MICHAEL MOWINS (retired)
Former President – Global Licensing
The Phillips Screw Company®
1 Tell us about your company – employees, location and what you do. The Phillips Screw Company® is the original inventor of the PHILLIPS screw and screwdriver in the 1930s. We continue to develop innovative fastening solutions for end user assembly challenges ranging from light weighting to ultrahigh-strength/high-temperature fasteners for hypersonic applications. We have global offices and operate our subsidiary company, Wrentham Tool Group™ in Massachusetts. Phillips’ high-performance fastener designs are manufactured and supplied by our network of licensed fastener and tool manufacturers that include companies like Arconic, PCC, Snap-On and more than 80 others. Wrentham™ is the world leading supplier of fastener manufacturing tooling and inspection gages that are certified in our A2LA accredited lab.
2 Where do you fit in the supply chain? What sort of materials/products do you purchase, and to whom (generally) do you sell your products? What final platforms or programs use your products? Phillips is an engineering and design partner to the aerospace and defense manufacturing community working with design and fastening engineers at all of the primes. Our Wrentham™ operation purchases numerous grades of tool steels and carbide to manufacture the critical forging and inspection tools used to make advanced aerospace fasteners. Tooling produced by Wrentham™ is used by virtually every aerospace fastener producer while gaging is used by both fastener makers and end users to inspect and qualify the finished products. Fasteners in the Phillips Screw® portfolio are used on numerous programs, including the Boeing 787, Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney engines, Lockheed Martin’s C-5M and Orion capsule, MBDA’s Meteor missile, and many other commercial, military, and space platforms throughout the world.
3 What are the keys to your success? What makes your company stand out? Phillips is the global leader in innovative high-performance fastener design. Our deep expertise in this area is a key resource when prime manufacturers need to optimize their product build and speed the assembly process. We assure the highest product quality through a rigorous quality sampling plan of the fasteners and tools made by our global network of licensed manufacturing partners. Because we control the initial manufacturing tools and inspection gaging through our Wrentham™ subsidiary we assure “cradle to grave” compatibility and superior performance from a wide network of competitive sources.
4 What impediments do you face? What policies would help your company perform at an even higher level? Because our products are highly visible through recognition of our global brands, we constantly face the threat of counterfeit products. We have an aggressive policing program, but better and more consistent counterfeit risk mitigation programs and understanding of the risks by end users would be beneficial in assuring a secure and reliable supply chain for all. Additionally, progressive standardization policies that are intellectual property-friendly would accelerate the adoption of innovative designs and solutions and keep AIA member companies at the forefront of aerospace leadership with the most effective and efficient design and production programs.
5 From your perspective, how do you believe America’s aerospace and defense supply chain companies have shaped the future? Since the first PHILLIPS screw was used by Boeing to fasten their production aircraft, our company has been the leading pioneer in the development of the best fastening technologies. The same holds true for numerous other tier 2 and lower small businesses that consistently develop the most innovative technical solutions for their prime customers. It is this base of innovative small suppliers that has kept the American aerospace industry and the large prime manufacturers secure in their leadership of the global aerospace and defense market. Our stringent quality control policy has assured that the fasteners used in aerospace assembly meet and exceed the requirements and it is this type of dedication to quality and mission that has kept the prime manufacturers at the forefront of the global aerospace industry.