WE STARTED WITH A VISION

Lyon Manufacturing began operations in 1940, with a couple of single-spindle Brown & Sharpes, working out of a small warehouse building along the Detroit riverfront.  C.E. Lyon (1893-1975) founded the company as part of a national effort to support the European allies during World War II.  The business got off to a fast start operating around the clock seven days a week.  Shortly after the end of the war, Mr. Lyon was joined in the business by his two sons, Gordon and Chet.  The business continued to grow as the product line shifted from armaments to the aircraft and farm implements industries.  The Brown & Sharpe machines were complemented with multi-spindle Greenlees and Conomatics capable of faster cycle times and larger parts.

Expansion forced the Company to relocate two more times in northwest Detroit before a decision was made to build a new facility.  In 1956 Gordon and Chet purchased an old farmhouse on Telegraph Road in Southfield and began making plans for the Company’s new home.  In 1962 the new 7200 sq. ft. plant was ready for operation.  The new location worked well but soon it too was filled to capacity.  In 1967 an addition was completed which more than doubled the floor space of the existing facility.

By the late 1960’s more and more American families were becoming two-car families.  The Company, which by now had built a strong reputation for supplying quality screw machine products for more than twenty-five years, saw an opportunity.  Soon, Lyon Manufacturing was supplying products for the climate control systems of Ford, GM, Chrysler, and American Motors cars and trucks.

Automotive industry needs signaled yet another change in equipment for the Company.  The Brown & Sharpes had now disappeared and in 1970 the Acme-Gridley machine was introduced to Lyon Manufacturing.  The “Acme” was again faster that its predecessors and boasted of improved processing.  Soon the Company was replacing its Greenlees and Conomatics with Acmes.

In 1976 Chets’ two sons Jim and John joined the business and the foundation was laid for a third generation of leadership.  The late 70’s and early 80’s were tough times for the automotive industry.  The Company continued to grow but at a much reduced pace.  Lyon Manufacturing was well positioned for the next wave and by 1983 was again growing at a rapid rate.  Soon expansion was on the drawing board once again.  With little space left to expand at the Telegraph Road facility, Chet, Jim and John began searching for yet another new home for the Company.  In 1985 the three purchased 3.5 acres of land on Newburgh Road in Livonia and began planning for a new plant.  In May of 1987 the new 35,000 sq. ft. facility was dedicated and the rush was on to fill up the space.  It would not be long before trying to find space for a new machine meant juggling the placement of several other machines.

Now on the doorstep of a new century Lyon Manufacturing is still growing.  Meeting the needs of our customers and our employees alike is and will always be our main focus.