For 40 years, A & G Machine has been a stronghold in the Auburn Valley with happy employees and high-quality aerospace products.
For over 40 years, A & G Machine Inc. in Auburn, Washington, has worked to achieve the highest quality machining and manufacturing capabilities within the aerospace industry. In fact, to this day, the founders and owners, Abe Mathew and Guy Hall, are still involved in the day-to-day business operations of their company. According to the Director of Business Development, John Rienzo, Hall and Mathew worked as machinists early in their careers. It was 1983 when these two Boeing machinists decided to take a chance and “strike out on their own.” Utilizing the initials of their first names, A & G Machine was conceived. They bought machines and started a business. Through numerous years of continued innovation and reinvesting, the company has grown from a single-car garage in West Seattle to five manufacturing facilities with 37 machine centers, encapsulating 125,000 square feet of manufacturing space across three campuses in Auburn, Washington. This story is about a family-oriented business offering good jobs in a safe, community-oriented environment.
Ferdinand Delino is a lead in the assembly department at the company. He’s been in the role for over two years but has 25 years of experience in the industry. He said, “I like coming to work. This is the best place I’ve worked. It is a small company; it is not unionized, and it is a family culture.” He supervises 12 people in his department.
Delino said there is shared expertise in the business. “If there are things you don’t know, they can help” — they effectively communicate and brainstorm ideas. There is always a “higher knowledge where you can get guidance, and someone will support you.” Since 80 percent of manufactured components are in a sub-assembly configuration, Rienzo said that is value added for customers. He said they take machined components through assembly and ship the product under a single part number (in some cases), while handling material procurement, machining, processing, painting, and assembly.
Rienzo has been in the aerospace industry since 2004 and has a background as an aircraft repair mechanic in the Navy. He has led aerospace manufacturing teams in the private sector since 2009. He enjoys the advanced technologies in the industry. He said, “The product we build is going into space or some version of either passenger or military aircraft.”
The company’s mission is “We pledge to maintain a safe, environmentally friendly workplace in recognition of our responsibilities to our employees, customers, and community. We take great pride in our communal activities.”
Regarding safety and environmental friendliness, Rienzo noted, “We hold ourselves to the industry’s standards and the environmental impact and ensure excess waste is recycled to EPA regulations. Machine shops can be dirty, but A & G prides itself on its cleanliness, which is apparent compared to other machine shops of our size.” They have 90 employees.
Community activities within the company are important; he said they have a different culture compared to other shops of their size. Rienzo and A & G Sales Manager Kevin Kacer, both said that the company focuses highly on their employees, attributing the treatment and respect for employees to the founders/owners Mathew and Hall. Kacer added, “Our mission is to take care of employees first and foremost. Our owners are very employee oriented and care about the employees; they care for customers and each of us.”
Rienzo stated, “The management team is unified; owners have much experience to help train the team on the floor and the management team. It is a good company to build a foundation and have an opportunity for growth.”
Kacer has been with the company for 18 years. He feels that they excel with on-time delivery. He also said they have machines that competitors traditionally haven’t had, although that is changing. They initially had much larger machines, “but it is now more competitive.” So, they strive for high-quality and on-time delivery, “which separates us from others.”
Kacer also noted, “The factory is very safety oriented, well organized, very clean, and top-notch. Departments are labeled with overhead signs,” which is helpful for new employees. He likes how the owners and management help employees, new or long term. “We have two owners; they’ve been in business 40 years and have built the company from the ground up. They have done a great job of reinvesting in the company and (being) ready to do business. With that comes being family-oriented; both owners are very involved.”
Rienzo shared that their shop is primarily comprised of 5-axis machines. They have large gantry-style machines and worktables as large as 322 inches long by 143 inches wide. “To put that in perspective, our largest machine is the size of a drive-through car wash.” He explained that their high-speed aluminum machines (MAG 3’s) and Jobs gantry machines mean decreased spindle time and increased throughput. “This is an advantage to both our customers and us. We manufacture very large and complex pieces, and the decreased manufacturing time, coupled with our location, means that customers can rely on quality parts to be delivered faster than our competition.”
Their quality assurance department also offers large-scale inspection, “We have very large CMM inspection equipment; all of them from standard gantry style to Leica laser trackers. The Leica measures the parts via a laser eye corresponding to a handheld device and can be manipulated around the laser head for minute measurements down to 1/1000th of an inch.” Rienzo said they have eight employees in that department. A & G currently does not plan to implement AI or robotics in the factory, “due to the size of our machines and material,” he added.
The employees interviewed felt location is also a key to their success. Rienzo observed that they are central to all aerospace activity in the Northwest and within driving distance of customer sub-assembly plants. “Our location means we can get the customer’s product to the final assembly lines faster.”
He also stated that they have good relationships with raw material providers. Standard raw materials are easily obtained, but unique raw materials for space projects can be harder to find. Rienzo said, “Certain materials for space can be harder to get – the material going to space is typically an alloy of a different grade. If the customer wants something built out of rare or unique material, they usually buy the raw material they need.” Many customers will go in and purchase an entire mill run and then warehouse it. He feels that when the raw material market stabilizes, the customers might push unique raw material purchases back to manufacturers.
The company would like more space-related and medical contracts, while continuing to support commercial aerospace. Kacer said, “We have the machines and personnel to make anything happen.” Rienzo added they are actively hiring and are currently reviewing resumes. However, due to the industry’s current state, he felt the decreased commercial rate may hamper growth. He thought they may add 20-25 positions over the next few years.
Delino looks forward to continued employee celebrations and camaraderie, “We are always having some kind of company event.” On Fridays, a food truck is on-site for breakfast or lunch. He also shared that General Manager Jim George is engaged with each employee and truly cares about their well-being. He is also impressed by Abe Mathew and his leadership, “That guy is amazing.” Lastly, he said he learns much from John Rienzo and highly values his skill set. Overall, the company offers a family-oriented environment that respects and rewards employees for good work conducting manufacturing in Washington’s Auburn Valley.
| A & G Machine Inc. was incorporated in 1983 and is a privately owned company. A &G has grown into a facility with over 125,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Our commitment to achieving the highest quality standards is exemplified in our AS9100:2016 certification.
A & G products can be found on commercial, defense, business jet, and general aviation platforms.
Boeing Commercial: B737, B737MAX, B767, B787, B747-8
Defense Fight/Transport/Rotorcraft: F35, F22, F18, C130, P8, KC47, AWEC, V22, CH47
Business Jet and General Aviation: Cessna, Fokker, Gulfstream, Quest
A & G Machine
1231 37th Street NW
Auburn, WA 98001