History

James O. Perkins Era (1917-1997)


Superior Machine and Tool was started in 1943 by James O. Perkins. James was born in 1917 in Muncie, Indiana. His career began as an apprenticeship at Warner Gear in Muncie in 1936. Five years later, he moved to Fort Wayne to work at Studebaker until in 1943 when he began a small machine shop of the family home on 1401 Pemberton drive, the start of Superior Machine and Tool.
Apprenticeship 6/1/39 Warner Gear

Apprenticeship 6/1/39 Warner Gear

The Original Shop

The Original Shop

Superior's first Paycheck

Superior’s first Paycheck

The Original Shop

The Original Shop

The Original Shop

The Original Shop

The Original Shop

The Original Shop

The Original Shop

The Original Shop

The Original Shop

The Original Shop

The Original Shop

The Original Shop

The Original Shop

The Original Shop

The original shop

The original shop

Grandpa Running Turret Lathe

Grandpa Running Turret Lathe

Mrs Hoffman First Secretary of Company 1958

Mrs Hoffman First Secretary of Company 1958

The Original Shop

The Original Shop

James O. at the shop

James O. at the shop

Two years later, he moved Superior to 710 Buchanan St. and he started working at Wayne Tooling and engineering, the following Christmas he built the landmark miniature Army Jeep for his boys for Christmas in 1946.
 Jim &  Joe Perkins at Original Homestead  1401 Pemberton Street 1945

Jim & Joe Perkins at Original Homestead 1401 Pemberton Street 1945

Christmas Jeep makes the Papers

Christmas Jeep makes the Papers

Christmas Jeep

Christmas Jeep #2

In 1955, Superior moved again, into 1810-1812 South Anthony Boulevard, where in 1958 they built the very first steel hull pontoon boat. In 1961 Superior expanded its horizons a bit when James O. Perkins purchased majority ownership in Precision Aircraft Products in Kendallville, Indiana.
2nd Building of Superior Machine on South Anthony Blvd

2nd Building of Superior Machine on South Anthony Blvd

Prototype Pontoon

Prototype Pontoon

Grandpa Purchased 90 Man Union Shop in 1962

Grandpa Purchased 90 Man Union Shop in 1962 – Precision Aircraft Products

Superior Machine & Tool were living up to their name and mission by purchasing on the first Pratt & Whitney “Tap-o-Matic” drilling machines in the Fort Wayne Area. A year later they moved to 2301 Pennsylvania St. and it was there that they designed and built the first square bologna lunch meat machine for Eckrich meats. In 1960, James C. Perkins, son of James O., began working at Superior on a full-time basis.
Excello CNC machine

Excello CNC machine

James C. "Jim" Perkins

James C. “Jim” Perkins

In 1965, James O. sold his interest in Precision Aircraft Products and one year later started a new division of Superior Machine & Tool called Contours Machine Corp, which specialized in tracer lathes and mills.Thirteen years later, in 1979, James C. Perkins started Rite-Way Machine Products, a company that will last through 2006.

In 1985, Michal S. Perkins, son of James C. Perkins begins working at both Superior Machine & Tool and Rite-Way Machine Products on a part time basis.

Mike & Dad Moving Equipment in Wayne Haven Industrial Park New Building

Mike & Dad Moving Equipment in Wayne Haven Industrial Park New Building

Superior continues to upgrade their machine line with their first CNC lathe – a Daewoo Puma 10s and CNC Machining Center Mori Seiki MV JR in 1987.

James C. Perkins Era (1942-2012)


In 1991, they built a 15,000 sqft building at 6911 Trafalgar St., their current location.
Through the 90’s and 2000’s their reputation and service was enriched with landmark jobs and products. In ’93, they built a custom machine for Tokheim Corp to cut their production times from 5 minute cycles to 30 second cycles. They bought a Haas VF4 Machining Center in 1995, the first of 4, a Citizen Swiss in 1999, the first of 7, and in 2009 they began replacing Haas machining centers with VF2SS’s.

6911 Trafalgar St.

6911 Trafalgar St.

In 1997, James O. Perkins passed away, leaving behind an astounding legacy for his son and grandson to run and innovate.

Also in 1997, Superior won a bid to produce 15 million Delco Remy “shunts” per year, a job which lasts over 10 years. In 2008, the contract ended with over 150 million parts produced at 0 PPM.

In 2011, Superior Machine and Tool added 5,000 sqft. Onto the existing building for warehouse space, and one year later, purchased their first Doosan TT1800SLY, a double turret, double spindle machine.

James C. Perkins passed away in 2012, the legacy he received from his father now passed on to his own son.

Michael S. Perkins Era (1969-present)


In 2013, Michael S. Perkins in partnership with Chad Lambert, start Rite-Way Blasting, a company that does production bead blasting for surface prep.

Todd Bauer hard at work

Todd Bauer

Mike Perkins hard at work

Mike Perkins hard at work

Rite Way Blasting

Rite Way Blasting

 

 

 

 

 

 

A year later, Michael Perkins and Todd Bauer started Rite-Way Arms, a company to produce fire-arms accessories.

Rite Way Arms

Rite Way Arms

 

Comments are closed