ATC Celebrates 40 years

A company that began primarily selling precision fixtures, tooling and simple machines in a 6,000 square foot facility is celebrating 40 years this year.ATC Automation was originally named Automation Tool and Engineering Company when it began in 1977.

“It was started by two men, Jack Miller and Chuck Smith, with the original location at 437 E. 15th St. with approximately 6,000 square feet and two employees,” Angela Smith, sales team administrator with ATC, said.

In the early years, ATC primarily sold precision fixtures, tooling and simple machines to oil companies in Texas, as the oil business was booming. ATC also sold fixturing and tooling and some small machines locally to Russell Stover and McCord-Winn.

A few years later, the company grew to 19 employees and needed more space. It moved to 12,000 square feet of space at 3075 Poplar Grove Rd. in August 1981.

In 1999, ATC moved to its current location on Mill Drive. It’s a campus that is now 200,000 square feet  and employs more than 280 people.

“ATC has grown to provide custom automation and test equipment to some of the world’s most recognized household name companies,” Smith said. “We provide manufacturers the equipment that makes large production more cost- and time efficient.” From large turnkey systems, semi and automated systems and lean cell systems,  ATC provides technology in the health, energy, transportation and consumer industries.


Long-time employees with ATC, from left, are Alan Loftis, machine designer, 29 years; Nick Nagy, senior machine designer, 25 years; (back) Kenneth Bryant, senior machine builder, 26 years; Gary Turner, project coordinator, 38 years; (seated), Bill Curran, president, 28 years; Karen Sells, plant accountant, 21 years; Gene Bressler, vice president, 19 years; Rick White, machine builder, 23 years; John Boswell, business unit manager, 21 years; Phil Walker, business unit manager, 35 years; and Cecil Essex, senior machine designer, 38 years.