2019 Washington Manufacturing Awards, Company of the Year (Small)

Gold: King Machine LLC, Mukilteo; Silver: Aspen Power Catamarans, Burlington
  • President of Mukilteo's King Machine, Keith Mehus
PRECISION. Keith Mehus, president of King Machine, leads a company that is projecting a sevenfold jump in revenue this year over 2013.

This article appears in the May 2019 issue. See more about the winners of the 2019 Washington Manufacturing Awards hereClick here for a free subscription.

King Machine LLC, Mukilteo

What do you do for an encore if you’re a team of machinists that has been working together for decades? You find another machine shop to run and make a success of it. That’s the story of the management team at aerospace supplier King Machine. The company has been on a growth tear since present ownership took over five years ago. From 14 employees and $2 million in sales in 2013, the company has grown to 67 employees generating a projected $15 million in revenue in 2019. Growth spurs investment, which spurs more growth. King is investing $1 million in equipment and is adding 8,000 square feet of space to expand assembly, kitting and shipping. One reason for the growth is that the team has been able to adapt new production techniques to parts flow, cutting labor and hours needed to complete the job on time.

Aspen Power Catamarans, Burlington

Founder and chief executive officer Larry Graf started Aspen in 2008 to build powered catamarans — twin fiberglass hulls — for the recreational boating market. In just the past three years, Aspen has doubled annual revenue to $6 million, with a workforce of 36 employees and 30,000 square feet of production space in the Skagit County community of Burlington. Its lineup of boat designs has grown too, with Aspen offering boats up to 40 feet in length. Befitting its status as a larger company, Aspen has been paying attention to the behind-the-scenes details. That includes investing $1.3 million in new tooling and more sophisticated systems to cover functions, such as inventory/purchasing and management systems as well as production planning and forecasting. Next up: introduction of a 50-foot model, and more marketing in the form of adventure tours featuring Aspen catamarans.

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