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Manufacturers Index - Universal Engineering Co.
Last Modified: Dec 3 2019 11:37AM by Jeff_Joslin
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The Universal Engineering Co. was established in 1926 and soon began making drill bushings. These were soon supplemented by other machine tool accessories such as centering chucks, floating chucks, and collet chucks. As CNC machining began to make inroads, Universal Engineerings' line of "Kwik-Switch" tooling proved to be well suited to that market.

The company was acquired by Stanwich Partners in 1988, which had acquired DeVlieg Machine Co. a year or two before. Shortly after its Universal Engineering acquisition, Stanwich changed its name to Houdaille Industries. The Universal Engineering Division of Houdaille Industries and and the "DeVlieg Microbore" portion of DeVlieg were combined—DeVlieg Microbore's operations were moved to Frankenmuth—as the Tooling Systems Division (TSD) of DeVlieg Bullard Inc. In 2005 the name changed to Universal / DeVlieg LLC, and in 2014 the business was incorporated as Universal / DeVlieg Inc., the name it uses today.

Information Sources

  • The Universal-DeVlieg history page has this tidbit: "In 1988, Universal Engineering and DeVlieg Microbore were acquired by Stanwich Partners and were merged at the Universal Engineering site on Main Street in Frankenmuth, Michigan. The name of the company was changed to Tooling Systems Division (TSD), a division of DeVlieg Bullard Inc." But see the DeVlieg Machine Co. entry for commentary on the complexity of the Stanwich/Houdaille/DeVlieg/etc. corporate histories and the difficulty in finding existing histories that are consistent with verifiable facts.
  • We can virtually guarantee that the history given above is not completely accurate because all of the various sources—company websites, Moody's company histories, Wikipedia—all disagree and all of the versions are, to varying degrees, inconsistent with verifiable facts. If you can piece together a well researched history of Universal/Stanwich/Houdaille/DeVlieg., please let us know.