Ancra International to create 25 jobs in Springfield

Thursday, October 28, the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce welcomed Ancra International to the Springfield business community with a press conference held at Commerce Pointe.

Ancra produces a full range of cargo handling systems and equipment for the loading, handling and restraint of airborne cargo, as well as an array of fittings, straps, nets and specialty restraints. The company will be providing TAC Enterprises with materials for their cargo net production operation.

Ancra expects to intially employee 20-25 workers at its facility on Progress Drive.

Chamber President and CEO Mike McDorman had this to say about the news:

“One of the wonderful success stories that has been a part of our community for 50 years is TAC Enterprises. News on Thursday that a company was moving work from Kansas to Springfield and will initially employ 20 to 25 people further demonstrates what a valuable asset TAC is to the business community.

Ancra International’s move here is to be closer to TAC, a partner in the manufacture and repair of cargo control systems for the Air Force. Some of you may know TAC under previous names, first as Town and Country School, the first educational school in the world for the mentally disabled. A part of the school was the Adult Vocational Training Program, later called the Shelter Workshop.

It’s also been known as TAC I and TAC II. TAC I on Old Selma Road is now TAC Enterprises and TAC II on Leffel Lane changed its name to Quest. Quest employs 208 and TAC Enterprises 319. It is one of the top 25 employers in Clark County. TAC Enterprises major customer is the U.S. Air Force. TAC has been repairing all of the USAF’s cargo nets since 1982, and in 2005 secured an AbilityOne contract to manufacture new nets for the Air Force. That’s what makes the announcement than Ancra International was moving here so important.

Instead of sending cargo control work from Kansas to Springfield, they’ll be sending it across the street. This will be cost effective and should solidify the contract with the USAF for the future. TAC and Quest also service such local companies as Kinedyne, Trutec, Rittal, ITT, Sweet, YSI and others. TAC and Quest are examples of how people with disabilities can be productive citizens and an important part of the business community in Greater Springfield.”

Read local news stories here:

>> WHIO Radio article

>> Springfield News-Sun article

>> Dayton Business Journal


Article on Springfield’s Tech II, Inc. from Plastics Technology Magazine

Here is a recent article about Tech II, Inc. in Springfield, Ohio originally published in August of 2010 in PLASTICS TECHNOLOGY Magazine. The article was written by James J. Callari, Editorial Director of PLASTICS TECHNOLOGY Magazine.

Make room for thermoforming: Tech II freed up 52,000 ft² of space in Springfield, Ohio to expand into thermoforming. Its first machine, supplied by Thermoforming Systems LLC with a Hekuma IML system, is slated for delivery in January. They will have the first T-IML capability in North America.

Progressive Injection Molder Pioneers in Thermoforming IML

By James J. Callari, Editorial Director

When you’re a successful injection molder with more than 40 years under your belt and more than 50 presses producing 1.8 billion containers and lids for food-packaging containers annually, what do you do when you feel the time is right to expand?

For most companies in that position, the response might be to buy a few more molding machines, maybe enter a new market, or underprice the competition to secure a greater share of your current piece of the action. All good strategies, to be sure, but perhaps a little too “inside the box” for Tech II Inc. (, a Springfield, Ohio, custom injection molder whose roots go back to 1969, when it started up to make parts for IBM.

Tech II’s approach to expanding its business this year was a tad more daring and splashy: It decided to get into thermoforming, and not by taking baby steps either. It spent close to $6 million to add 52,000 ft² to its production facility and buy a high-speed, Model FT3500 thermoforming machine from Thermoforming Systems LLC, Union Gap, Wash. ( with a multi-cavity mold purchased through Hekuma in Germany ( This machine utilizes tilt-mold technology with a synchronized dual-servo toggle that provides a rugged, highspeed forming platform.

And to top it all off, Tech II will become the first processor in North America to use in-mold labeling (IML) with thermoforming (T-IML), courtesy of a high-performance labeling system also furnished by Hekuma. Hekuma, also a prominent supplier of IML systems for injection molding, has been promoting TIML for years, as have a handful of European thermoforming machine builders.

Hekuma maintains that Tech II is only the second processor in the world to go with T-IML. However, several thermoforming machine builders that have been offering the technology since the mid-1990s say there are a handful of installations in Europe and elsewhere around the world. Illig LP, Cohassett, Mass. (; Gabler Thermoform GmbH & Co. KG, Luebeck, Germany (; Kiefel Technologies, Hampton, N.H. (; and OMV, Elkhorn, Wis. ( are among the machine builders that have been showcasing T-IML at trade shows for years. Other sources report that Bartling GmbH & Co. KG of Borgholzhausen, Germany, is thermoforming and in-mold labeling PP food containers on an OMV line.


