Ascent Aerospace Commemorates Gemcor’s 80th Anniversary

3 months ago
Buffalo, New York, October 26 2017 – Gemcor remains a global leader in developing and manufacturing automated fastening systems for aircraft after 80 years in business. Founded in 1937 by Thomas H. Speller Sr. as The General Engineering Company, Gemcor was the first company to automate fastening of aircraft parts and assemblies. Speller’s innovation had significant benefits beyond critical improvements in production speed. Automated fastening improved worker welfare, increased the quality and safety of aircraft, and in later years, led to reductions in fuel consumption.

  • The first automated riveters were widely used throughout WWII, to boost aircraft production for the United States and her allies, on Curtiss Wright’s P-40 Warhawk fighter and C-46 Commando transport, and North American’s P-51 Mustang.
  • One-up fastening, now known as the Drivmatic® process, was first automated in 1948 for Douglas Aircraft and Lockheed.
  • The patent for all-electric, roller-screw driven upset force was awarded in 1996, leading the shift from traditional hydraulic systems to the industry-standard electric systems of today.

Considered “the backbone of Boeing wing production for more than 30 years”, Gemcor automated fastening systems were employed on the 727, 737, 747, 757, 767 and 777. Other notable programs across Gemcor’s history include the Space Shuttle, the Humvee and the C17 transport.

Gemcor joined Ascent’s assembly line integration portfolio in 2016. Ascent officially celebrated the Gemcor anniversary at the SAE 2017 Aerotech Exhibition & Congress in Fort Worth. Michael Mahfet, CEO, offered, “On behalf of everyone at Ascent, I want to congratulate our Gemcor colleagues on 80 years of aerospace excellence.”

Across the globe, Gemcor equipment and systems are used by virtually every manufacturer of airframes. Since Gemcor’s inception, more than 2200 systems have been shipped worldwide. Nearly every commercial aircraft has come into contact with a Gemcor system.

Gemcor Drivmatic(R) riveters automated DC-10 wing panel production at Douglas Aircraft Company.

Gemcor Drivmatic riveters automated DC-10 wing panel production at Douglas Aircraft Company.