Custom Machining and Community at Meyer Tool, Inc.

Recently, the GADC team made a visit to Meyer Tool, Inc. We were met by Chris Urban, general manager, who fitted us with personal safety glasses before we embarked on a tour of the manufacturing facility. Meyer Tool is using between 90,000 and 100,000 square feet of a shared 140,000 square foot space, and we were awed by the bright and spacious facility. White metal walls and bright LED lights stood in contrast to the red and blue pipes that crisscrossed the ceiling space, and bright yellow lines divided the floor into walking paths and clusters of machinery. We followed Chris down this yellow tile road on a guided tour of Meyer Tool’s facilities.

Meyer Tool Inc. is a leader in supplying precision components to the aerospace and power generation industries. Each part is consigned by their customers, who rely on Meyer Tool’s expert staff to prepare the parts for assembly. It’s a delicate task – a small error could ruin the part, some of which cost upwards of $30,000. Many of the parts are rotating components of aircraft engines or gas turbines, so it would truly be appropriate to say that there are a lot of moving parts on the Meyer Tool manufacturing floor. Parts are processed as quickly as possible, with turnaround times of two to four weeks for more complex jobs and less than a day for routine jobs. Meyer offers many different machining services under one roof, and Chris explains some of the processes to us as we move through the plant.

One block of machinery handles electron beam (EB) welding. This welding method takes place in a vacuum and is completely automated, giving it uncanny precision and the ability to produce deep welds between dissimilar metals. Another block handles Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM), which uses an electrical spark to erode material away and shape the part. Chris says to think of it as “reverse welding.” Because of the level of control you can exercise with an electrical spark, the hardness of the material is irrelevant and you can work with materials that would deflect from a solid drill bit. All of the tooling is done internally, based on models submitted by the customers.

The Greenville facility offer many capabilities, including EDM, EB welding, conventional machining, airflow and Waterjet machining. These functions are divided into unique cells, and Chris explains that this is for more than just efficiency. “Each cell is treated like a business,” he says, with a leader and weekly performance evaluations. “We want to instill ownership in our employees,” Chris comments.

The positive workplace culture is on full display as we tour the facility; Chris knows the name of every employee we pass and they exchange pleasant greetings. “We’re looking for a person, not to fill a task,” Chris explains about Meyer Tool’s hiring process, “we hire for attitude and train for aptitude.” This is an employee-focused business that doesn’t believe in mass layoffs and has a low turnover rate. Employees don’t show up to work every day exclusively for a high salary, but because a job at Meyer Tools comes with great benefits, a positive work environment, stellar in-house communications, and long-term job stability.

Despite the current downturn in the gas turbine market, the Meyer Tool facility in Greenville is planning for growth. The newly renovated offices are bright and open, with spaces for training and new staff hires, and there is ample manufacturing floor space to add new technologies, such as three new brazing furnaces. As for the area, Chris has only good things to say about Greenville and the Upstate, with the one complaint that because it’s so easy to convince employees to relocate, it may be growing too fast. Meyer Tool is another great company that has chosen to call the Upstate home, and their technical precision and employee centered model will help them leave an indelible impact on the Greenville community.

Meyer Tool, Inc. is a high-tech supplier to the Gas Turbine Engine Industry. The Greenville Facility is located at 7640 Pelham Road, Greenville, SC 29615.For more information, see their website at:

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