Bomber, which was an upgrade of the B-29. Over the years, Allen Aircraft’s No. 1 customer has continued to be Boeing with parts on all Boeing Commercial Aircraft since the 707, as well as on all military aircraft including the B-50.
In 1949, the development and manufacture of a new line of valves and the addition of a patented solid film lubricant, which was the beginning of the Metal Finishing Division, caused Allen to move into a 1,200 square foot facility at Cotton Corners. The building was formerly the Vicker Trailer Agency on the comer of Woodbine Avenue and Newton Falls Road.
In 1952, Allen doubled its size by the construction of an office addition. By this time, the company had developed more than 50 different products for the aircraft industry. In addition to the drop tank valve, the line had grown to pressure relief valves for hydraulic systems, drain valves for fuel tanks, oxygen couplers for unpressurized cabins, landing gear, and other hydraulic actuators.
By 1962, Allen Aircraft expanded its operations for the fifth time at this location by constructing a new 6,000 square foot building onto the existing one at Newton Falls Road. Along with this expansion, Allen’s ranks had grown to 60 employees.
Also at this time. Allen had become the world’s only manufacturer of the automatic fuel transfer jet pump. During the war, pilots had to manually throw a switch in the cockpit to activate an electric motor driven pump to transfer fuel from one tank to another. With the development of this new pump, aircraft could become lighter, more reliable, and less expensive.
In 1968, 1970, 1974, 1975, and again in 1976, Allen Aircraft was nominated for the “Small Business Subcontractor of the Year” award, which was presented by the U.S. Government’s Small Business Administration. Of the 12,000 capable small business subcontractors in the Mid-Atlantic Region, Allen Aircraft was one of only 20 to receive this consideration.
In 1985, Allen Aircraft paved the way for yet another expansion by the purchase and rehabilitation of the building at 6168 Woodbine Ave. Several divisions of the company were relocated to this facility to enable a centralization of the company. Among the departments now operating there are: Engineering, Sales, Accounting, Purchasing, Human Resources, IT; also, Aircraft Assembly, Shipping, Labs, and Quality Control.
Throughout the 1990s, Allen continued to invest in the latest CNC machines, and quick-change tooling. The combination of some of the latest technology in CNC machines along with quick change tooling and cellular techniques have made the machine shop one of the most capable in the area.
In 1997, and again in 2001, Allen Aircraft completed major acquisitions that included the aerospace product line of The Lisle Corporation located in Clarinda, Iowa, and Dyna-Air Corporation, a division of Shaw Aerospace located in Naples, Fla. The product lines included chip detectors, magnetic plugs, and oil level sensors.
The acquisitions provided access to engine and gearbox manufacturers throughout the aerospace industry. The company is now a recognized industry leader in the design and development for these products.
Today, Allen Aircraft enjoys long-term relationships with nearly every major engine and airframe manufacturer in the world. These relationships secure its long-term interests in the aircraft community and form the basis of its commitment for continuous improvement in all the things it does.
To learn more about Allen Aircraft, please visit: AllenAircraft.com
To learn more about CAMPlete, please visit: CAMPlete.com
Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc., located in St. Paul, MN is the U.S. subsidiary of Matsuura Machinery Corporation in Japan. Since 1935, Matsuura has been the forerunner in designing innovative technology and manufacturing solutions to a variety of industries around the globe. Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc. delivers unmatched excellence in 5-axis, vertical, horizontal, linear motor, multi-tasking CNC machine tools and machines with a powder bed metal AM platform with machining capability. Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc. provides the service, applications and technical field support that have always been the Matsuura standard for business. For more information on Matsuura products, contact: [email protected] or visit: www.matsuurausa.com.