In the mid 1960s, Stephen Frantz and Arvin Tap started a small company whose purpose was to buy, refurbish, and sell used machine equipment. When the partners purchased a piece of cold forming equipment, they soon discovered that there was little demand for this type of equipment in the Western Michigan area. Rather than try to sell the equipment, the two partners changed the focus of the business: from rebuilding and reselling equipment to the manufacturing of special fasteners.
Under the leadership and hard work of these two entrepreneurs, the business quickly took off. Incorporated in 1970, Fastco (then known as Fast Machine) quickly outgrew its original location on the south side of Grand Rapids. As a result, in December 1973, the business moved to its present location in Walker, Michigan. From a modest, 30,000 square feet facility, Fastco has expanded to three buildings and 150,000 square feet on its Walker campus.
In 1985, Stephen Frantz left Fastco and the company was solely directed by Arvin Tap. The late 1980s and 1990s were periods of great change at Fastco. A company of 6 million in revenue in the mid 1980, Fastco’s revenue expanded to 15 million by the end of the 1990s and to nearly 25 million today. In the early 1990s, Fastco embarked on an aggressive campaign to replace its older equipment with newer, state of the art cold formers and thread rollers. From 1992 through 2000, most of Fastco primary cold heading and thread rolling equipment was replaced with machines manufactured by Nakashimada, Sacma, Sanmei, and Saspi.
Throughout its nearly 40 year history, Fastco has responded to the challenges of the market place and, in particular, the automotive industry. During the 1990s when automotive quality standards ramped up significantly, Fastco invested in process monitors for all of its cold formers and thread rollers. When the challenge of zero defects was being championed by automotive customers, Fastco committed a significant portion of financial resources to the acquisition of various types of electronic inspection systems. Today, electronic inspection and roller sorting of fasteners had become standard practices at Fastco. Indeed, Fastco acquisition of eddy current capability in its inspection process adds a new dimension of capability that provides its customers with an additional layer of protection.
As Fastco heads into the 21st century, it stands ready and poised for substantial growth. Committed to excellence and continual improvement in all aspects of its operations, Fastco is committed to becoming the best producer of special fasteners in North America.
P.O. Box 141427, Grand Rapids, MI 49514-1427
Phone: (616) 453-5428 | Fax: (616) 791-0481