WEST HARTFORD - Abbott Ball Company Inc., which has been providing services for 110 years, has started to work in the specialty drill ball business and recently invested in equipment to assist with automatic measurements.
“The base manufacturing of balls hasn’t changed all that much for a very long time,” Craig Bond, president of the Abbott Ball Company, said. “But the way you measure and examine parts does change pretty substantially and we have become more precise. We’ve made investments in machines that automatically do the measurements for us. We just made an investment actually this year in a very advanced machine that gives us the ability to measure 99 pieces simultaneously or up to 5,000 measurements per part. That has given us the ability to get better at what we do and ensure the product is as good as it can be.”
Abbott Ball Company was founded in 1909 with the Abbott family. The company is located at 19 Railroad Place and it has never been relocated.
Bond’s family bought the company in 1989 and he joined the company full time in 2003 and became the president in 2006.
Abbott Ball Company manufactures steel balls and sells approximately five to six billion parts per year.
“We make micro balls which are balls that are like 0.007 inches all the way up to an inch and a quarter in size,” Bond said. “We make balls almost out of any metal you can imagine.”
The biggest customers of Abbott Ball are in the automobile industry, Bond said. Abbott Ball sells products to Ford and General Motors among other automobile manufacturers.
“We also sell to the cosmetic industries,” Bond said. “When you pick up a nail polish and shake it, there’s a little ball in there, we make those as well. We also serve the aerospace industry and we go into pretty much every aircraft manufacturer in the world. We go into critical component bearings, all over the engine and throughout the aircraft.”
Abbott Ball has also started to serve the medical industry. The company makes metal micro balls that go into implants within the body, allowing medical professionals to see where an implant has been placed when they go through magnetic resonance imaging or an x-ray machine.
Abbott Ball serves as an employer to 60 people and the company operates three shifts.
According to Bond, Abbott Ball also faces the same challenge many manufacturers are facing in terms of finding qualified employees. However, the company offers benefits and other incentives to attract talent.
“We pay very well and we also provide premium insurance policies of health care and dental,” Bond said. “Most of our employees are here forever, they come here and they never leave. We have many employees that are 30 plus years here. We have third generation employees working here so their grandfather worked here, their father worked here now they are all working here. It’s kind of a family, everyone knows everybody. We all work together pretty well. We do have a union in our facility, United Auto Workers.”
The company also hosts interns typically during the summer, including engineering students who are interested in learning more about the manufacturing industry.
To learn more about Abbott Ball call or visit the company’s website .
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or .