Nelson Engineering Featured in the July/August A to Z Metal Worker

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Nelson Engineering Company is a well-established company located in a 30,000 square foot facility adjacent to the Phoenix, Sky Harbor Airport. In fact, next year the womanowned business will celebrate 50 years in business. Since its inception, the company has been providing precision sheet metal fabricated and machined components for the aerospace and commercial industry. The company offers certified NADCAP TIG and resistance welding, and is an authorized FAA Repair Station.

Nelson’s quality and on-time delivery reputation over the past decades have earned them business from some very loyal long-term customers, including Honeywell and Orbital Sciences. On their Honeywell report cards, they are consistently graded with 99% on-time delivery. Their PPM defect scores are well below Honeywell’s stated goals. Their metal spinning capabilities, coupled with their machining and fabrication competencies, generate business from machine shops and fabrication houses in the area that do not offer such comprehensive services.

Two years ago, the company promoted long-term employee John Anglin to president, from his previous position as vice president. John joined the company in 1997 as a new college graduate from Arizona State University, armed with a degree in Industrial Technology. Over the course of John’s career at Nelson Engineering, he held positions in IT, production control, quality, and system automation. Today, John is president and owns a small percentage of the company. And just as this issue goes to print, John will graduate from business school with an MBA. When asked why John pursued an advanced business degree, given his position as company president, John says, “I know Nelson Engineering’s business intimately, with 15 years of tenure. But I knew that I could help the company even more if I learned about business principles through formal education, and through the interaction of my peers in school, who all bring very different backgrounds to the education process than I have experienced. It has been invaluable.”

When asked about some of the most significant investments Nelson has made in their business since his tenure as president, John provided the following;

An ERP system

John says, “Until recently, we were operating with a number of different and disparate data base systems, using Excel, and even utilizing paper to a degree. With the Visual ERP system, our entire company’s records are integrated, and accessible to all departments. With Visual, we can now check schedule availability, understand which of our projects produce the most positive cash flow, better manage quality control, and pro-actively manage our plant and equipment maintenance, just to name a few. Visual ERP has resulted in a huge efficiency improvement for our company. It has enabled substantial streamlining of several of our operations. This doesn’t just benefit Nelson Engineering – it also becomes an asset to our customers.”

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New Machine Tool Equipment

Nelson Engineering is investing in the technology to facilitate efficiencies in their operations.  Their most recent purchase is the Haas ST-20 CNC high-performance turning center. Steve Wise, plant manager for the company with nearly 3 decades of tenure was really impressed with the Haas ST-20. “Ellison Machinery Co has earned our loyalty over the years with their knowledgeable team and outstanding customer service,” Steve explains, “but it still comes down to machine capability & reliability and we had to do our due diligence and look at what solutions their competition had to offer.” According to Jason McCurdy, business manager for Ellison Machinery, Haas has completely redesigned the Haas lathe series, concentrating specifically on machine rigidity both in turning and milling, as well as overall reliability. Jason explains, “In today’s environment maximizing efficiency and part accuracy are the keys to staying competitive. Haas has answered the call in their new ST Series Lathe machine tool line with the options of live tooling and y-axis capability. With the ST series you now have the ability to turn and mill complex parts while performing multiple operations in a single setup. Haas has made it easier than ever to increase operational throughput, reduce part handling, and improve part accuracy. The Haas ST-20 has the best price to performance ratio in its class.”


The research only made it easier for Nelson Engineering to remain loyal to Ellison Machinery. The Haas ST-20 has been operational for 4 months now and all agree that they made the right decision to invest in Haas. “It has exceeded all of our expectations and the return on investment is far better than was projected.” Steve says, “What used to take multiple machines and set-ups is now done on our ST-20 w/live tooling.”

John and Steve are proud and appreciate that with the Haas they can purchase a superior machine manufactured in the United States.

ISO Certification

Nelson Eng ineer ing has long been ISO9001/ AS9100 compliant, and they are subject to stringent audits with their NADCAP certification and certified FAA Repair and Overhaul status. Still, John and the management team determined that to continue to exceed annual revenue objectives, which by design are higher than the previous year, they needed to certify to ISO9001/ AS9100 Revision C. John says, “We are currently under contract with Bretta Kelly, president and CEO of BMSC, to complete certification. We expect tohave this completed before year-end.

Due to their FAA Certification requirements, Nelson Engineering operates their production manufacturing business in separate quarters from their FAA repair business. John and the team at Nelson Engineering have set a goal for the upcoming 12 months — to utilize excess capacity that is available in their facility to grow their FAA repair and overhaul business.

Contact Nelson Engineering to learn about what this diversified manufacturing business can do for you.

They can be reached at 602-273-7114
and you can visit their website at:

Contact Ellison Machinery Co. to learn more about the latest CNC machine tools from Haas Automation and DMG/Mori Seiki. They can be reached at 480-968-5335 or visit their website at:

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