First, the backstory: Founded in 1952, the Delta Research Corp. manufactures gear components, gearboxes, and prototype transmissions. One of its vendors for cutting gear teeth was Tifco Gage & Gear. Interested in bringing that process in-house, Delta Research’s president Robert Sakuta purchased Tifco in 2004. This year he renamed the company Delta Gear, with Tifco remaining as a division within the company that produces master gears and gages. The point of all this?
“Identity and efficiency,” according to Tony Werschky, sales manager and a co-partner in the company. “We wanted to make sure we were communicating to our customers that this is primarily a gear-manufacturing facility, although we’re still committed to manufacturing high-quality gages and masters. We liked the symmetry of having Delta Gear in addition to Delta Research, especially since that reflects the close relationship between the two companies. Delta Research handles machining, grinding, and assembly of the gearbox housings while Delta Gear has the precision gearing capabilities.”
In addition to this consolidation and streamlining Delta Gear is also experiencing considerable growth, with a new 72,000 square-foot facility soon to be completed. “We purchased a building that formerly housed the local newspaper, which we gutted and redesigned,” Werschky says. “Once it’s open it will be a state of the art facility for our four main focus areas, which are aerospace, automotive prototyping, industrial applications, and defense contracts.”
At the tail end of an economic downturn, it’s reasonable to wonder how this enterprise has weathered hard times so well. One reason has to do with the quality of Delta Gear’s products, but it’s also because of the problem-solving skills it provides to its customers. As an example, it was recently contacted by a manufacturer of deepwater drilling equipment that wasn’t satisfied with the gears being supplied by its previous vendor. “Not only were they delighted by the quality and precision of the gear components we manufactured for them, we also helped them to identify a new heat-treating source that we knew would meet their requirements,” Werschky says. “So from the very beginning we stepped in and began solving their problems, which they clearly appreciate very much. And that’s just one example of where we really take the game to the next level.”
While most of Delta Gear and Delta Research’s customers are found in the United States, it also ships to countries such as South Korea, Australia, China, Canada, Mexico, and throughout Europe. Wherever the client is found, however, they can expect the same attention to detail. Proof is found in both company’s ISO:9001 and AS:9100 aerospace registrations—critical in the gearboxes, geared components, collets, splines, shafts, and clutches it manufactures for that industry—and also by the ISO/IEC:17025-accredited inspection laboratory that will be located in the new facility, which will only be the second of that caliber in the United States.
“We’ll use the lab to check the parts we manufacture, of course, but we also plan to offer it as an independent inspection service for anyone who needs it,” Werschky says. “That’s just another example of the value-added services we provide.”
As is the case with any successful company, Delta Gear and Delta Research are constantly exploring new markets to enter, and they are already heavily involved in the automotive industry’s thrust toward developing transmissions for electric vehicles. “We went to the auto show in Detroit some years ago,” Sakuta recalls, “and we were gratified to find that we had manufactured all of the hybrid transmissions the Big Three automakers had on display. That really let us know that we’re on the right track, and we’re now making prototypes for parts used in electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles not only for companies in the U.S., but for others found in Europe and Southeast Asia as well.”
Werschky says that Sakuta’s foresight and leadership is a major reason why the company has fared so well of late, and has such a bright future ahead. “Bob really sets the pace for all of us with his drive and personal integrity,” he says. “He never asks anyone to work harder than he’s willing to himself, and he encourages all of us to always be thinking on our feet and coming up with ways of making ourselves indispensable to our customers. He is dedicated to quality and innovation, and that’s really what’s at the core of our philosophy regarding how we conduct ourselves and how we do business. We’ve developed a reputation as a go-to supplier over the years, and that’s something we take very seriously.”