ARMOUR AND COMPANY WAS FOUNDED IN 1867
What does a meat packing start up nearly 150 years ago have to do with sandpaper? Interestingly quite a bit, you see by early 1930, the founder, Phillip Armour, had every bit of meat processing down to a science. What made him different, and what made Armour and Company one of the most important companies of its time, was that unlike his competitors, Phillip used every part of the animal “except the squeal”. The company catalog included not just meat, but also fertilizer, drugs, industrial chemicals, soap and most important to Even Cut Abrasive, adhesives.
To take advantage of the adhesive he was making, in 1932, Phillip started a tube winding business in Cleveland, Ohio. The basic process to make spiral-wound tubing has changed little over the years. Spiral-wound tubes are produced by wrapping strips of adhesive coated materials such as plastic films, papers, or coated abrasive, at an angle, over a mandrel that forms the tube. The adhesives used are designed to be compatible with the materials used to make the tube. Phillip found that using the adhesive he produced, winding a tube covered in coated abrasive bonded best with his adhesive.
Moving thru the years, the winding company evolved and changed hands. In 1964, Bill Mitchell, a 40-year-old Mechanical Engineer from Purdue, purchased Even Cut Abrasive from Mr. Earl Ford. Bill had worked at TRW in Quality Control and while working at Rotor Tool had occasion to contact Even Cut Abrasive. Feeling the entrepreneurial spirit, Bill took a chance and purchased the company of 11 employees. The company grew making spiral bands for sale under the name of Even Cut Abrasive, but also under many other people’s names. If it was a spiral band made the in the USA, it likely came from ECA. He told his employees that the “customer was always right and without the customer, you don’t have a business”. He believed in providing the customer the highest quality product and earning 5% more because it was the best. Bill’s stubborn determination, that no order should ever be late, led to the work ethic that still lives in our building today.
In 1992, Art Ellison, Bill’s son-in-law brought his own style of leadership to the organization. Through the years, Bill and Art realized that more products and services were needed to expand the organization. Art expanded the company and moved it to the current location, here on East 72nd Street. Currently, we cut and trim and fold and glue, stamp, and slit coated abrasives into almost anything one might imagine. Key products include abrasive cones, cartridge rolls, and square pads, cross pads, flap wheels and flap discs. Our niche has always been our specialty manufacturing for companies without the knowledge or equipment to build their own. We have made it easy for our private label customers to order, receive and resell a product that meets their requirements and exceed their expectations. We do this with as much American content as possible. We use made in Ohio coated Aluminum Oxide material for our general purpose products. We are the only company in the U.S. building and selling shank mounted flap wheels made in the U.S.A. Lots of people sell the product, we are the only ones that manufacture here. Finally our flap disc products – we use the very best raw materials and build them for the Even Cut brand as well as many other companies.
Long-term employees continue to contribute to our success. In late 2014, combined years of service totaled nearly 385 years. That veteran leadership brings the next generation along and today we still wind tubes using adhesives as they did in years gone by and produce over 60 million bands per year. We build short ones, long ones, big and small ones, the heritage lives in all of us.
What started as a usage for a by-product, today we are a leader in the specialty coated abrasive business.