(8 Total References)
SLMBC Monthly Newsletter
Barry Corona, president of Production Products, Manufacturing and Sales, received the BOF 2007 New Product Introduction Award for his innovation and technological prowess.
, Award Recipient and the "Enduradyne Mobile Shelter System"
Production Products President Barry ...
Production Products President Barry Corona says the modular system is like a contained ambulance that can be loaded onto a plane.
Since Barry Corona, ...
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
Barry Corona, chairman of the Lemay Center for Composite Technology, the organization that manufacturers the composite materials, said the Navy and several subcontractors developed the plastic composite for the superstructure of modern warships."The ship superstructures are getting so heavy with all the electronic and radar gear, they need to cut down the weight, but yet maintain strength," said Corona, who is also owner of Production Products.
"This composite material is stronger than steel, and it doesn't rust."
When properly drywalled, the frame is also fire-resistant, according to Thomas."As for insulation, the side walls are R-26 and the roof is R-40," he
"As taxpayers, we've been paying for all this technology and little has come out to us as consumers," Corona
said."What we see in these homes is the latest in high technology being transitioned down to homes that all consumers can benefit from."Corona
said composite plastics have become a way of life for Americans."Composites may seem like a new word, but composites have actually been creeping into our lives," he
Production Products tops $20 million in defense market - 2004-08-30 - St. Louis Business Journal
"Our clients are really busy when the United States has enemies," said Barry Corona, president of Production Products.
...Wanting to spend more time at home, Corona left his job at an aerospace component supply firm in St. Louis and started Production Products in 1978.
The firm's early focus was making gaskets and seals for the chemical industry.Monsanto
was the firm's largest customer, and business was humming until December 1984.Then, a gas leak at a chemical plant in Bhopal, India, killed some 3,800 people.
"This almost destroyed our business," Corona
said."After the accident, the chemical industry was decimated, and our sales dropped.We had to move quickly.I attended several SBA (Small Business Administration) courses on doing business with the government."
Soon thereafter, Corona
went to the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM) and U.S. Army Troop Support Command (TROSCOM) in St. Louis to land new business.
"I went in there and saw that they did not buy the products that I made," Corona
said."Instead of having them ask me what I sold, I asked them, 'What do you buy?' They basically showed me what they had a need for, and they pushed us into textiles."
Starting with that first transaction, Production Products
gradually increased its sales to AMCOM and TROSCOM, continuing to sell to them even after they left St. Louis in the late 1990s.
"It was a tough nut to crack," Corona
said."Their quality standards are stringent.We picked products that had the shortest path to develop and produce, and started making them." Corona
said that being minority-owned has been helpful to his
business, but that this distinction does not outweigh the importance of marketing your product.