Bob Yackel, CEO
Pushing the boundaries of human potential. That’s the unofficial mission of the aerospace industry since that first successful flight on a beach in Kitty Hawk. But what happens when aerospace engineers, constantly striving for higher, faster, lighter, and safer travel, design vehicles or components that push past the boundaries of existing manufacturing technologies? They call on MERRILL.
Opened in 1968 by Gary and Kay Yackel, MERRILL began as a family owned business with one lathe and one grinder for developing and machining small components. Guided by the founder’s extensive manufacturing experience and countless collaborative customer relationships, the company has methodically invested in traditional and cutting-edge technologies. Since those early days, MERRILL has continuously refined its ability to produce high-quality components for its most precise and demanding customers in the aerospace industry.
With over 60 state-of-the-art CNC milling and turning centers to precisely machine components from raw materials, MERRILL can always find a path to deliver production success
The owners of MERRILL built upon the founder’s legacy by further developing the company’s manufacturing competencies. Under their leadership, MERRILL expanded its base into over 700,000 square-feet of production space equipped with the latest technologies and vertically integrated manufacturing capabilities. This robust infrastructure is now being utilized by MERRILL’s highly skilled engineers to design, build, and test complex components—ranging from flight-critical hardware to ground support equipment, including fixtures, carts and assembly, and test equipment—for aerospace leaders across the country and around the globe. If the superior quality of their finished products and history of quick delivery are the heart of their operations, then the ability to partner with customers to solve their manufacturing and production challenges is MERRILL’s soul. It is this unique combination of skills and commitment that is cementing MERRILL’s position as a go-to specialist in component design, fabrication, machining, and integration for major aerospace companies.
“We design for manufacturability, and our vertically integrated capabilities from fabrication, machining, assembly, test, and design help us bring innovative aerospace products to market quicker, cheaper, and with the quality our aerospace customers need,” says Bob Yackel, CEO of MERRILL.
Whether it is the design and fabrication of intricate prototype designs or high-volume production of critical parts, MERRILL’s engineers approach every project with a unique vision and apply best-in-class 3D modeling software to develop comprehensive mechanical and electrical designs for single parts or multi-component systems.
When customers had previously been told that their product design was impossible to manufacture, that’s when MERRILL’s engineers really rolled up their sleeves.
With all options on the table, the engineering team will adapt production plans to include new investments in technology, develop customized material handling solutions, or judiciously enhance the customer’s product designs to make those impossible products a reality.
When the production plan calls for welding, from the basic to the most advanced welding practices, MERRILL’s certified welders will deliver precisely what the design specifications require. Using state-of-the-art equipment in accordance with the guidelines of the American Welding Society (AWS) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), they can fabricate structures up to 200,000 pounds. When traditional methods are not enough, MERRILL can deploy their electron beam welding capabilities to achieve the required deep penetration and high purity joints – even for dissimilar materials!
The best proof that it pays to reinvest in your business might rest with MERRILL’s ability to take on products that demand highly sophisticated fixtures and advanced CNC milling capabilities. With over 60 state-of-the-art CNC milling and turning centers to precisely machine components from raw materials, MERRILL can always find a path to deliver production success. For over five decades, the company has also consistently improved efficiency thanks to investments in CNC equipment which uses automatic simulation to detect inefficiencies in the program, eliminating manual prove-outs and tool blocking errors. And when production specs, manufacturing best practices, or federal aviation laws call for specialized markings, MERRILL can engage their laser marking capabilities to cut, mark, and machine virtually any complex aerospace component their customers need.
We design for manufacturability, and our vertically integrated capabilities from fabrication, machining, assembly, test, and design help us bring innovative aerospace products to market quicker, cheaper, and with the quality our aerospace customers need
The aerospace industry is well known for exceedingly demanding finish requirements, and this is another area where MERRILL really shines. Products requiring near-perfect conditions may benefit from a variety of robust finishing methods. MERRILL’s extensive painting and coating capabilities can protect finished products from corrosion or other adverse environmental effects. The finished products are then delivered to the customers in the shortest possible time.
Such capabilities have enabled MERRILL to manufacture complicated product designs for countless customers in the robotics, space, heavy equipment, transportation, ship building, defense, and aerospace industries. Designs that were initially flagged as unmanufacturable in mass scale have been quickly optimized by MERRILL’s in-house design engineers. In several cases, the company’s deep roster of capabilities, knack for innovation, and its ability to adapt resulted in a more efficient manufacturing plan for their customers. In most cases, this empowered their customers not only to develop the envisioned components more quickly, but to do so, well within their proposed budgets.
In today’s unpredictable economic climate, MERRILL has garnered the attention of a growing roster of aerospace companies thanks to its adaptability, ingenuity, and for having one of the country’s best supply chains, ensuring on-time delivery to its customers.