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Interview

The World Leader in Shock & Vibration Control - Taylor Devices

In our interview with Taylor Devices President Alan KLEMBCZYK, we touch on the company’s 65 years of success, product development and their aggressive approach to research & development and their outlook for the market in Turkey

Issue 102

Defence Turkey: As the USA’s leading independent manufacturer of energy management devices, Taylor Devices has a long and rich history when it comes to shock and vibration isolation. Can you describe Taylor Devices today and provide some key facts about the company for our readers?  What are Taylor Devices’ strong points and how does it differ from its competitors?

Alan KLEMBCZYK: Taylor Devices does indeed have a rich history spanning more than 65 years. We have continually adapted our products and services to meet the demands of our customers. We have unparalleled knowledge and experience that allows us to choose only the best solution for any given application, whether they are for military, aerospace, industrial or structural projects.  Since the Company’s inception in 1955, we have supplied unique products for military applications.  We have supported NASA since the beginning of the Apollo Program in the 1960’s. We operate under a single Quality Management System certified to AS9100. Therefore, all our customers, regardless of the end-use, will benefit from receiving only the highest quality products.

We perform system-level analysis, all product design, manufacturing, and testing. Our unmatched, world-class test capabilities allow us to verify the most stringent performance requirements. We invite all our customers to witness testing of their products in our Western New York state facility. 

Today, Taylor Devices remains in a period of growth and sustained continual improvement. Even after 65 years of success and product development, our “bag of tricks” keeps growing through aggressive research & development. We will continue to leverage that experience to benefit all our customers.

Defence Turkey: Can we get an overview of 2020 from Taylor Devices’ point of view and could you elaborate on your targets for 2021?

Alan KLEMBCZYK: Several on-going initiatives at our Company are allowing us to accommodate our expected growth.  For example, we continue to improve our Lean Manufacturing capabilities. We have expanded our customer support personnel. Our website is constantly changing, and we have expanded our communication through marketing activities including a higher level of social media presence, among other things. Company performance for our fiscal year ending in 2020 was very good and we look forward to another strong year in 2021.

Defence Turkey: Can you elaborate on whether you have experienced any delay or postponement in your annual activity plan/schedule for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic? How and to what extent has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your business operations including production, manufacturing and supply chain as well as your domestic and international programs? 

Alan KLEMBCZYK:  In late March 2020, Taylor Devices received confirmation from the State of New York that we were designated as an “essential business” pursuant to a NY State Executive Order with respect to our business function of supply chain partner for several essential industries including aerospace, defense, construction, and industrial products.  We were fortunate to be in a position that allowed us to maintain the functional aspects of our Company while still practicing cautious measures to inhibit the spread of the Coronavirus. 

Taylor Devices remains in a strong position and our ability to maintain commitments to customers is not currently being hindered due to the pandemic. Currently, our supply chain is quite strong, and we therefore do not expect any delays that would inhibit our ability to deliver products going forward. 

Defence Turkey: How do you think the current COVID-19 pandemic will affect the global defense & aerospace industries? Do you expect market slow-down as a result in 2020 and 2021?

Alan KLEMBCZYK:  Other than a few logistical delays within government-funded programs due to COVID, I do not believe a substantial long-term impact to the defense industry. However, commercial air programs have and will continue to suffer COVID related impacts quite possibly for years to come. 

Defence Turkey: Taylor Devices’ products are currently being utilized in manned and unmanned aircraft, missiles, satellites, spacecraft, ships, submarines, radars, tracked vehicles, and gunnery systems. Could you elaborate on Taylor Devices’ broad portfolio of businesses? What are the capability areas that Taylor Devices is well known for today?   

Alan KLEMBCZYK:  Yes, we supply products and services for the applications that you mentioned.  We also provide a wide array of energy management devices for industrial applications including crane buffers, dampers, liquid die springs, machined springs, custom actuators, etc.  However, over 60% of our total business is for structural applications including seismic viscous dampers, tuned mass dampers, lock-up devices and wind dampers. We have supplied large devices for more than 750 projects world-wide and we have an unparalleled test facility that can test our structural products with up to 8,000 kN of force at velocities up to 2.5 m/sec.      

Defence Turkey: What kind of new products do you anticipate a demand for in the coming years? What can the industry expect to see on the horizon in terms of new products and services from Taylor Devices? 

Alan KLEMBCZYK: I believe that we will see an increase in demand for all our products, including analytical services that optimize the configuration of dynamic systems. There has been a constant improvement in software over the last 30 years that has certainly benefited the engineering community across all sectors. Due to our unique ability to design and produce products that display highly non-linear output parameters, this will continue to allow Taylor Devices to meet the changing demands of our customers.  

Defence Turkey: Taylor Devices has quite a significant reputation in the world of Shock & Vibration today. Can you provide some background on how the company’s legacy was established?

Alan KLEMBCZYK: We are very proud of the reputation that Taylor Devices enjoys today. Company founder Paul TAYLOR was able to solve many challenging problems starting back in the 1950’s. Doug TAYLOR continued that legacy and provided the leadership that was necessary to propel us through a period of substantial growth, particularly with the advent of the structural damper market.  Because of that legacy, we still maintain an appetite to solve uniquely challenging problems that utilize the lessons learned over decades, combined with our desire for continued growth. We are quite optimistic about our future.    

Defence Turkey: Could you please comment on the respective percentages of your turnover that are generated by Military & Aerospace, Industrial and Structural business divisions? Are you satisfied with this split?

Alan KLEMBCZYK:  Recently, our revenue has been approximately 58% Structural, 36% Military/Aerospace and 6% Industrial. We are comfortable with this split. The products that we develop for each sector helps benefit the others as we are always looking to improve our products across the board.

Defence Turkey: How much time, effort and money does Taylor Devices set aside for R&D annually? 

Alan KLEMBCZYK:  Depending on several factors, we allocate at least several percent of our revenue to R&D efforts annually.

Defence Turkey: What could you tell us about the international presence and market position of Taylor Devices in the field of energy management devices, and the international programs that you are undertaking? 

Alan KLEMBCZYK: We have technical sales representatives throughout the world and have taken steps to accommodate our planned growth in every sector. Despite the challenges that this may present to offer our products overseas, we are willing and able to handle those challenges as necessary.

Defence Turkey: What can you tell us about Taylor Devices’ approach to Turkey as a market for the sale of its products? How many and what types of Taylor Devices’ products such as isolation systems, landing gear and machined springs, are in use in Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) Air, Land and Naval platforms?

Alan KLEMBCZYK: We have excellent representation in Turkey, and we are looking to expand the use of our products even more aggressively there. Although we are under restrictions to share specific information, I can say that we have provided custom actuators and some specialized buffers for weaponry in Turkey.

Defence Turkey: Could you give us an overview of programs in both military and aerospace that Taylor Devices is interested in Turkey in the short to medium term? 

Alan KLEMBCZYK: We would welcome the opportunity to increase our presence in Turkey for any of our products within the constraints of US export regulations. 

Defence Turkey: Would you like to add anything in the way of a message for our readers?

Alan KLEMBCZYK: Taylor Devices is proud to have been a world leader in shock and vibration mitigation products since 1955.  We pride ourselves in maintaining our unmatched reputation in everything we do.  We welcome all opportunities, no matter how difficult or straightforward.  Please be assured that Taylor Devices is eager to share the benefits of our technology and we are always willing to respond to your inquiries in the most timely fashion