Westland Corp., a Wichita maker of screws and barrels, recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.
What started out as a company to rebuild extrusion, injection and blow molding machine barrels has evolved into a major manufacturer of screws and barrels.
In 1969, Martin Davis, former chairman, bought the tooling division of CAC Tool from McLinn Inc. The company changed its name to Westland Corp. in the late 1980s.
Dave Larson became a part owner in 1993. Larson had been a customer of Westland, having worked in management at Hoffer Plastics Corp. in South Elgin, Ill., for 17 years. Larson, now Westland's sole owner and its president, took over managing the company in 1998.
“Our standards have remained the same throughout our company history,” he said.
After getting an early reputation for its ability to manufacture and rebuild barrels with tool-steel linings to their full length, Westland expanded operations in 1982 to include the design and manufacture of screws, including the Eagle mixing screw patented in 1993.
Westland was the first company to line a barrel with particle metallurgy tool steel (CPM10V from Crucible Metals Corp.) and also one of the first to design and manufacture a highly wear-resistant screw out of CPM9V, another particle metallurgy steel.
Currently, Westland is developing a hot isostatic pressing (HIP) carbide-lined barrel, which is 88 percent tungsten carbide by weight.
The company's latest machinery addition was a screw milling machine, custom designed and made by Automation Engineering & Integration Inc. in Hutchison, Kan. Larson and Dan Johnson, vice president, had been searching for a piece of equipment to satisfy larger screw production demands. Now Westland can machine 8-inch-diameter screws up to 240 inches long.
The average tenure is 15 years for employees, whom Larson credited as the company's “strength and biggest asset.” Johnson is a 20-year veteran. Wayne Hook and Randy Wise both have 20 years at Westland. Hook is director of engineering and sales, overseeing all engineering tasks and coordinating departments of the company. Wise is sales manager. Terry Williams, senior sales and processing engineer, works closely with customers in the field.
Tel. 316-721-1144, e-mail [email protected].