Exotic Metals Forming founder, Don Lindsey, had overheard a conversation in the Boeing lobby regarding the failure of titanium sheet metal flanges on the 727 aircraft. Being the consummate salesman, he recognized this as an opportunity to utilize a manufacturing process that would revolutionize the forming of sheet metal parts. As a result, the process of axial-load bulge forming, which began out of Mr. Lindsey’s garage in 1963, has led to nearly one million square feet of manufacturing and a long-standing history as a world leader in the manufacture of sophisticated sheet metal fabrications.
The humble beginnings of Exotic were founded on a relationship with The Boeing Company. Exotic soon realized that diversification would be the key to growth and longevity in a rapidly changing industry. The first military endeavor came in 1972 with the Teledyne Harpoon parts. As the economy began to improve, the 1980s showed great promise; yielding contracts for the B-2 Stealth Bomber Exhaust Liner, various other military work, and Exotic’s first exposure to what would become another foundational relationship in Pratt & Whitney Aircraft.
The end of the 80s introduced a major production line project with the award of the Boeing 757 environmental control systems (ECS) program in 1988. Continued growth with Boeing into the early 1990s would include major programs such as Vacuum Waste Tubes, 777 Plug & Nozzle, and the development of the process to manufacture Exotic’s own titanium tubing; all programs and methodologies which are still in production today.
In 1994, Exotic forged a new relationship with the acquisition of Parker Metal Bellows. This relationship came full circle through Parker Hannifin Corporation’s acquisition of Exotic in 2019. Today there continues to be original Parker employees with Exotic from the 1994 acquisition, demonstrating a legacy of dedication and long-lasting leadership.
The longevity of Exotic in the Aerospace and Defense industry has been highlighted by numerous accolades. With multiple Boeing Company Chairman’s awards for Supplier of the Year, Exotic was the first-ever three-time consecutive recipient of this award. Additional awards include Airbus Aerostructures Supplier of the Year and the United States SBA Supplier of the Year. Exotic was the first company awarded the Pratt & Whitney Gold Supplier status, which has been held continually since 2004.
With all the achievements Exotic has accomplished, none of this would be possible without the employees and the culture which has stood the test of time. With the passing of Don Lindsey in 2001, Bill Binder took the reigns and continued to make the employees and the atmosphere in which they work the central guiding force of the growth which would continue for nearly two more decades.
Advancements in technology and methodologies have placed Exotic Metals on some of the most competitive programs in both commercial and military work. Defense programs such as advanced military fighters, along with various other military programs, have diversified Exotic into the lasting aerospace manufacturer that exists today.
At Exotic, there is great pride in the fact that everyone in the Exotic family strives to be the best at what they do every day; working as a collaborative team to stretch the bounds of creative thinking and provide quality products to our customers around the globe. While Exotic had many suitors throughout the years, it was Parker Hannifin Corporation which proved to be the best fit for the employees and the culture within Exotic. In July 2019, the acquisition of Exotic was announced and a new relationship of building for the future has begun.
This blog was contributed by the leadership team at Exotic Metals Forming Division.