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Our History


In 1988, Acutec Precision Machining was founded by four individuals. Before co-founding Acutec in 1988, Rob Smith was a tire salesman who understood the importance of being engaged with customers. The name was Rob’s wife, Nancy’s idea one afternoon and came as shorthand for “accurate technology,” a quality our company still prides itself on to this day.


In 1994, Rob had little choice: either buy the company or face closure by the bank. The company had monthly sales of $100,000, 17 employees and significant debt. He saw this adversity as an opportunity.

As the new owner, the first task Rob set about was cleaning the shop.  Dirt was not permitted, and lean principles were adopted very early.  Pinups and anything else that was considered not professional were banned.“We very quickly adopted the attitude that we weren’t just any old machine shop.”

The next step was preparing for luck. Reliable team leaders were brought on board who worked tirelessly to turn the company around. “My key was to challenge the heck out of everybody but never tell them how to do their jobs. They knew more than I did.  My job was to get work into the door, get them the best tools, challenge them but then let them do what they were experts at doing.” Very creative and hardworking machinists were combined with developing customers, effective long-term planning, and hiring the right people.

Buying cheap and used equipment did not work, and as soon as possible poor equipment was replaced with top-of-the-line CNC machines.

Rob reflects, “Personally, I made a lot of mistakes but learned from them very quickly and kept them to mistakes that would not ruin the company.  Acutec moved very quickly by embracing change.”

To survive, Acutec had to change from being a run-of-the-mill job shop into a nationally known aerospace parts supplier. This required waking up paranoid and recognizing that the world was competition. In ten years, Acutec grew to more than ten times the 1993 size.


The current Saegertown location was built.


The St. Stephen, South Carolina location was built.


Initial renovation to the Meadville location was done in 2007. It has expanded 4 times since.


In 2016, Elisabeth Smith became the CEO of the company, thus making it a woman-led company. 

Also in 2016, Acutec Precision Machining underwent a name change and became Acutec Precision Aerospace. The name change stemmed from the parts supplied by Acutec no longer being just machined, the expertise and capabilities were both expanding.


Acutec undertook a significant expansion project. Before this expansion, the company occupied 188,735 square feet of space at the business park. The project involved moving into an additional 88,000 square feet of manufacturing space, representing a $13.3 million investment.


In 2023, Elisabeth handed over shares of the company to the team members that make up Acutec, now making Acutec a woman-led, employee owned company.