TIGHITCO Opens Doors to APICS Hartford

APICS-Hartford hosted its most popular tour this month in honor of Manufacturing Day, with over 50 guests in attendance at TIGHITCO, Inc. TIGHITCO has a lengthy history in Connecticut, dating back to 1972 when they were known as Ellcott Manufacturing. In 1997, TIGHITCO purchased Ellcott to add to their aerostructures division. The company is widely recognized for complex composite structures and assemblies – which were thoroughly covered in our presentation and plant tour.

TIGHITCO plant tour

The program kicked off with presentations from each association in attendance, including NHMAIMA, and APICS. In addition, the group heard a few words from Connecticut House Majority Leader, Joe Aresimowicz. Representative Aresimowicz described himself as an advocate for manufacturing in Connecticut, as he supports education and workforce development in that direction. During his presentation, he highlighted manufacturers that have returned to our state in recent years to take advantage of the highly skilled workforce Connecticut has to offer. Representative Aresimowicz noted that they have plans to “double down” on trade school education in an effort to boost enrollment and add to the future workforce. In an effort to stay top-of-mind as a manufacturer or supply chain organization, he encouraged reaching out to your local legislator regarding these issues and offering feedback in relation to your company.

rep joe aresimowicz at tighitco with apics hartford

TIGHITCO employees then took the reins to provide insight into their operation and how they apply APICS Hartford’s supply chain educational offerings to better function on a daily basis. The facility manages and is responsible for thousands of parts and part numbers for the products they make. For instance, as it was noted on the tour, one helicopter door can include over 700 individual parts. TIGHITCO is known for their composite aerospace structures and has grown substantially from their ability to engineer complex specifications, as well as deliver a high quality product in a short period of time. This has led TIGHITCO to become a tier-1 manufacturer to organizations such as Sikorsky Aircraft.

Following the presentations, TIGHITCO employees led the group through the facility highlighting a few key areas for product development. One of the more recent pieces of machinery featured at the facility is the 5-axis milling machine which has increased production and reduced costs. Next was a quick tutorial of how honeycomb reinforced aluminum sheets are processed and how it evolves as it passes through the production line to finished product. From there, a quick view of the anodizing tanks, and then into the “clean room” facility where carbon composite materials are bonded and vacuum sealed. The tour ended with a look at finished products, including helicopter exhaust components, doors, flooring, and more in the final stages before they were shipped from the facility.

TIGHITCO is a great example of a top-tier operation in Connecticut and provided a look at supply chain management in action. To view some of the photos taken of the event, visit the photo gallery.

If you missed this tour there’s still time to catch another when APICS-Hartford visits Unicorr in Putnam, CT on Tuesday 10/25. As always, keep an eye out for upcoming happenings on our calendar. See you at the next event!


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