Made in the Northwest: Mackay Manufacturing
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – Since 1986, Mackay Manufacturing has been making metal components to exacting standards for all kinds of industries.
“A lot of them are big assemblies that are going into surgical instruments and military defense,” said vice president Katie Mackay. “A little bit in nuclear. So we kind of service everybody around the globe, really.”
About 60% of Mackay Manufacturing’s work is in often highly complex surgical instruments.
“So that’s all over the map as far as some shoulder, some hip,” explained Mackay. “But for the most part, spine is kind of our sweet spot.”
Mackay Manufacturing also does a fair amount of work for the military industry, including some parts that go on helicopters. And that’s not all.
“We make a lot parts for the exploration of space,” said Mackay. “So that’s pretty exciting to see when you get to make something and you see it from beginning to end and you actually get to watch it happen on TV.”
Mackay has 165 employees in a facility that runs pretty much 24/7. And in order to continue living up to its reputation, Mackay says the company invests millions of dollars in the latest machinery.
“We buy new stuff to keep on top of the technology. Just like anything electronics, it gets better and better every single year.”
One example are its five axis Trunnion machines, which allow Mackay to machine a part from five different sides.
“We’ve got three of those currently and that’s the kind of technology we’ll be continuing to go for, away from the three and four axis mills.”
It’s also used robotics in its manufacturing process for several years now.
“That robot will transport it down to the machine, load it in. And once it’s a completed part, that transport machine will move it back to the machinist,” said Mackay.
And once metal part is finished, it goes to the Quality Assurance department to make sure it meets its customers’ tight tolerances.
“We’ll make parts that have thousands of dimensions on them. A lot of times it’s like a tenth of your hair is the tolerance that they’re trying to hold,” said Mackay. “So the QA team is just making sure that everything is perfect the way it should be before we send it out to the customer.”
Mackay says the company grows about 5% each year and she doesn’t anticipate that growth slowing anytime soon.
“We own the two buildings next door to us. We’ve got room to go. We’ve got more machines already on the books for this year. So more, more, more.”
It’s a healthy outlook for a company that makes products to help improve your health.
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