But there is little dispute that this will be a landmark T-IML installation in North America. For Tech II, which is expecting delivery of the new line by January, “me, too” is not part of the vernacular, so going where no other North American processor has gone before may not be as daunting as it would be for most other firms. “Our philosophy has always been to stay on the cutting edge,” states Dave Shiffer, who shares day-to-day management responsibilities with his sister, Andrea Shiffer Tullis, for the family-owned company. “We’re not going to be the biggest, but we’re going to be technically sound and do what we do better than anyone else,” Shiffer says. Tullis puts it this way: “We’re going to push the envelope, stay one step ahead.”

Over the years, Tech II has pushed more envelopes than your local post office. It has evolved from primarily a supplier of PP lids for food containers to a full-service molder of complete packaging systems in PP, HDPE, and LLDPE. It deploys 18 printers to support its current container and lid business. If offers prototyping services and can generate 3D scale models from a client’s CAD file. Tech II takes pride in its ability to keep its customers happy—one of its biggest clients has been with the company since 1978.

The processor also has a clearly defined “do-it-yourself” philosophy with respect to equipment. While Tech II’s stable of injection presses includes a handful of machines from Milacron and Netstal, its typical approach is to buy previously owned equipment and rebuild it to its particular specifications, adding proprietary hydraulic valving and manifold systems, among other things. Tech II designs—and sometimes even cuts—it own feedscrews and has also engineered its own production-monitoring and control system from scratch.

The machines are supported by resin-conveying systems from Conair, gravimetric blenders from Maguire Products, and robots from Ranger Automation Systems, Wittmann Battenfeld, and others.


Tech II’s foray into T-IML is certainly the most dramatic move the processor has made in its 41-year history. “When our dad, who started this business, passed away in 2005, my brother and I sat down and asked ourselves a question: ‘What do we want Tech II to be,’” recalls Tullis, whose roles with company include resin purchasing. “For a period of time after his death, we pretty much maintained what we had been doing. Finally, after a lot of thought and consideration, we concluded that whatever we were going to do it was going to be big and different.”

Adds Shiffer, “We could have simply added thermoforming, but there are plenty of molders in the food container business—some much bigger than us—who do both injection molding and thermoforming, so we figured that was pointless.

We could have gone with IML or in-mold decorating for our molding line of products, but again that was ‘me, too’ and we felt it would have slowed our cycles. So in keeping with our philosophy of being innovative, of differentiating ourselves, and of staying on the cutting edge, IML thermoforming is the path we chose.”

Thermoforming will expand Tech II’s product line beyond the round containers to which injection molding is mostly limited. It will also permit the company to get into barrier containers. Tech II officials were hesitant to provide too many details of the first product slated to come from its new technology, except to say that it will be a brand-new product for an existing client. “We had to make the commitment to this technology before we could ask the client to come to us for a project of this scope,” says Shiffer.

Tech II is in the process of qualifying sheet processors to supply rollstock for its new product launch. However, Shiffer does not rule out adding its own sheet extrusion capacity—and additional thermoforming lines—if this new venture takes off.

Obviously, a 52,000-ft² expansion in manufacturing space has the company thinking big in terms of future growth. “With injection molded containers, we are in a very competitive market and there is a lot of pressure on price,” says Shiffer. “Expanding into thermoforming and adding IML will permit us to add to new level of quality and graphics capabilities.”

>> PDF of full article

>> Tech II, Inc website

The “hats” speech – Springfield area job growth – parts 1 (mfg) + 2 (military)

Clark County Commissioner John Detrick visited the residents of Grand Court Senior Living facility in Springfield, Ohio on March 23 to give his famous “Hats of Springfield” presentation about job growth in Clark County. This video is split into six parts. Here are parts 1 and 2:

Part 1: Manufacturing

Part 2: Military

About John Detrick
John Detrick is a graduate of Tecumseh High School and Wittenberg University with a Bachelor of Science degree in education.  Prior to his first election as County Commissioner in 1996, he was the owner/manager of Springfield Tire and Battery from 1970 to 1997 when the business was sold.  At its peak the business operated five outlets and had 65 employees.  Before he began working in the family business he taught at South High School and Mechanicsburg High School.  John is involved in numerous community affairs including several service organizations and St. John’s Lutheran Church.  John is the husband of Karen, the father of two grown children Dan Detrick and Kim Whitley, and grandfather of five.

John is currently serving as representative on the Farmland Preservation Advisory Board for the State of Ohio and also served on the State Board for Bike Trails for the State of Ohio. John is also involved in Junior Achievement and has helped with numerous membership fundraisers and drives. John participated in acquiring the Springview Government Center from the State of Ohio, a 91,000 square foot facility on 17 acres for $1.00.

He strongly encourages economic development in Clark County.  He is a member of the CIC Board and continually works with the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. John is also affiliated with Otto Paintz which is managed by his son Dan Detrick.  He is involved in some property management. John has been involved in attracting employers such as Red Roof Inn, Assurant Group, Ritchie Brothers, MEVA, and HEF.

