From American Dream to Industry Leader
Stanley Machining & Tool
Stanley Machining and Tool is the premier manufacturer of high quality, precision, contract machined parts for OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers across a diverse range of industries in the U.S. Celebrating 50 years of success, Stanley Machining and Tool has grown through hard work, a commitment to exceptional customer service, and the highest standards of quality, safety, integrity and respect.
A family owned and operated business with three generations working alongside one another, Stanley Machining and Tool began as a one-man, one-machine operation out of Slawomir (Stanley) Trzaska’s father’s garage at his Chicago, Illinois home in 1966. Now, Stanley Machining and Tool has over 100 employees across its two locations that span a total of 282,000 square feet. Complete with state-of-the-art equipment and unsurpassed industry expertise, Stanley Machining and Tool has grown by reinvesting in the company’s operational capacity over the years, differentiating itself from its competition in the market.
Both Krystyna and Slawomir Trzaska came to the U.S. as Polish immigrants, meeting, marrying and making a life for themselves in the Chicago area. On April 30, 1966, as they welcomed their second of what would be five children into the world, another landmark moment would come to fruition for them: the incorporation of Stanley Machining and Tool. As Karen Trzaska, VP Business Development for Stanley Machining and Tool and daughter of the Trzaskas joked, “They had two babies that day. They had Stanley Machining and they had my brother Jake.”
Slawomir was working for A. B. Dick at the time and was recognized by his employer for his speed, talent, and ambition. As a result, Slawomir had the opportunity to complete overflow work in the evenings and on weekends out of his home, with A.B. Dick serving as his first customer. Slawomir had finished technical College in Poland and inherited from his father an exceptional skill set and engineering expertise.
The Trzaskas built Stanley Machining and Tool from the ground up through hard work, determination and an unparalleled commitment to quality and customer service. From having only one customer, Stanley Machining and Tool quickly established a reputation for itself, growing both in terms of its network of relationships with OEMs and also in terms of operational capacity.
Only a year after starting Stanley Machining and Tool, the company outgrew the garage with the one machine and small desk in the corner and moved to its first plant, complete with four machines. The new facility enabled the business to improve its capacity and further strengthened its position in the market. Stanley was in charge of plant operations while Krystyna managed the office. When necessary Krystyna could be found running a lathe to assist in meeting scheduling demands.
In 1971, the company purchased a 5,000 square foot building in Northeastern Chicago, relocating again in 1978 to a 25,000 square foot facility in Lincolnwood, Illinois. This facility was complete with 10 CNC machines and 15 employees, which significantly expanded the company’s capacity to satisfy the increased demand in its services. In 1987, the company purchased its 110,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility in Carpentersville, Illinois. A 20,000 square foot addition to this facility occurred in 2008 and in 2014, the company purchased its second location, a 152,000 square foot facility in Hampshire, Illinois. Stanley Machine and Tool currently operates out of these two spaces totaling 282,000 square feet.
By reinvesting in the company and adding to its capacities, Stanley Machining and Tool found great success. The Trzaskas and Stanley Machining and Tool never sat idly by, waiting for business to appear. Rather, by taking well thought out, calculated risks, the company proactively found new growth opportunities, always improving in order to better service its valued customers.
“We’ve just surrounded ourselves with the most amazing people who are truly craftsmen and innovative thinkers,” shared Trzaska. “My dad, for instance, is an engineering genius. He’s humble enough to know that he needs to surround himself with people who are equally as knowledgeable and passionate as him, because that’s how we grow.” By creating a rock-solid and sustainable business model that is supported by the necessary capital, equipment, technology and team of industry leading professionals and craftsmen, Stanley Machining and Tool continues to reinforce its reputation for quality output.
Today, Stanley Machining and Tool offers a wide array of CNC milling and turning services. For more intricate parts, the company offers 5-axis machining services paired with CAM systems which allows for the machining of even the most complex geometries.
Stanley Machining and Tool’s wide range of equipment enables high quality and close tolerance machined components. Stanley Machining and Tool ensures precision output under the heaviest cutting conditions, including non-symmetrical components. By maintaining state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, Stanley Machining and Tool is able to support these advanced machining capabilities.
