Thompson Aluminum Casting Co. (TAC) has been an anchor in the Cleveland manufacturing community for almost 7 decades. TAC was founded by Roy Thompson in 1946. At the time, it primarily produced relatively simple aluminum patterns for local gray iron foundries, and TAC’s operations remained small and relatively unsophisticated until the early 1970s.
In 1972, brothers Robert Thomas and his two sons, Robert and James, acquired TAC with the objective of turning it into a major national producer of aluminum and magnesium castings. TAC quickly began to serve general commercial markets, and sales grew exponentially. TAC quickly outgrew its 4,000 square foot facility, and in 1980 acquired a 26,000 square foot facility in nearby Garfield Heights, Ohio. TAC also substantially upgraded its internal systems and purchased updated equipment.
Due in part to its upgraded and modernized facility, TAC was able to enter the highly coveted aircraft market. Many aerospace manufacturers, including G.E, Pratt Whitney, and McDonald Douglas certified TAC to produce aircraft engine components. In addition, TAC implemented a prototyping program to produce experimental castings (i.e. functional prototypes) for simulated testing of future structural automotive components.
In November 1996, TAC suffered a major setback with the death of Robert Thomas, its president and majority shareholder. Upon Robert’s passing, James Thomas, his partner for 24 years, assumed the presidency and leadership of TAC. Jim grew the Company and brought it in critical new directions. In 1998 TAC obtained QS/ISO 9000 registration, and it acquired Mass Foundry in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1999, enabling TAC to expand into the semi-conductor industry.
The new millennium brought TAC major opportunity for expansion. James Thomas’ son Brian joined the business, assisting Jim with operations and sales. With sales annually increasing at a consistent and rapid pace, TAC needed to expand, and it designed and constructed a new 60,000 square foot state-of-the art facility in Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio, including upgraded facilities and systems. TAC achieved NADCAP and AS9100 certifications in 2004, which in turn led to accreditations from companies such as Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Parker, Goodrich, Airbus and others. In 2010 TAC purchased a machine shop to assist with the secondary operations required and to provide all finishing and assembly as required.
In 2014, TAC suffered another great loss with the passing of James Thomas, its president of 18 years. With Jim’s passing, his son Brian Thomas took over leadership and control of TAC, leading the company into its third generation of ownership by the Thomas family.