Daniel Brokaw, Vice President of Sales and Engineering
Defense industry prime contractors seek to bring state-of-the-art equipment to the DoD market. A sophisticated product lifecycle and potential long-term contracts present a sourcing problem for Defense OEMs. There is an increasing difficulty finding suppliers to completely support their products from Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) to Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) and into Full Rate Production (FRP). Coming to their aid is PEKO, a vertically integrated contract manufacturing company that specializes in manufacturing and design-assist of equipment/machinery, and major electro/mechanical assemblies that satisfy stringent Defense requirements. PEKO performs a tremendous amount of machining, sheet metal, fabrication, welding, finishing, assemblies and more all in-house, thereby offering a full-service suite of manufacturing services to its customers.
PEKO started in 1966 as a tool & die shop and soon after developed two divisions: Machining & Assembly and Systems Automation. Over the last 10 years it has transitioned the engineering group from automation into New Product Introduction (NPI) engineering. “PEKO adopted cradle to grave strategy, where we work on design-assist, development, and manufacturing of a product, and manage it through its lifecycle,” says Daniel Brokaw, Vice President of Sales and Engineering. This product development strategy works and provides a major advantage for the Defense business coupled with international certifications such as: AS9100 and ISO9001 for Aerospace & Defense, ITAR and NIST/CMMC as standards for cybersecurity.
On the level of manufacturing, PEKO meets the requirements of the Defense industry by considering the high precision components and sub-assemblies in products such as communications systems, control modules and electronics cabinetry. PEKO masters them to maintain very tight tolerances by using advanced techniques like environmental monitoring and tool sensing technology.
PEKO adopted cradle to grave strategy, where we work on design-assist, development, and manufacturing of a product, and manage it through its lifecycle
As the material in these sophisticated systems is typically aluminum, which has the property of high co-efficient of expansion, PEKO controls the temperature during the manufacturing process and abides by the specifications on not just the small parts, but with parts of even 9 feet by14 feet.
PEKO also accommodates the Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) and Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Defense acquisition phases that challenge many of the Defense product manufacturers with its unique low volume manufacturing. EMD and LRIP, being time to market strategies for the Defense industry, demands the manufacturers to develop a prototype, assist pre-production, solve design issues, and build the final integration after a number of design iterations to launch the full-rate production (FRP). Brokaw notes, “We have over 40 Engineers to assist in DFM (design for manufacturing), a model shop to make prototype machine and sheet metal parts rapidly, work on pre-production and when the customer is ready, to launch into full rate production.” He adds, “This process allows us to perfect not only the parts for the customer, but our internal manufacturing process and quality control plans, CNC programs, and even the operations. So, we gain quality knowledge, perfect the cost and capability through this process.”
Amidst all the product development support provided by PEKO, Brokaw considers the company’s key differentiating factor to be the cradle to grave strategy and the in-house capability. PEKO has manufacturing equipment from machinery for high speed, high torque, rapid machining to extremely large gantry-styled machines, well over 100 CNC machines, lasers, 8 axis brakes, turret machines, welding, to powder or wet CARC paint that the Defense industry utilizes. As in the words of Brokaw, “The substantial quantity of equipment that we use for the processes is a major differentiator for PEKO. In the case of major structures and subsystems, we produce the large enclosures, the components that are machined, and the sub-assemblies built & tested into the product.”
Today, PEKO, with eight separate locations within Rochester, New York spread across 340,000 square feet of manufacturing space, works with the industry leaders such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, and more. The company envisions growth of up to 100 million dollars in sales by growing within the Defense industry. PEKO looks forward to the pushing the limits for component and subsystems to reach the higher-level assembly manufacturing.