Oakwood-based Weldon Pump builds engine equipment for the aerospace and racing industries
Now celebrating its 80th year of pump production, Weldon Pump began life as a category of Weldon Tool, started in Cleveland by the Bergstrom family in 1918. The Bergstroms retained the pump division after World War II, selling in 2015 to Cleveland-born businessman Jeff Kelly and his family.
The Bergstroms got into racing in the 1970s, even when those early days saw the division as more of a “sidekick” to the aerospace industry, McClure said.
“We didn’t see racing as a viable growth segment,” he said. “This has led to a lack of support and limited offerings for the racer. Over the past 20 years this has reversed, and we have a diverse and successful racing product line that powers winners every weekend. end of the race.”
Maintaining relationships is a corporate standard, McClure added. Weldon hosts appreciation events for its helmsmen, further supporting the racing community through scholarship funds and additional benefits. On race days, a Weldon engineer arrives on site to work with the crews and determine what performance improvements are needed.
Hutter Performance, headquartered in Chardon, an engine producer focused on street and racing vehicles, has sourced fuel pumps, bypass regulators and filters from Weldon for almost 20 years. Owner Trevor Hutter enjoys working with a local business that operates out of his garden.
“Besides being local, everything we use from them is top quality,” Hutter said. “You want what you do as advertised, do it well, and perform in challenging environments.”
Hutter’s primary contact at Weldon is product manager Jim Craig, whose yeoman work highlights a larger company edict on reliability and clear communication.
“Weldon is always at the forefront if you’re looking for a role, without stringing you along,” Hutter said. “With supply a big issue now, having someone up front means a lot.”
During the pandemic, Weldon has suffered many of the same material downturns as its competitors. Despite this, the company had a strong 2021 and anticipates a 2022 where it meets demand through investments in critical inventory items.
Meanwhile, Weldon publicizes his racing skills through aggressive publicity. Last summer, the company aired TV spots on Fox Sports in support of professional drag racing. The ads provided yet unquantifiable – albeit exciting – exposure and brand recognition.
“It was exciting for the team, especially for the guys who have been here a long time. People even prepared recordings to watch,” McClure said. broadcast online. But seeing us on TV was cool.”
Weldon returns to racing television in 2022, a year that will also include an accumulation of current market segments as well as the development of new pumps for large business class aircraft. To support this growth, the manufacturing company is adding machinists to its team of 40 people. New CNC machines will also be appearing at the Oakwood headquarters.
For his part, McClure grew to love racing, not to mention helping create a culture that can weather any kind of industry storm.
“It’s a long process to create a winning culture, and hard to sustain it through the ups and downs,” McClure said. “It’s a slow process that may seem arduous, but it’s the daily wins that make the process great.
“If you fight for every daily win, push to win the month, then win the quarter, you’re going to win the game.”