Founding of Welker Machine Sales
Chrysler Amplex selects Welker as a regional distributor of Oilite bearings.
Welker Machinery & Bearing Company was located at 642 E. Ten Mile Road in Hazel Park, Michigan. Product offerings included Oilite, Boundbrook and Powdercraft self-lubricating bronze bearings, SAE 660 cast bronze bearings, and rubber flex bushings. Machining services were available for non-standard bearings.
Welker was purchased by the Van Wulfen family, Dale Van Wulfen entered as president.
Welker moved to a 6,000 square foot building on Piedmont Drive in Troy, dropping machinery sales and changing the business name to Welker Bearing Company. A turret lathe and a Fischer oil groover were added to the two small shop lathes, expanding cast bronze bearing production.
Moving again, to a 12,000 square foot facility on Minnesota Street, Welker grew from distribution and secondary machining to a product-producing entity.
Through the eighties Welker had been bonding Rulon on plates and L-gibs, then added a slide plate to form the WS slide assembly. From that basic concept evolved the PTFE-lined, tight tolerance and lube-free guided motion unit known as a shot pin, which Welker introduced in 1990. To enhance quality and throughput, Welker invested in several machining centers. These enabled production of other components, customized to specified requirements even in small lots.
Welker compact lifter is patented. First website launched: welkerbearing.com
Welker's sister company Columbia Industrial Products is founded. Located in Eugene, Oregon, CIP manufactures PTFE and composite bearings for industrial, marine, oil & gas, and hydro applications.
Sales of slides, lifters and shot pins grew along with the need for more space. Welker moved to its current 50,000 square foot location on Piedmont.
The Welker mobile exhibit trailer was rolled out for hands-on demonstrations at customer sites.
Product lines expanded with the addition of part ejectors, pin clamps, smart stops and the UB Series Global shot pin. The quality program was upgraded from QS to ISO 9001 certification. Online CAD model configurator was launched for standard products.
Began in-house EDM machining. Double sheer lockout pin goes to market.
Low profile rail slides, meter stop and electric products were introduced and featured at the Fabtech Expo in Atlanta, GA.
With automation components being the majority of sales, the company name is changed to Welker Engineered Products. New product releases were the DB4 guided slide and BP4 lockout pin.
Sales representation established in Ohio, Wisconsin and Canada. The part positioner was developed from our dual-action part ejector and the rotary indexer, Rota-Flex, was introduced.
Welker's website was upgraded with an integrated parts configurator and pricing matrix. Sales reps established in southeastern US, Western and NE Michigan. The new expanding locating pin and mini locating pin were released.
Welker Wanderings is launched, the quarterly email newsletter. The floating locating pin was introduced. Sales reps established in central US.
A prolific year for new product releases: MPE & MST, mini versions of the part ejector and part positioner; UB2, a compact square ram shot pin; auto indexing dimpler; tube & wire clamps; BP2 compact lockout pin; turn table; wedge lock; X-Y servo shim positioner. Sales reps established in Midwest US, Chicago, and Mexico. Welker exhibited at the Fabtech Expo in Chicago.
New product releases: part presentation slides, Poka-Yoke, CS1 compact slide, aluminum ram UB Series shot pins.
Welker exhibited at the Fabtech Expo in Atlanta, GA.
New product releases: tool tray shuttles, bull pin, roll dimpler, PCZ compact pin clamp. Welker exhibited at the Fabtech Expo in Chicago.
Welker adds 34,000 square feet with site expansion. The new space accommodates additional assembly & test areas and a large training room. New products released to market: PCY compact pin clamp, LP Series compact slides (replacing CS slides), L3 weld field immune cylinder switch, manual pack handle for UB4 shot pins, new narrow and pancake style Smart Stops. Sales reps added to cover twelve central and northwest US states. Welker exhibited at the Fabtech Expo in Las Vegas, NV.
The new Welker training room was completed. New products released to market: GB2 Ground Block and the RMP Micro Pin .
Welker exhibited at the Fabtech Expo in Chicago.
Welker exhibited at IMTS and Fabtech this year with a new "storytelling" display, featuring popular automation components in action! New products released to market: TMP Transfer Pin and the NWP Flex Pivot. Sales rep added to cover the south central US.