Return to Space Spurs Innovation on Earth
Technology and knowledge gained from pioneering the space frontier has spurred many innovations by scientists, engineers, medical professionals and others to benefit life on Earth. Space exploration also enabled one enterprising Detroit-area automotive supplier to transform the company into a thriving business.
Originally founded in 1955 as a supplier to the booming auto industry, Futuramic Tool and Engineering of Warren, Mich, made a name for itself as a quality parts manufacturer. Leveraging that success, leaders there prepared to transition the company to new capabilities when the automotive industry’s business model began to change radically, threatening revenue and jobs.
In 1998, Futuramic made large investments in new capital equipment more suited to serving the aerospace & aircraft community and worked to earn global quality certifications such as ISO9100 and AS9100.
Most recently, Boeing commissioned the company to design and build the first three major weld tools for NASA’s Space Launch System core stages, which Boeing is building at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility. In 2013, Futuramic received the Small Business Subcontractor Excellence Award from NASA for work performed on SLS, building the tooling needed for production of NASA’s next big rocket.
Futuramic Vice President John Couch credits foresight and intuitive leadership for changing the course of this family-owned business toward aerospace support. The integration of new technology is enabling innovation in SLS assembly allowing for significant cost manufacturing and checkout reductions never before available for a large rocket.
Futuramic is now part of a growing new industry team supporting space exploration and the production line in New Orleans, at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility. The footprint of Futuramic will be a part of building the future of human spaceflight beyond Earth to deep space.