Header plays an important part in the history of Rockford, Illinois, as a manufacturing and industrial hub for both the Midwest and the United States. Known as the "Screw Capital of the World" in the years leading up to and during World War II, fastener manufacturers like Camcar were major players in supporting tank and aircraft manufacturing. While Camcar continued manufacturing fasteners after the war, two of Camcar’s tool room technicians founded Header to focus on the tooling while companies like Camcar continued to produce industrial fasteners.
The rest, as they say, is history, and here’s a brief timeline of Header to help demonstrate how much we’ve grown, how far we’ve come, and how decades of industry experience gives us the knowledge and know-how to help our customers succeed.
Header was founded in a garage with nothing but a few lathes by former Camcar employee Carl Palmer and with the goal of helping fastener manufacturers create quality, durable tooling. After a few years working out of the garage, Header moved into its first proper manufacturing facility located at 2325 20th Avenue in Rockford.
Tom Derry purchased 50% ownership of Header. Four years later, Tom purchased the remaining 50% of the company to become the sole owner.
Header expanded to a second location to better service customers and accommodate years of continued growth. This new 10,000 square-foot facility was located at 3022 Eastrock Court in Rockford and housed Header’s first CNC lathe.
Already maxing out its space capacity, Header expanded its second location to add another 10,000 square feet of shop space. The expanded space allowed Header to purchase additional CNC machines to help increase production and further enhance the quality and precision of Header’s tooling services and products.
Once at maximum operating capacity, Header underwent another 15,000 square-foot expansion bringing total manufacturing space to 40,000 square feet. Also during this year, Header purchased Rockford Electroform and incorporated the company’s employees and EDM equipment into the newly expanded facility.
Lucas Derry joined Header in a sales role. Seven years later, Lucas purchased the company from his father Tom Derry, to continue Header’s commitment to being a family-owned and operated business.
Header introduced a company gainsharing program that allows employees to share in the profitability of the company.
Header went through a restructuring of the factory floor to better service customers and create a more collaborative workflow between departments. Over 120 machines were moved and over 250' of interior walls were removed.
Another successful remodeling project helped better accommodate the front office team and provided a more open-concept feel throughout both the office and production floor.
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