Since Barry Corona, president, founded Production Products in 1978, the firm has received more than 25 awards, from the Outstanding Achievement Award during Desert Storm to awards from the army and SBA for helicopter components.
It also makes shoulder-fired bunker-buster missiles, vehicle bumpers and tow bars, submarine storage containers, Joint Strike Fighter nose booms, MRI tubes, fuel tanks, electronic components, and chaff and flare dispensers protecting aircraft from missiles.
This list doesn't include recent multi-million dollar awards to develop a new generation of chem-bio shelters, among other research projects.
That's a lot of product territory.
"Yes, it is," admits Corona
"We do lots of different things, but our core competencies are composites, electronics, machining, engineering and textiles.
"As a small business today, unfortunately, you have to be able to move with the market.
It's dynamic, and unless you are capable of doing more than one thing, you can quickly find yourself out of business."
was introduced to the vagaries of the marketplace almost immediately after resigning from Parker Hannifin, one of the largest motion control technology companies in the world.
was sick of being continually on the road, knew the petrochemical industry was well-represented in St. Louis and decided to start a business with $500 making gaskets and seals for the petrochemical industry in his
was not about to quit, however, so he
went to the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM, responsible for the Army's missile, helicopter, unmanned ground vehicle and unmanned aerial vehicle weapon systems) and Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM), then headquartered in St. Louis, to drum up new business.
had found the material.
But how on earth was he
going to manufacture bags?
"Everything we make is life support, everything is 100 percent inspected, has to be 100 percent right," Corona
"If your jeans rip or shoe blows a sole, it's at best annoying.
If one of our products doesn't work, someone dies."
is quick to point out that his continuing success isn't due solely to his efforts but to individuals at several state and federal agencies and MO PTAC, especially Jones.
"PTAC services have allowed us to look at virtually every business opportunity that the federal government issues and allows us to access specifications and other data," Corona