>> Clark County Commission Web site

Interview with Villa Springfield Exec. Dir. Bill Robinson

Here is an interview with Villa Springfield Executive Director Bill Robinson and Marketing Guru Michelle Hemphill on their facility, their philosophy, community involvement, the BBB awards, their recent expansion, and their parent Covenant Care.  Villa Springfield just won the 2010 BBB Integrity Torch Award.

>> Villa Springfield homepage

>> Springfield News-Sun article

>> BBB International Torch Award homepage

Villa Springfield wins national BBB award :: $2M expansion last year

Visit to Villa Springfield

I just had a visit with Michelle Hemphill and Bill Robinson with Villa Springfield, a 110-bed skilled nursing facility located in northern Clark County, off of Villa Rd.  Michelle is the Marketing Director and Bill the Administrator, and they greeted me with laughter and friendly banter.  The whole culture seemed very positive, and I truly enjoyed my short visit with them.

International BBB award is an honor

Just announced on November 18, Villa Springfield has won the 2010 Better Business Bureau (BBB) International Torch Award for “its commitment to integrity…exhibited by how it treats residents, their families and its employees,” according to BBB Council President & CEO Steve Cox.  It is the only healthcare facility to win the award and it was a co-winner with Verizon.  Giants like Verizon, Honda of America, and Target have been standard fare in the winners circle since the award was started in 1996, but a company the size of Villa Springfield winning is unusual.  In order to qualify, Villa Springfield also had to be A+ rated with the BBB and win regionally, which it did with the 2009 BBB Eclipse Integrity Award, given to a Miami Valley company in a ten-county region. 

About Villa Springfield and parent Covenant Care

Villa Springfield is a 33,000 square foot facility built in 1985, that employs 85 full-time and 55 part-time staff to serve its 110 residents.  In 1994, Covenant Care, a California-based healthcare company, purchased Villa Springfield and added it to its now 50 facilities nationwide, including ones in states like Ohio, California, Nevada, and Indiana.

Recent $2M expansion and community involvement

Last year, Villa Springfield completed a $2 million expansion project that included the addition of an 8,000 square foot gym and refurbishment of existing units.  They are proud of the number of local contractors that were involved, and Robinson and Hemphill pride themselves on community involvement.  They’ve assisted local non-profits like the Springfield Salvation Army, toy drives, and Interfaith Hospitality Network.  

>> Villa Springfield homepage

>> Springfield News-Sun article

>> BBB International Torch Award homepage

Interview with Aaron Coleman on new air charter service

Springfield Flight Academy

Aaron + Marjorie Coleman of the SFA

The following is a video interview with Aaron Coleman, Vice President and Chief Pilot of the Springfield Flight Academy, along with Collis Wagner, a colleague, on the launching of Coleman Air in May 2010.  To read the recent blog post on the company as well as the Springfield Flight Academy, click here.  If you are interested in getting more information, please contact Aaron at the hanger at 937.325.5321 or by cell at 937.408.5796.

>> Blog post about Coleman Air

>> Springfield Flight Academy

>> Springfield Flight Academy – Facebook page

>> City of Springfield – Airport page

>> Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport – Wikipedia (w/links)

>> Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport – Airpark Ohio article

Coleman Air set to take off May 2010

Springfield Flight Academy

Aaron + Marjorie Coleman (taken by Tim Bucey)

The Springfield Flight Academy is doing well

If you’re involved with aviation and live somewhere in the Springfield, OH area you may have heard of Aaron Coleman.  The Chief Pilot and Vice President of the Springfield Flight Academy began teaching flight in 2004 and has owned the company along with his wife Marjorie since 2006.  They now offer a two-year professional pilots license program in conjunction with Clark State.

In 2008, they added a Piper Comanche to their Cessna Skyhawk 172, a significant investment that revealed the growth and success of the Academy.  At that time, they also added airplane maintenance on light single-engine, piston-powered, and turbo prop planes to the business mix.  Many of their customers are clients of the more than 60 aircraft at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport, an airport with one of the six longest runways in the state of Ohio at over 8900’. 

A new service, a new company – Coleman Air

Now, Aaron and colleague Collis Wager are seeking to bring charter service to the Springfield airport as well.  After an analysis of the market, Coleman and Wagner believe that any company sending two or more people on short notice (within two to three weeks of the flight) are prime targets for becoming customers.  Using charter service to smaller airports in KY, GA, northern Florida and throughout the Midwest is also a time saver, given that often connecting flights are necessary, which take up significant amounts of additional time. 

Coleman and Wagner just recently submitted an application for the new company Coleman Air to the FAA for their 135 charter certificate and expect to be up and running within 6-8 months, with May 2010 as a target date.  They are also looking to purchase an additional cabin-class airport (6 seater) to use for this new business venture.  If you are interested in getting more information, please contact Aaron at the hanger at 937.325.5321 or by cell at 937.408.5796.

>> Springfield Flight Academy

>> Springfield Flight Academy – Facebook page

>> City of Springfield – Airport page

>> Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport – Wikipedia (w/links)

>> Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport – Airpark Ohio article