HISTORY OF FATIGUE TECHNOLOGY
FTI has spent the last 45+ years serving the aerospace industry. What started out as a simple wire forming company in a Seattle garage has become a major player in the aerospace community by providing innovative solutions for new aircraft production and aging aircraft refurbishment.
FTI officially entered the aerospace business in 1969, when it helped pioneer the hole cold expansion process. The cold expansion process originated with The Boeing Company who invented the basic cold expansion method. Within a year, Claire Harter of Industrial Designers (the precursor to FTI) invented and put into production the first machine to manufacture the split sleeve, which made the cold expansion process possible. Development continued, and Boeing subsequently granted FTI a license for sale and distribution of the tooling used in implementing the process.
Mr. Burke Gibson, a Seattle businessman, purchased controlling interest in the company in 1973 and a year later changed the name to Industrial Wire and Metal Forming. In 1976, Louis Champoux (a consultant with the company) and Chuck Copple built one of the company's first fatigue-testing machines for further research into the split sleeve cold expansion technology.
In 1980, the company changed its name to Fatigue Technology Inc. (FTI). FTI continued to develop and advance the science of cold expansion and engineer innovative solutions and products that significantly reduce manufacturing and maintenance flow-time and costs. The company patented aerospace products like ForceMate (bushing installation system), ForceTec (rivetless nut plates), TukLoc (blind fastening system), GromEx (composite hole inserts), and FleXmate (fitting and hardware installation system). FTI's products can be found on almost every major airplane and helicopter program on the market today and it continues to push the cold expansion envelope with new and innovative products for tomorrow's advance composite air structures.
In 2008, the Gibson family sold FTI to Precision Castparts Corp. (PCC). PCC is a worldwide, diversified manufacturer of complex metal components and products and is a Fortune 500 company. It is the market leader in manufacturing large, complex structural investment castings, airfoil castings, and forged components used in jet aircraft engines and industrial gas turbines. PCC is also a leading producer of highly engineered, critical fasteners for aerospace, automotive, and other markets and supplies metal alloys and other materials to the casting and forging industry. FTI is part of PCC's Engineered Products Division.