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In 1946, Thomas C. Ellingson, a newly discharged Marine Corps fighter pilot, began making plans to combine his interest in aircraft and flying with his pre-war education at the University of Minnesota and his apprenticeship at Foley Manufacturing. Using his money from the GI Bill and a loan from a relative, Tom purchased tools and machinery to start a small machine shop, Ellingson Machine, in rented space in downtown Fullerton. His subsequent purchase of a war surplus Pratt & Whitney Keller enabled him to produce matched-metal compression molds for the growing California aerospace industry.

Tom's two sons, Rick and Steve, showed an early interest in their father's work and began an apprenticeship as mold makers under his direction. Soon after Rick and Steve completed their engineering degrees from California State University at Fullerton, Tom retired and left the business in their hands.

In the mid-70s the Ellingson brothers began to move the company in a new direction; to provide production parts to local aerospace companies by machining raw forgings and castings into flight control actuators, filtration manifolds and air/fuel receptacles. As a first step the brothers purchased their first machining center, a used Kearney & Trecker Model II. The obsolete electronics and hydraulic servo drives of this machine were removed and a new computer based machine control was interfaced, using a programmable logic controller (PLC) and brush DC servo axis motors.

Years later, after subsequent machine purchases, ELLINGSON began a machine renewment and retrofit program for nine K&T machining centers, adding Mitsubishi M66 controls with full digital servo amplifiers, AC brushless servo motors and Farrand scale position feedback units. Renishaw probe and non-contact laser tool setting systems were interfaced to each machine.

Customer requirements eventually led to ELLINGSON's acquisition of three Mitsubishi EDM machines with 4th axis heads and tool changers. In-house honing capability was also added with the purchase of two Sunnen ML5000 power-stroke honing machines.

Upgrading machinery was just the beginning.

Computer workstations were positioned throughout the facility, interconnected with a Cisco multi-port Gigabit Managed Switch to create the various databases needed to support manufacturing processes. A rack-based server system coordinates all workstation activity, running Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard with Hyper-V support. Server hard drive redundancy is maintained with five enterprise-class SAS hard drives in a RAID6 configuration. Archived data backup and redundancy is accomplished with software and multiple removable hard disk drives from Highly Reliable Systems, Inc.

To verify critical machined part features at each stage of production two Hexagon Metrology coordinate measurement machines (CMM) were purchased using motorized axis drives, Leitz probes, 6 station tool racks and PCDMIS inspection software. When part profile features need verification an articulated Romer arm is used with laser scanning capability.

Every aerospace production system needs a quality management system that pulls machinery, tools, computers, management and employees together into a coordinated effort to meet customer requirements, prevent quality escapes and to continually improve processes. At first, in order to accomplish this, ELLINGSON maintained its compliance to the requirements of MIL-I-45208A and AS9003. Eventually, ELLINGSON made a commitment to acquire certification to the AS9100 QMS standard. This quality management project was successfully implemented and is now certified to AS9100C through NSF International Strategic Registrations (interested parties may view the ELLINGSON certificate information on the OASIS website). Document control and process planning is accomplished with JobBoss shop management software installed at workstations throughout the facility.

In 2007 ELLINGSON completed the FAA regulatory requirements to establish a repair station as specified within CFR Title 14 Part 145. Having obtained an FAA Air Agency Certificate, along with the corresponding EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) approval, ELLINGSON could then receive selected repair articles from the field, perform repairs and then return these parts back to the customer, along with the required release certifications. The selected repair articles on the ELLINGSON repair station capability list has expanded significantly over the last two years.

Each incremental step in improved manufacturing capability has built ELLINGSON into what it is today. Two engineers have been added to the staff, Matthew Ellingson and Travis Eldred (both graduates from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona). In-house training continues in the effort to pass along the manufacturing expertise of the Ellingson brothers, Rick and Steve, to the next generation. The continuing commitment of ELLINGSON to manufacturing excellence is reflected in its Quality Policy and Mission Statement:

Quality Policy
Since 1946, Ellingson has been and remains dedicated to providing services and products for the aerospace industry that fulfill or exceed the requirements of our customers or any related regulatory agencies. Building on integrity, ingenuity and pride of work, Ellingson will continue to improve its quality management system and processes.

Mission Statement
Recognizing the critical requirements of flight hardware, Ellingson applies attention to detail,
advanced manufacturing techniques and a desire to continuously improve in order to offer
more value and support to Ellingson customers than they expect to receive.

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