Certified EO is excited to spotlight Tech Etch, a 100% employee-owned company that has over five decades of experience and expertise specializing in manufacturing precision engineered thin metal components, flexible printed circuits, and EMI/RFI (electromagnetic and radio frequency interference) shielding. Their commitment to excellence begins with their employee owners who provide world class services and innovative comprehensive solutions that enhance lives globally. They partner with leading global customers in the aerospace, military, medical, telecommunication, and electronics industries that have highly complex precise designs and demanding regulatory requirements. Their solutions ensure unmatched precision, quality, and attention to detail in every project, every time.
Founded in 1964 by George E. Keeler, Tech Etch began as a small engraving company in Boston and helped pioneer the photo chemical etching process, which allows manufacturers to produce highly complex parts with precision in a cost-effective manner. The company’s growth, fueled in part by acquisitions, led to the construction of its three manufacturing plants. Tech Etch’s operations are housed within three facilities totaling nearly 260,000 square feet — two of which are in Massachusetts, the Plymouth headquarters and Fall River, and one in Litchfield, Minnesota.
In 1999, Tech Etch established its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) program, and the following year George Keeler transferred 30% ownership of the company to the ESOP. In 2018, he sold the remainder of his ownership to the employees, establishing 100% employee-ownership. Today, the company has about 700 employee-owners.
In the company’s own words, “When the people who handle the day-to-day work at a company have an investment in the organization, they take pride in the work that they do. They work harder and care more about the products and the clients.”
Tech Etch’s manufacturing is highly specialized and cutting edge. Its photo etch materials can be produced in a film as thin as one half of one thousandth of an inch, and its flexible printed circuits can work with conductive layers as thin as five microns (this is very thin). Tech Etch provides customers with products incorporated into implantable devices and diagnostic imaging for healthcare clients; radar and encrypted communications technologies for military clients; and avionics and aircraft equipment for aerospace clients.
Tech Etch also offers its customers access to its 3,700 square-foot Innovation Center in its Plymouth headquarters. The Innovation Center allows customers to prototype new designs for products, streamlining the design and development processes to move new products quickly to production.
Beyond its day-to-day operations, Tech Etch maintains active involvement in its communities, including extending scholarships to local students pursuing careers in engineering, as well as supporting local charities, hospitals, and military families. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tech Etch has increased its support of healthcare workers and the medical industry, by supplying personal protective equipment.