The road to Mars goes through Indiana and Major Tool & Machine! We are thrilled to announce that MTM was featured in the July 2019 edition of Indianapolis Monthly. Major Tool & Machine continues to be a proud partner and supporter of the American space industry supporting the Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-25 engine program for NASA.
Four astronauts are awaiting launch in Orion’s crew module—a cone, the infrastructure, and panels of which were milled and machined at Major Tool & Machine in downtown Indianapolis. On board, the crew flips and toggles any number of switches that were fabricated just down I-65 in Southport at JFW Industries. Outside the spacecraft, mechanics and technicians perform last-minute checks on the service module atop aerial lift platforms made at Lift-A-Loft Corporation in Muncie.
Ignition. At Mission Control’s command, four RS-25 rockets, also made at Major Tool, ignite, creating a massive rumble that puts stress on the craft’s nuts, bolts, screws, and rivets, some of which were forged at Indiana Aircraft Hardware in Fortville. Any potential damage that rattle might cause is being mitigated by vibration-damping materials from Damping Technologies in Mishawaka.
The article also highlights our country’s growing need for skilled trades, and the ways that Major Tool & Machine is working to address these needs.
On its sprawling 600,000-square-foot Hillside neighborhood campus, the same facilities where the Orion rockets and crew module were built, the company has dedicated half of an entire structure, Building 4U, to classrooms and workshops. They’ve brought on two full-time on-staff instructors to give busloads of young men and women hands-on training in welding and machining. Major Tool also sends representatives out into communities, urban and rural, to let young adults know opportunity is out there. “Not every person understands that there are alternatives to college,” says Kevin Bowling, senior vice president at Major Tool. “Not everyone knows that they can earn a very good living in manufacturing. We engage at the high school and even middle school level to provide information for these kids to make the decision to be in manufacturing. We see it as a necessary investment to make sure we’re strong for the years to come.”
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