A Brief History of Our Company
In the mid 1960s, Stephen Frantz and Arvin Tap started a small company whose purpose was to
buy, refurbish, and sell used machine equipment. When the partners purchased a piece of cold
forming equipment, they soon discovered that there was little demand for this type of equipment
in the Western Michigan area. Rather than try to sell the equipment, the two partners changed the focus of the business: from rebuilding and reselling equipment to the
manufacturing of special fasteners.
Under the leadership and hard work of these two entrepreneurs, the business quickly took off.
Incorporated in 1970, Fastco (then known as Fast Machine) quickly outgrew its original location
on the south side of Grand Rapids. As a result, in December 1973, the business moved to its
present location in Walker, Michigan. From a modest, 30,000 square feet facility, Fastco has
expanded to three buildings and 150,000 square feet on its Walker campus.
In 1985, Stephen Frantz left Fastco and the company was solely directed by Arvin Tap. The late
1980s and 1990s were periods of great change at Fastco. A company of 6 million in revenue in the
mid 1980, Fastco’s revenue expanded to 15 million by the end of the 1990s and to nearly 25
million today. In the early 1990s, Fastco embarked on an aggressive campaign to replace its
older equipment with newer, state of the art cold formers and thread rollers. From 1992 through
2000, most of Fastco primary cold heading and thread rolling equipment was replaced with machines
manufactured by Nakashimada, Sacma, Sanmei, and Saspi.
Throughout its nearly 40 year history, Fastco has responded to the challenges of the market place
and, in particular, the automotive industry. During the 1990s when automotive quality standards
ramped up significantly, Fastco invested in process monitors for all of its cold formers and
thread rollers. When the challenge of zero defects was being championed by automotive customers,
Fastco committed a significant portion of financial resources to the acquisition of various types
of electronic inspection systems. Today, electronic inspection and roller sorting of fasteners
had become standard practices at Fastco. Indeed, Fastco acquisition of eddy current capability
in its inspection process adds a new dimension of capability that provides its customers with an
additional layer of protection.
As Fastco heads into the 21st century, it stands ready and poised for substantial growth.
Committed to excellence and continual improvement in all aspects of its operations, Fastco is
committed to becoming the best producer of special fasteners in North America.