Conrad Adams founded a tool and die company in South Bend
MTI was originally named Adams Engineering Die & Tool, Inc. It provided engineering and tooling for automotive, farm implement, aircraft engine, and appliance manufacturers. One of MTI’s earliest customers was Studebaker Automotive.
AEI Becomes a Family Affair
Already showing an aptitude for the family business, Robert C. Adams, Conrad’s son, left Purdue University to start serving an apprenticeship at Bendix Brake and Steering in South Bend.
Four years later, Robert joined Adams Engineering as a journeyman, beginning what would become a 31-year career.
Robert C. Adams Becomes President of AEI
After rising steadily through the ranks, Robert C. Adams succeeded his father, Conrad, as president of the company, now called Adams Engineering, Inc. or AEI.
AEI Gains New Customers and a National Reputation
Under Robert’s guidance, AEI acquired customers such as General Electric Aviation and Pratt & Whitney Aircraft. In doing so, we earned a national reputation for the engineering of heated form die parts made from titanium for jet engines. AEI also began forming partnerships with suppliers to better meet customer needs and solidify our standing in the aerospace industry.
AEI Forges New, Strategic Partnerships
AEI began working with the Can Division of the Reynolds Metals Company, building different machines used for making aluminum cans. The relationship would continue for over 27 years. Conrad Adams II, Robert’s son and our founder’s grandson, joined AEI.
AEI became a supplier to the Inertia Welding department, a newly formed group at Caterpillar Tractor Company. We applied our expertise in automation, hydraulics, pneumatics, and electronics in building specialized welding machines for Inertia Welding. This particular relationship would have a dramatic – and profitable – impact on the company nine years later.
AEI Purchases Friction Welding Patents & Forms MTI
AEI purchased the patents, rights, and manufacturing knowledge from Caterpillar and AMF for the flywheel-based inertia friction welding process. AEI then formed Manufacturing Technology, Inc., better known as MTI, as a separate company to reflect this major change in our direction and focus.
MTI also hired Dietmar Spindler as General Manager. Dietmar came from Caterpillar’s Inertia Welding group. Under his direction MTI grew to eventually become even more profitable than AEI.
MTI Expands Capabilities
MTI purchased the rights to the New Britain line of friction welding equipment.
MTI Merges with AEI
Acknowledging the economic realities of where the company’s future growth would come from, AEI sold its tool and die operations and merged all partnerships under the MTI name.
MTI engineered and manufactured the world’s largest inertia welder, which stored a maximum of 14 million lbs-ft of energy and generated a maximum welding force of 4.5 million pounds.
Jenny (Adams) Borsodi joined MTI in 1992, while brothers Bob Adams and Dan Adams joined MTI in 1998.
In 2005, MTI opened a location in Dudley, West Midlands, England. The Dudley location helped serve the automotive and construction industries with machines up to 300 tons of forge force capacity. In addition, MTI also expanded into Asia by opening an office in the AMT Shanghai Technology Service Center in Shanghai, China.
In 2006, MTI expanded into Linear Friction Welding to accommodate a growing aerospace industry.
Then, in 2008, MTI acquired the Friction Stir Welding product line.
Expanding Our Roots
MTI opened a second location in South Bend, which houses the company’s Manufacturing Services operation. This 117,770-square foot facility is dedicated to these processes: Inertia Friction Welding, Direct Drive Friction Welding, Linear Friction Welding, and Friction Stir Welding.
Becoming a Global Brand
In 2014, MTI built the world’s most advanced Rotary Friction Welder for the Manufacturing Technology Center (MTC) in Coventry, England. MTI also built the largest Inertia Friction Welder which shipped at the end of 2016.
In 2016, MTI purchased UK-based ProSpot in order to expand its resistance welding services.
A Legacy of Leadership
As MTI enters its 95th year in business, we pay tribute to those generations—past and present—that have built this company to be what it is today.