Q&A with Michael Menz

Executive Vice President, Riley Gear Corporation


Please tell us about your new role with Riley Gear Corporation.

The new roll of Executive Vice President consists of managing the day-to-day operations and effectively managing all functions; identify opportunities to improve the operations and identify opportunities to expand the business within the organization’s current capabilities. I’ll also be working with the CFO on budgeting, financial, strategic planning, and I’m also responsible for creating a three to five year strategic business plan.

Tell us a little about your background in the gear industry.

I always wanted to follow my fathers machining career after he took me through the shop, so I took up three years of machine classes in high school learning lathes and mills (something I wish high schools still offered). I started right out of high school in a machine shop for a few years and later getting hired by Beloit Corporation Paper Machinery. I worked on machining sub-assemblies of gears, shafts and installing them into transfer gear cases or speed reduction boxes. Everything was still completely machined and assembled in-house on the factory floor. Back then no one did any outsourcing. The last 10 years I worked at United Gear & Assembly manufacturing gears and shafts for large OEM customers. I was assigned as the Director of Operations and then as the President for the last eight years. Those learning experiences along with a growing gear industry, a very severe economic downturn, and then a rapid economic upturn in manufacturing is what helped develop my background.

Riley Gear has a reputation for manufacturing excellence. What is Riley Gear’s secret to success?

We really focus on manufacturing precision gearing using only the best precision CNC equipment available to the market today. We can hold some very tight tolerances of 3 microns and with long-term quality capability of 1.67 CPK on a high production basis. I also believe that our success is tied to being certified in these multiple quality standards ISO9001, TS16949, ISO1400, and aerospace quality standard AS9100.

What if I need a custom gear for a device, but I don’t know anything about gearing. How could you help me?

Our Value Engineering group can help you with their many years of design, engineering and manufacturing experience. We can answer your gearing questions, collaborate with you on a project, and ultimately we can turn your concepts into production solutions.

In addition to producing precision gears, what other capabilities do you offer?

In addition to precision gears we also produce complete gear boxes. So we would manufacture the precision shafts, gears and sub-assembly components that would be assembled into a gear box.

Please tell us about the facilities and employees.

Riley Gear has two plants, one in North Tonawanda, New York for our larger precision gears up to 1200 mm and the other is our headquarters and manufacturing plant in St. Augustine, Florida where we produce automotive transmission gears, pinions, along with other components using robotic and highly automated CNC machine cells. Of course we must have experienced well-trained employees to run these cells and to keep our quality standards in check. I believe our employees really make Riley Gear a great company to work for.

What are the main gearing industries you service?

We supply gears and gearboxes to large OEM customers in Precision Production Automotive, Centrifugal & Turbo Compressors, Mining & Heavy Construction, Aerospace & Defense, and the Energy sector.

As you become executive vice president, what do you hope to accomplish with Riley Gear?

I hope that I can help support the manufacturing excellence that Riley Gear is known for, by improving the operations, expanding the business opportunities and capitalizing on the newest technology available for producing precision gears.

MORE INFORMATION: Call (904) 829-5652 or visit www.rileygear.com.