"I'm an operations person." That's the self-proclaimed philosophy of Gregory I Goldman that Bridgeport Machines Inc is staking its future on. Mr Goldman is CEO of the Goldman Industrial Group of Boston that bought the machine tool icon last August. Since then the Connecticut company has assembled a new management team, developed several new machines, wrung $9 million out of cost, and claims to be operating in the black.
The Goldman Group also owns Bryant Grinder J&L Metrology, Fellows (Gearshaper) Corp, Jones & Lamson, Hill Acme, and Loma Machine, all in the New England area. The 35-year-old Goldman says he is interested in, and is exploring, other acquisitions. Bridgeport will be joining the other companies in displaying its new products in a sizable Goldman Group booth at the giant International Manufacturing Technology Show (aka Machine Tool Show) in Chicago starting Sept 6.
The management team assembled to breathe new life into the company which had fallen on hard times in recent years includes Tom Arndt, president, who was president of Vibration Control and vice president of GenCorp (formerly General Tire) and the Giddings & Lewis Automotive Group. Heading up sales is Thomas Sheehan, vice president of sales and marketing. Mr Sheehan was president and CEO of a Charlotte, NC, distributor firm, Machine Tool Systems, a Robert E Morris Company. Malcolm Taylor, a 27-year veteran of Bridgeport remains as senior VP and managing director of European Operations.
Bridgeport was born in 1938 with the invention of a milling machine with a revolving turret that moved the head from one end of the table to the other offering the industry a machine with greater versatility than the single-purpose machines then in use. As such, Bridgeport advanced metalworking's productivity to a new level. There are some 350,000 Bridgeports in service. In the 1960s, the company pioneered in tracer and paper-type programming technology It introduced an NC Bridgeport in 1970 and a year later went global, establishing a manufacturing facility in Leicester, England. It has captured some 20% of the market in the UK. It added manufacturing capability in Europe by buying the Maho machine tool facility in Kempton, Germany In 1979 it purchased the surface grinding machine maker, Hang, in Elgin, IL and in 1982 entered into a strategic alliance with a Brazilian firm, Industrias Romi SA, to market its lathes in North America and Europe. It employs 750 people worldwide.