G Zero CNC Machining in Southern Idaho offers a unique focus on aerospace in that region with a growing facility and team.
G Zero is a cool name that is a term from the programming world meaning “rapid movement.” This is indeed an appropriate name for a business providing swift, accurate CNC machining for several industries, including aerospace, which generally have tight timelines. David Hannah, G Zero president and founder, started as an Air Force aircraft mechanic and worked for Northwest Airlines as an A&P mechanic, then moved into management in the machine shop. He also worked briefly for B/E Aerospace (now Raytheon Technologies RTX) in Southern California. He has operated the G Zero company since 2007 in Meridian, Idaho.
Hannah has worked smart to develop a successful company. Now he enjoys the fruits of his labor, combining business with recent travels to Mexico, Italy, and Iceland — a dream for most entrepreneurs. Learn more about his company, its location, and one of its best investments.
According to TechHelp – Idaho Manufacturing Specialists, there are around 60 manufacturers in the Boise/Meridian region, with about two dozen identified as serving the aerospace industry. Hannah said they’ve been there for 15 years — G Zero trucks leave the area daily to transport their products to the Tier 1 suppliers they serve in Washington and Northern Idaho. “There’s not a lot going out with the trucking companies, but a lot is coming in,” so he said they get reasonable rates for shipping out products. Hannah said, “Before COVID, aerospace manufacturing was picking up in the Boise area; a lot of people were seeking machine time. It is coming back now over the past six months.” He indicated business is picking up again — they are “a hot spot” for those services, he said.
Hannah credits his success in the aerospace industry to investing in and adopting ProShop ERP. Paul Van Metre, president of ProShop ERP, said that Hannah’s company uses the core product that all clients use. “They use it highly effectively, and David has done an amazing job of building standardized ProShop processes that other team members utilize (rather than him), which offers him amazing freedom from the ‘task’ of being the shop owner. He can easily check in from anywhere globally via phone, laptop, tablet, etc., and get a finger on the pulse of what’s happening at the shop.”
Van Metre elaborated, “One of their biggest pain points was scheduling. They couldn’t see where jobs were and couldn’t tell if a setup was done or how many parts were made. After they implemented ProShop, their schedule started to improve right away. The fact that Dave could see every job detail right from his office, without having to go find and chase down a job folder, was huge for him.”
Finally, implementing ProShop meant:
- Better efficiencies with moving parts through the shop faster
- Better organization of tooling and hiring of a crib manager with better kitting and scheduling
- Estimate conversion and accuracy of work orders
Van Metre concluded, “These systems have provided tools that allow Hannah to travel extensively for pleasure while managing his business. Hannah said, “It sets us apart, and if a shop is not using it, they should.”
G Zero conducts work for the aerospace, medical, firearms, and semiconductor industries. However, Hannah said he doesn’t always know where the products are going, as they are a build-to-print shop. In the medical industries, they conduct “a lot of one-off prototypes,” and they do R&D work as well.
They are a Tier 2 supplier to Boeing, providing products to Tier 1 suppliers like Tool Gauge in Tacoma. Hannah said they would like to grow into being a Tier 1 supplier, but he said the limitation is the size of the shop, “We are sitting at 17 people, and we need 20-25 people.” The size of the shop is the only constraint Hannah sees.
Currently, General Manager Jack Sharp works with Hannah to manage 5,700 square feet, and they are getting ready to add another 4,000 square feet, “We meet all of the qualifications with certifications and quality management,” Hannah said. He suggested that buyers feel safer working with a shop like his when there are more employees, which they are adding.
Sharp has been with the company for eight years, starting as a machine operator and working his way up. He learned to be a CNC machine operator when he started. He said that before the pandemic, they produced 20 to 25 percent of their work for the aerospace industry. After the pandemic, that rate dropped to about 10 percent, but they are hopeful it will return. According to Sharp, the company has AS9100 Rev D and ISO 9001 certifications, which took about six months to earn. He noted that it is a good thing to have for both aerospace and the medical industries.
Jim Lee, general manager of Tool Gauge in Tacoma, said they’ve worked with G Zero for about five years, after meeting at a PNAA conference. He said he didn’t know what the business name meant but, “David runs a good operation, and we can count on them.” Lee said he isn’t aware of other aerospace suppliers in Southern Idaho and added, “Aerospace is a tough market to enter. There are a lot of overhead costs involved.
If a company pursues this market, they must successfully offset those initial costs.”
Lee is pleased with G Zero’s “flexibility and responsiveness — they produce to very high-quality standards.” He mentioned that G Zero produces machined metal bin components for Tool Gauge.
So, what makes G Zero unique? We are like a family, Hannah says. We know each other personally and professionally. He said that from a hiring standpoint, we “train them ourselves” through our in-house training program. He explained that he started with the Idaho Workforce Development training program as a model and then adapted it to the business. Training is over term – for up to five years.
He said, “We’ve found a couple of gems; after a month, we are like, wow, they get it.”
He observed that they’ve also worked with the College of Western Idaho in Nampa to find additional employees. The college offers advanced mechatronics engineering technology, applied technology and apprenticeship, certified electronics tech, computer drafting, drafting technology, engineering, and FANUC robots. “The programs can be helpful to give people a basis of knowledge to work for us,” Hannah said.
The primary services at the company are build-to-print, and they offer short-run and long-run manufacturing. They provide light assembly to their customers. They also consult on the manufacturability of products with customers. They can offer laser engraving and machine engraving part numbers, which can be a time saver for customers.
Finally, they can partner with local companies for sheet metal work or painting and offer turnkey processing.
David Hannah has created a business reflecting the American Dream. His company is growing; he employs people and provides excellent services. Because of his astute business development, he can work away from the office while traveling the world!
Services provided by
G Zero CNC Machining
- Horizontal Machining Centers – One two-pallet and one five-pallet system
- Vertical Milling Centers – Seven vertical machining centers
- Lathes – Two turning centers
- Laser Engraver – Engraves customer numbers or logos on parts
G Zero CNC Machining,
1100 West Taylor Avenue, Suite 100, Meridian, Idaho 83642