97 Plus Years of Metal Forming and Manufacturing

Jones Metal Products Company began business in 1923, at the site of a former metal stamping and porcelain enameling company in West Lafayette, Ohio. Frank E. Jones, a young entrepreneur, was principal owner and first president of the eponymous company. Product focus shifted soon from pots and pans to hospital sick room utensils and lighting reflectors. Core strengths were in stamping and enameling.

The company’s focus began to change when Frank’s son-in-law Ed Mulligan joined the company. Looking for different ways to make metal parts and find new customers, Ed led the company to purchase a Cincinnati Hydroform machine. The machine was a good fit, well supported by skilled operators and tool and die technicians. Customers supplying the aerospace industry, commercial lighting customers, and a clad-metal cookware manufacturer found a capable new supplier in Jones Metal Products. Hydroform business supported the purchase of additional hydroform machines of various sizes; the company now has eleven machines in service. With the increase in business through hydroforming, the company closed its porcelain enameling operation and sold the lighting reflector company.

Investment not only in metal forming equipment but in technical services to provide next steps for formed metal parts has been strategic in Jones Metal’s continuing development and success and customer satisfaction. Upgrades over the past 20 years have transformed the company’s capabilities with the addition of aluminum and vacuum heat treat departments, 3 axis and 5 axis machining centers, 3 and 5 axis lasers. A fluid cell forming machine has expanded capabilities of the hydroforming department. The company specializes in forming metal parts for many industries, including aerospace, power generation, medical container, defense, and commercial lighting.

The company continues under private ownership. Dan Erb, who has been CEO since 2002, purchased the company on August 19, 2019.  His goal is to continue the legacy started by Frank Jones, Ed Mulligan and Marion Sutton.

Decade by Decade

The company was incorporated in 1923 and soon thereafter acquired Saks Stamping and Abolite Lighting to manufacture hospital sick room utensils and commercial lighting reflectors (including RLMs).
Stamping and enameling continued with difficulty during the Great Depression.
Stamping and enameling increased with World War II and after.
: The lighting businesses grew. The first Cincinnati Hydroform was purchased in 1958, the first of eleven machines now in operation.
Clad-metal and aerospace parts began to be produced with hydroform technology.
Growth continued successfully with business for the hydroform machines.
The enameling department was closed in 1985, and Abolite Lighting was sold in 1989.
Jones Metal continued to invest in technology with CNC milling machines. The company earned ISO certification in 1999.
In-house aluminum heat treating was begun and received Nadcap approval in 2004. New metal-working equipment was added: CNC lathe, 3 axis and 5 axis laser cutters, 5 axis mill, and CNC press brake.
Equipment additions continued with a 5 axis router, 2 3 axis milling centers, and a fluid cell forming press. Primary industries served: aerospace, power generation, medical container, defense, and commercial lighting.


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