Teton Machine Company began in 1952 as a small tool and die shop in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Named for the surrounding Teton mountain range, the company was originally located in the basement of the founder’s house. Eventually, the operation outgrew that space and, in 1979, was purchased by current owner Rick Rupp.
In 1981, Mr. Rupp relocated the company to Payette, Idaho to be closer to the company’s then primary customer Hewlett-Packard. Teton’s current 18,000-square-foot facility sits on 5 acres 50 miles northwest of Boise, Idaho. For almost a decade, the company has been guided by vice president and general manager Andy Oyervides.
Teton Machine offers a variety of machining services from prototyping to production runs, according to Mr. Oyervides. Capabilities include CNC Swiss-type, multitasking, lathe turning; CNC lathe turning; CNC vertical machining; centerless grinding and mechanical subassembly.
In the past 4 years, Teton Machine has invested substantially in upgrading its equipment, replacing 13 screw machines with four Citizen CNC Swiss machines. The company has also added Mazak multitasking lathes and vertical machining centers. “We’re expanding and growing through automation and new technologies,” Mr. Oyervides says. “The results have been tremendous for us. The efficiencies have translated to lower cost and consistent quality.”
The ISO-compliant company’s skilled workforce and state-of-the-art equipment enable it to produce mechanical components and assemblies with complex shapes, close tolerances and fine surface finishes.
Most of the parts Teton manufactures are high-tech components. Approximately 70 percent of the company’s products are used in the medical field. Other customers include manufacturers of business machines, testing and measurement instruments, aerospace components and recreational equipment.
Teton Machine stresses continuous improvement of its machinery, its processes and in developing its skilled workforce. “We invest heavily in training and most of that is on-the-job training,” Mr. Oyervides explains. “We also use Tooling University’s online programs and have sent employees to the PMPA National Technical Conference.”
Mr. Oyervides is a strong proponent of PMPA’s Management Update Conference. “It’s what the company and I use the most,” he says. “The networking and programs are leading edge. PMPA is very progressive in the way it looks toward the future.
“The interaction on the Listserve is amazing,” he continues. “It has been really beneficial. Almost every department of our company uses the Listserve, from quality to production to engineering to management. We’ve solved a lot of problems through the years.
“What I like most about PMPA is the networking and development of relationships,” Mr. Oyervides sums up. “The openness of the members and the communication are what make it all work.”