Our Foundation Was Built On Hard Work
Huron Automatic Screw Company was founded by Keith E. Brooks in March, 1931, beginning operations in a small barn in Port Huron, Michigan. Mr. Brooks had worked for various companies in Michigan and California as a set up operator of Acme Gridley and Brown and Sharpe Automatic Screw Machines and decided the time was right to try to make a go of it on his own. Little did he know the Great Depression was looming dead ahead.
Despite the disastrous economic conditions, the innovations, desire and hard work of Keith Brooks, his wife Lucy, and their employees allowed Huron Automatic Screw Company to survive and grow. We moved to a larger building in Port Huron in early 1935. As the business continued to expand there were several remodels and expansions at this location, and eventually a heat treat facility was added.
The Tradition Of Quality History Continues
The continuation of Huron Automatic Screw Company as a family business was assured when Keith and Lucy’s son Allen joined the business in 1953 following an education in screw machine engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology and service in the Korean War. Allen was joined by his brother Walter in 1956, following his graduation from Wayne State University and service in the U.S. Army in Germany.
The company continued to grow and prosper throughout the 1950’s, and it was soon obvious that a larger facility was required. In 1959 Huron Automatic Screw Company moved to its current location at 4918 Gratiot Rd. in St. Clair Township, MI. The approximately 36,000 square foot existing building was much larger than the Water St. facility and allowed room for continued expansion. The Company continued to operate its own heat treat facility at the new site.
With space now available, the 1960’s and 1970’s were a time to expand and modernize. Most of the screw machines utilized up to this point had been purchased as used equipment. In 1967 the Company began an aggressive process of replacing the aging machines with new Acme‑Gridley Multiple Spindle Automatic Screw machines. Between 1967 and 1975 the Company purchased six new 1″ RAN‑6 and two new 1 1/4″ RA‑6 model screw machines. These machines were faster and much more reliable and accurate than the machines they replaced and allowed Huron Automatic Screw Company to remain competitive in a challenging market.
The 1980’s at Huron Automatic Screw Company were marked by the influence of computers on manufacturing, a trend which certainly continues to this day. Our first Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) machine was purchased in 1980, a Hardinge CHNC single spindle lathe. This equipment allowed the company to expand into new markets with parts characterized by small run quantities, exacting tolerances, and produced from materials which are challenging to machine. Throughout the 1980’s the Company purchased five additional CNC machines designed for super precision work.
The Company celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 1981 by constructing a 6000 square feet addition to its manufacturing facility. This addition provided the space necessary for the expanding CNC Department, as well as storage area for finished and in process product, raw material, and shipping supplies.
The Third Generation Takes Hold Of The Quality Torch
A third generation of the Brooks family is now involved in the operation of Huron Automatic Screw Company. Walter Brooks’ son’s Edward, David, and Warren all joined the business in the late 70’s and early 80’s to carry on the proud legacy of their previous generations.
As the current owners of the Company, they are committed to growth and expansion of the business, and ultimately passing it on to a fourth generation of ownership.
Now with nearly 90 years of expertise under our belts, the history and success of Huron Automatic Screw Company marches on due to the dedication, expertise, hard work and commitment of our many employees, past and present, and the trust our valued customers have placed in us. Strategic planning, investment in new technology and Lean Manufacturing principles are some of the concepts embraced by the third generation of Brooks family ownership. By focusing efforts in these areas, customers are assured of having a reliable, quality supplier for years to come.