Located in Westfield, Massachusetts, Peerless Precision’s highly specialized 20-person team manufactures precision machined parts for the aerospace, defense, and medical devices industries.
Peerless Precision: A Small Shop with Serious Skills
AS9100 Rev. D and ISO 9001:2015 certified Peerless Precision provides services for prototype through production runs. Their ability to hold tolerances of 0.0001″ or better, 1 helium light band in flatness, 0.000005″ in roundness, and 0.003″ wall thickness makes them a standout in the precision machining industry. The shop’s high-performance clientele leverages a wide range of critical services, including both internal and partner capabilities.
Peerless Precisions’s single-source offerings comprise milling, turning, finishing, assembly, and project management in-house, as well as Swiss screw machining, large-part manufacturing, welding, and reverse engineering through preferred vendor partners.
Peerless Precision’s Long Relationship with NTMA
The CNC business first joined NTMA in 1976 and later re-established membership when Kristin’s father purchased Peerless Precision in 1997. The New England shop has remained part of the NTMA family ever since. “We just got our 25 Years of Service award last winter,” Kristin tells us. She adds, “We have plaques from back when NTMA was still called the Precision Tool and Die Association!”
Though she was only 15 when her father first joined, Kristin is confident that his commitment to NTMA began with his desire to network with other manufacturers. “He always knew how valuable it was to be part of an association,” she says.
Kristin Carlson’s personal NTMA journey
When Kristin took over Peerless Precision, she never considered allowing the company’s NTMA membership to lapse. “I literally would not be who I am today and could not have grown the company to where it is today without NTMA,” she states. “There’s so much knowledge and so many resources in the local chapters and at the national level. On my own, I never could have learned how to run a machine shop or achieved what the shop has achieved.”
As a member herself since 2012, Kristin credits NTMA with transforming her from a shy young woman into a confident leader and public speaker.
Her NTMA roles include past vice president, two-term past president, board of trustee, and current acting president. She also served as the chair of the Advanced Manufacturing Practices and Education Development (AMPED) board, which focused on workforce development.
Though AMPED no longer exists, Kristin now serves as the vice chair of the NTMA Foundation, which exists to help create the future workforce and provide training to member companies’ employees.
As if that weren’t enough, she’s also a regular conference speaker, presenting on the importance of community involvement and helping to drive workforce development initiatives at both the national and state levels.
The Biggest Benefits of NTMA Membership for Peerless Precision
Peerless Precision’s long history with NTMA has provided countless advantages to Kristin and her team, from machine shop management to the front lines.
1. Revolutionizing the workforce with NTMA
Kristin’s involvement with NTMA has empowered her to effectively address one of the biggest challenges in the manufacturing industry: the skilled workforce shortage.
“NTMA provided me with a platform to reach the future workforce—to get more kids involved, to reach women and others who don’t necessarily see themselves as machinists because they don’t see people who look like them in the industry,” Kristin explains. “But there is so much opportunity here! And NTMA gave me the confidence to use my voice for this purpose.”
Kristin’s workforce efforts have ensured a consistent pipeline of skilled workers for Peerless Precision. “We focus on training and growing our staff from the ground up,” Kristin says, “and that has led to people staying with Peerless for a long time.”
2. Building powerful partnerships with NTMA
“All of Peerless Precision’s vendor partners come from NTMA,” Kristin tells us. “They do work for us; we do work for them; it’s a true collaboration.”
She especially values the ease of making personal connections that can grow into professional ones. “If I’m going to trust another company to make parts for one of my customers, I need to trust them and know them personally,” she explains. “We don’t have to be best friends, but I want to at least have a beer with you and find out how we can work together.”
Many of Kristin’s CNC business partners are local due to the shop’s deep involvement with the Western Massachusetts and Connecticut NTMA chapters. “We even have new capabilities now because we bought a machine from a member of the Boston chapter,” she raves. “It’s all thanks to that network.”
3. Growing in community with NTMA
Kristin has lost count of the number of times she’s connected with another NTMA member to share knowledge, ideas, information, and advice on how to run a machine shop. “We’re all trying to do the same things, but we do them in different ways,” she says. “Seeing what other shops are doing helps me to see where my company can go. It gives me ideas and helps me plan for the future.”
Kristin never believed she would value the NTMA community so greatly. “But I do,” she acknowledges. “Being a member of NTMA changed my whole outlook on volunteering, helping one another out, and being able to ask people for help.”
Manufacturers like Peerless Precision Find Their Voice with NTMA
“Change starts with one person, one company. And from there, it’s like a domino effect. That’s what’s so powerful about NTMA.” — Kristin Carlson
“Without NTMA, I would have been all alone and struggling, not knowing what to do, not knowing who to reach out to, and not trusting anyone. And that thought makes me sick to my stomach nowadays because I don’t think Peerless Precision would still be here.” — Kristin Carlson