West Chester company signs deal to make Boeing parts

CINCINNATI - A West Chester company has inked a deal that allows it to supply parts for the brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Long-Stanton Manufacturing is a family-owned business that's been around for 150 years. Company officials hope the new deal is a signal that the region is open for aviation business.

"Aviation is growing nicely. Our research shows it's grown a bit over 10 percent a year," said Dan Cunningham, president and CEO of Long-Stanton.

The company has just signed a multi-year agreement with Paris-based DEFI Group to supply brake parts for Boeing's newest and highly-touted airplane. Cunningham hopes it will mean the start of more aviation orders for the region.

"In the aviation business there seems to be a driving force that if you become a supplier and really good at supplying aviation parts," Cunningham said, "the customer typically wants you to be around a long time so they have a lot of interest in locking up your ability to make their parts."

The French deal has already resulted in about 10 new hires. Cunningham says he expects the business to grow with more automation and more workers.

"We are actively looking at additional aviation work. It fits well with the processes we have here, the quality control processes," Cunningham said.

Long-Stanton has been around since 1862. They made buttons for Union and Confederate uniforms during the Civil War. They even made the baking utensils for the Easy Bake oven. Today, the company has 75 workers and supplies metal parts for hospitals, trains, planes and automobiles. Perhaps the iPhone is next.

Cunningham authored a special editorial recently in the Cincinnati Enquirer that spelled out a plan that shows how Apple could make more money producing iPhones domestically. He said there's a risk when research and development is separated from the manufacturing process.

"They would actually make not only the same profit, they'd make a billion dollars more profit and I laid that out how they can do that by making iPhones right here in Cincinnati," he said.

Cunningham hopes to one day meet with Apple executives to further explain his ideas. Meanwhile, the future looks bright with Boeing currently working to fill 800 orders for the 787 this year. Many of those orders are from Asia, Cunningham said.

The deal with DEFI Group also includes work on component parts for Airbus.

Even though this is Long-Stanton's first deal with a French company, it does a lot of business with Chinese companies looking to produce parts in the U.S.

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