The history of CNC Industries goes back to 1971 when Steve Deam Sr., the founder of the company, gained much of his machining experience working at a mold shop. Starting in at the company as a grit-blaster and errand-runner, Steve made the effort to earn a 4-year Journeyman Moldmaker certification. As a Moldmaker he clearly recalls the days of working with manually operated engine lathes, surface grinders, and knee mills to produce tight-tolerance mold components.
Over a period of six years Steve worked his way up to an engineering position and then top management position. While in these positions Steve contributed several innovative design concepts which are still in use today. Steve was the first person in the company to program a computer (which pre-dates the first IBM desktop PC) to perform complex calculations needed to design the company’s proprietary molds.
With four children and barely two nickels to rub together, Steve & Linda borrowed $2,000 from a local finance company (at 27% interest) to purchase a small used engine lathe. After setting up shop in their one-car garage, Steve began making parts in the evening on a part time basis while still working his way up the ladder at his full time job.. After about a year of burning the candle at both ends, Steve decided to make the leap and start his own company.
Steve remembers the day that “NC”, Numerically Controlled and then “CNC” Computer Numerically Controlled machines came onto the scene in the mid-70’s. In fact, he & his wife purchased one of the first CNC Turning centers in the area for the first shop that they started a year earlier – a Precision Mold Shop named Deam Manufacturing, Inc. Since the CNC lathe cost over eight times as much as an engine lathe some of their competitors speculated that the machine would put the new start-up company out of business. Not only did it not put them out of business, they purchased a second identical machine six months later.
After building the company up to 25 employees Steve and Linda accepted an offer to purchase Deam Manufacturing, Inc. From there Steve and Linda purchased a small CAD/CAM company that was struggling to hang on. For the next nine years Steve traveled around the country installing CAD/CAM systems into hundreds of machine shops of all sizes, up to and including General Motors.
Just when Steve thought he was finally getting the struggling CAD/CAM company off the ground his 16 year old son was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia). This diagnosis took all the wind out of Steve’s sails. He and his wife spent the next year helping Steve Jr. fight the terrible disease. At diagnosis they gave Steve Jr. a 10-12% chance of survival. Even then, the doctors told us that his only chance for survival was with a sibling 6-antigen match bone marrow transplant. Fortunately, and due to several miraculous events, Steve Jr. survived the illness. (Afterward the doctors told us that they never expected him to survive. His primary bone-marrow doctor told us that Steve’s case was a text-book example of how they wished every case would go.)
After spending all of their time, energy, and money helping Steve Jr. fight Leukemia, the Deams decided to shut down the struggling CAD/CAM business and do what Steve Sr. knows best – start another precision machine shop. This time rather than specializing in precision rubber molds they decided to venture into the Job Shop market.
Although a senior in High School, and having just recovered from year long treatments for Leukemia, Steve Deam Jr. became involved in the family business on a part-time basis. His first task for the company was to begin development of a custom designed MRP system for the company.
Starting off with three full-time people in a pole barn on their property in December 1995, CNC Industries enjoyed rapid growth from the very beginning. Due to its commitment to dependable performance as well as its focus on customer satisfaction CNC Industries outgrew its original facility in a little over 2 years.