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Boston Gear to celebrate 135th anniversary
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This year Boston Gear celebrates 135 years in business, longer than such venerable companies as I.B.M., Coca-Cola, General Electric and Ford. It’s been around longer than the light bulb, radio, movies, automobiles, and the airplane.

Boston Gear, part of Altra Industrial Motion, is a leading global supplier of quality power transmission products to most major industrial markets including food processing, packaging machinery and material handling. From its 193,000 square foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Charlotte, North Carolina, Boston Gear offers a wider range of products than any competing company in its field. Many companies worldwide rely upon Boston Gear as their single-source supplier of motion control products.

An industry leader and innovator from the beginning

Boston Gear was founded in 1877 as a small machine shop manufacturing gear-cutting machines. But the company quickly became recognized as a dominant, pioneering leader in its field. Early on, Boston Gear introduced the concepts of gear standardization and stock gears – innovations of enormous benefit to power transmission designers, specifiers and users. By 1929, Boston Gear was established as the world’s largest manufacturer of stock gears. And the company pioneered the concept of enclosed drives, a category it still dominates with its dependable, high-performance worm, helical and bevel gear drives.

The spirit of innovation that vaulted Boston Gear into a position of industry dominance many decades ago is still alive and well. Products like the new 2000 Series gear motors help Boston Gear maintain its position as the go-to company in its field. The 2000 Series, sets new standards in performance and design flexibility. And Boston’s 700 Series speed reducers, available in both cast iron and stainless steel, have long been the industry standard for food processing and material handling applications.

A survivor

Though Boston Gear has been an innovative leader in its field for more than a century, the company has endured some tough times. The company survived a national depression in the late 1800’s, the Great Depression of the 1930’s, numerous recessions, and several changes of ownership. And during World War II, the company worked round the clock, contributing to the U.S. war effort. In appreciation, the employees of Boston Gear were awarded the Army-Navy Production Award for high achievement in 1943.

More recently, Boston Gear has faced radical changes in the global marketplace. “Just 20 years ago we competed primarily with companies based in North America,” said Vice President & General Manager Ed Novotny. “But now we face competition from companies worldwide. This globalization has opened up many new opportunities for us.”

What's the secret?

Any person who lives to the ripe old age of 100 is inevitably asked about the secret to longevity. But since not many companies survive to their 100th birthday, that’s a question that’s also worth asking of a company like Boston Gear.

Carl Christenson, President & CEO of Boston’s parent company, Altra Industrial Motion, has an answer to that question. “We're an extremely customer focused company,” Christenson said. “Our associates are committed to satisfying the customer. We service the marketplace with above average industry performance standards in quality, delivery, and product innovation.”

Christenson explained that the driving force behind their record of consistently providing world-class customer service is the Altra Business System, a unique company-wide business management system. “Focusing upon the customer and continuously striving to align quality, delivery, and cost with our customers’ wants and needs – that’s the Altra Business System,” Christenson said. “Because of our absolute dedication to customer satisfaction, sales growth takes care of itself.”


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