If ever there were proof of excellent job performance it would have to be Al Bello’s since he became a partner in Power Drive Components, Inc., less than a year ago. “When I got involved in the company and bought one-third ownership in December of 2004 they were doing about $50,000 worth of business each year,” he says. “Today we’re in the $300,000 annual revenue range, and we’ve only begun to explore our capabilities.”
Those capabilities include a wide variety of couplings — both standard and flexible — power and timing chains, sprockets, helical gears, and both internal and external spur gears. “Part of our success is due to the integration of Mike Seda into our gear-manufacturing operations,” Bello says. “Mike’s an expert in worm gearing, and his knowledge and experience has helped us branch out into that area.”
While the company has produced many of these items since it was founded 14 years ago, what Bello has brought to the table are improved manufacturing processes, better coupling designs, and a host of contacts made during nearly three decades with the W.M. Berg company.
“I started off doing a lot of design work in the belt and chain area, and I was promoted to manufacturing manager in 1989,” Bello says. “Then, after 26 years of service, I was replaced. Seven months later, in 2004, I was approached by the owners of Power Drive to join them, which was perfect timing. I saw this as an opportunity to get involved with a company that I felt had a great deal of potential, and that’s definitely turned out to be the case.”
As plant manager and CEO of Power Drive Components — Stanley Korianski is president, and Frank Vicchio is vice president — Bello has revitalized the company, establishing new accounts and constantly expanding the product line it offers. One of its most successful new products is the Bello line of flexible couplings. “This is a neoprene coupling with a ribbed design and stainless steel aluminum hobs, and it’s far less expensive than other couplings found in that same class,” he says. “We offer one-eighth all the way up to three-quarter diameter, and we also offer miniature couplings. Plus we manufacture everything in house, so we have full control of the process and don’t have any problems meeting our quality and delivery goals.”
Another growth category is the company’s selection of belts and chains for power-drive applications. “We manufacture gear drive chains, circular pitch timing belts, and mini-drive chains, just to name a few, and we’ve added about six new products to that line since I came onboard,” he says. “And we’re planning to broaden our line of roller chains as well. We currently offer one that’s a .147 pitch, which is a standard mini chain, and a half-inch pitch, but we’re going to make them in a 40, 60, and 80 pitch. So we’re excited about roller chains, which represent a huge market for us.”
And one that is global in nature. Bello says that one of its biggest customers is a Hewlett-Packard facility that is located in Israel — where the company has a sales representative — and it also does business with customers located in Greece and Germany. Other clients include General Electric and Parker-Hannifin, and the industries served run the gamut from aerospace to material handling, medical equipment, measuring devices, automation, small appliances, and robotics.
Power Drive’s manufacturing activities are conducted in two locations in New York, with molding and gear cutting handled at its Plainview site — which also houses headquarters — and a CNC turning and milling facility in West Babylon. The company currently employees about a dozen people and utilizes more than 8,000 square feet of manufacturing space between the two buildings. Bello says that hiring additional employees and adding to the company’s physical footprint are definitely on the drawing board.
“I basically have two main goals in terms of what I want to do with Power Drive Components,” he says. “First I want to keep adding to our product line, exploring new markets and cultivating relationships with new customers. But the main thing I want to achieve is to bring more manufacturing jobs to New York. Too much of it is going to China these days, and I want to bring that work back to the States.”