“We are very committed to reinvesting in the business,” Trzaska explained. “When times were good we would buy more equipment and continue to grow the company and even when times are struggling you need to make investments. If it’s not your resources in terms of equipment or space, you need to reinvest in your people.”
Stanley Machining and Tool has become a full-service provider for customers from a variety of industries and market segments. Trzaska added, “Our customers know that even if times get a bit tough and the belts get a bit tighter, Stanley Machining is going to be here for the duration. That allows them to put their trust in us. When their work volumes increase they are able to bring that to us.”
Indeed, throughout Stanley Machining and Tool’s 50 years of growth and success, the company’s precision output and absolute dependability has remained steadfast. Though the company’s capacity has greatly expanded to include contract machined parts for practically every industrial classification, its commitment to quality and service has never wavered. “We offer over 150 pieces of equipment and what has made us so attractive to so many companies is our diversity in our capabilities. We can machine a part that is an inch and a half diameter, all the way up to 110 inches diameter and in terms of our milling lengths, we can go all the way up to 315 inches, which is really large by industry standard,” Trzaska said of the company’s milling capacities.
The company services customers from the aerospace, commercial, defense, heavy equipment, oil and gas, transportation and rail, and power generation industries. “Our customers are expansive in their own product lines and our capabilities accommodate that diversity. Therefore they can efficiently rely on us manufacturing the variety of part families rather than multiple suppliers,” Trzaska explained.
The team maintains a commitment that extends to both its customers and its employees. “We take care of our people,” Trzaska asserted, acknowledging that a significant percentage of the company’s employees are immediate and extended members of her family. Even employees who are not related to the Trzaskas are still regarded as such. “My father is COO and is not only present but hands-on every day. We are women-owned, with my mother as President. My mom’s sister is our VP. I have four brothers, all of whom work in the company, uncles, cousins, and now my nephews are starting to work here in the company. It’s a fun dynamic because we’ve got three generations of family under one roof.”
She continued, “Even within our shop, we have second generation machinists’ sons who are working alongside their dads, or nephews who are working alongside their uncles. It’s not just our family – it’s not just the Trzaskas – it’s our families within our employees’ families.”
Being family owned and operated has significantly elevated the work culture and the commitment to growth and success at Stanley Machining and Tool, and quality and safety are the cornerstones of operations. “This is our family,” Trzaska stated. “It is like dealing with your own children so you are going to do everything in your power to make sure everyone is protected.” Stanley Machining and Tool has a dedicated safety council to oversee all OSHA regulations.
In terms of quality, for Stanley Machining and Tool, zero defects is the standard, not the exception. The company boasts exceptional quality control equipment and capabilities including a 9,000 square foot temperature controlled certified quality room, in-house non-destructive testing, four CMM machines and two Delta Slant CMM machines with a maximum travel of 118” x 200” x 98”.
“That allows us to really be that one-stop-shop, that solutions provider, because not only can we manufacture these broad ranges of parts, but we can check them in-house because we have that equipment. There are only a handful in the country, and we have two of them,” Trzaska explained of the highly unique and very impressive Delta Slant CMM machines.
Staying true to its foundational values, Stanley Machining and Tool will remain industry leaders for generations to come. With the second and third generations of the Trzaska family ready to take the helm, the company remains focused on the next 50 years. “We are kind of refocusing our business perspective and we’re saying, ‘Ok, it’s been 50 years and we have done so many amazing things, what’s next?’” said Trzaska. Stanley Machining and Tool is considering the long term and what technologies and capacities it can add next, asking what vertical integrations make sense for the next era of growth.
Trzaska concluded by paying homage to her parents for the sacrifices and hard work they made to provide their family with a legacy like Stanley Machining and Tool. “I have the utmost respect for my parents and what they have built over the last 50 years,” she shared. “They did this. They built this.”
If the past 50 years are any indication, Stanley Machining and Tool will enjoy continued success for the next 50 years or more. The company will continue to grow through reinvestment, incorporating state-of-the-art technology and equipment and welcoming new generations to its ranks, those who are driven by the same passion and commitment that gave Stanley Machining and Tool its successful start.