Fansteel/Wellman Dynamics certainly isn’t feeling the recession’s sting. A 52-foot by 100-foot addition to the facility’s east side will be operational by April. The addition comes along with an incredible boost in Fansteel’s number of employees, sales and annual payroll. For example, the company had just more than 200 employees in 2003, while they basically doubled that number by this year. Mike McCullough, Fansteel/Wellman Dynamics manager of sales and marketing, credits these employees for the company’s current upswing. Back in 2003, Fansteel’s annual sales topped off at just more than $18,000,000. This year they’ll reach more than $60,000,000. The company’s annual payroll has also seen an upshot. “Things are going pretty well here,” said McCullough.
McCullough said the addition will be primarily used to produce a series of castings for Bell Helicopters of Fort Worth, Texas. Most of these castings will go toward the Boeing V-22 Osprey, a military helicopter with some real impressive traits, said McCullough. “What’s unique about them is their tiltrotor mechanism,” explained McCullough. “That is, they take off like a conventional helicopter and the wings rotate forward, and it flies like a conventional airplane, which gives it a lot more versatility.” The aircraft was first conceived in the mid-1980s, according to McCullough. This year is the first year the helicopter/air plane hybrid is going into what McCullough called “full rate production”. “We’ve been in production on it at a very low level,” said McCullough. “Now it’s going into full rate.