Sunnen: A Legacy of Manufacturing With Extreme Precision

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Tom Dustman, Sales Director and Dave Rogers, Director of Engineering, SunnenTom Dustman, Sales Director and Dave Rogers, Director of Engineering
Organizations that participate in the aerospace industries are constantly required to stay on their toes to stay a cut above the rest.

Many fail, some succeed; and among those that have weathered the forces of time is Sunnen Products Company, an industry-leading equipment manufacturer with a rich history dating back to 1924.

With a dedicated focus on delivering highly sophisticated bore sizing and finishing solutions to a wide range of industries—including the aerospace market—Sunnen proudly sports “Partnership, Precision, and Performance,” as its tagline.

The company has continuously improved and expanded its manufacturing and distribution processes over its nine-decade journey.

The reason for such sustained growth is credited to its ability to identify industry-wide challenges and then develop solutions.

The lack of skilled workers has become a pressing issue for countries across the globe.

And according to Tom Dustman, sales director of Sunnen, this scarcity of competent machinists has long been affecting productivity levels of facilities— the COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated the situation.

“Customers today need machine tools and processes which have the ability to replace the skill sets of a machinist with many years of experience,” he adds.

Sunnen responds to this shortage of skilled craftsmen by incorporating computer controls and automated processes into its wide portfolio of machines, allowing less-experienced workers to produce high-quality products very efficiently.

Sunnen’s industry-leading bore sizing and finishing technologies comprise two different processes, honing or lapping, which are selected based upon the specific application requirements.

Both honing and lapping machines produce extremely close tolerance finishes of parts that are expected to withstand incredible speeds and intensive pressures.

The company’s unique SVL solution, an automated, inside diameter lapping machine, provides high-precision capability for bore finishing of those aerospace components used in flight and fuel control systems.

while their honing systems are capable of finishing bores found in nearly every hydro-mechanical or power distribution system of an aircraft, including landing gear, turbine or piston engine components, and wobble pumps.

By design, these machines reduce the need for manual interference in the bore finishing process.

while their honing systems are capable of finishing bores found in nearly every hydro-mechanical or power distribution system of an aircraft, including landing gear, turbine or piston engine components, and wobble pumps.

By design, these machines reduce the need for manual interference in the bore finishing process.

By design, these machines reduce the need for manual interference in the bore finishing process.

Customers can expect improved consistency of finished parts, a significantly decreased reliance on manual operation, better safety, and tighter tolerances in bore diameter, roundness, and straightness.

In a more recent development, Sunnen now offers deep hole drilling machinery, tools, and cutting bits for a range of applications.

Over its many years of operation, Sunnen has witnessed numerous geographical expansions and has technical centers positioned in various parts of the industrialized world.



Through these establishments, the company works very closely with its customers to help streamline their product and process development strategies.

“Whether it is in one of our global technical centers or general R&D, we spend a lot of time focusing on our customer’s specific needs,” expresses Dave Rogers, director of engineering at Sunnen.

The company allocates about 15 percent of its global personnel to perform one dedicated function: the development and support of its technology.

New machines and tools are designed from the ground up by Sunnen, where its engineers carefully build new products to be more efficient and effective than the previous generation.

One case study in particular illustrates Sunnen’s willingness to work with customers to eliminate pain points and increase productivity.

A multinational manufacturer that produces flight control valves for both civilian and military aircraft employed experienced workers to sit at a workbench, utilizing hand lap processes to achieve ultra-high precision diameter and bore geometry, and surface finishes.

This is a critical function as failures or any sort of problem with flight control valves can lead to disastrous situations.

When the lapping experts retired, the manufacturer was in need of a more up-to-date solution that did not depend on hand lapping—and Sunnen knew it had the answer with its SVL automated lapping solution.

Many exhaustive rounds of testing were conducted at Sunnen’s technical center in St. Louis, and the customer’s site as well.

By the end of the collaboration, the multinational manufacturer was extremely pleased with the results and purchased multiple SVL lapping machines from Sunnen, trusting in the company’s reliability and efficiency.

With such strong capabilities, Sunnen is repeatedly showcasing why it stands atop the pecking order after almost 100 years.

Moving forward, the company intends to focus on growth, both nationally and internationally, in the form of new technologies and solutions.

“We are investing continually in our R&D, with 45 designers and 75 people comprising the total technical staff, innovating various products around the world,” states Rogers. As the years go by, Sunnen constantly looks forward to doing only one thing: drive its ability to better serve the bore machining industry and relieve the pains of its clients everywhere.
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Company
Sunnen

Headquarters
St. Louis, MO

Management
Tom Dustman, Sales Director and Dave Rogers, Director of Engineering

Description
Sunnen Products Company has been a global leader in the manufacturing and distribution of bore sizing and finishing equipment, engine rebuilding equipment, and tooling and abrasives since 1924.With a dedicated focus on delivering highly sophisticated bore sizing and finishing solutions to a wide range of industries—including the aerospace market—Sunnen proudly sports “Partnership, Precision, and Performance,” as its tagline.The company has continuously improved and expanded its manufacturing and distribution processes over its nine-decade journey

Sunnen

"Customers today need machine tools and processes, which have the ability to replace the skill sets of a machinist with many years of experience"

- Tom Dustman, Sales Director and Dave Rogers, Director of Engineering