Rotary Golf 2024

Wylie manufacturer helps ‘Keep America safe’

by | Oct 18, 2023 | Latest, news

Inside the 80,000 square foot facility on Martinez Lane in Wylie, Savage Precision Fabrication manufactures custom parts for combat aircraft, missiles and radars. Jeremy Hallock/The Wylie News

Savage Precision Fabrication is not your average machine shop. 

In fact, this almost 50-year-old company — primarily an aerospace and defense supplier, manufactures precision parts for its main customers, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. 

The Wylie company builds mechanical parts for combat aircrafts like the F-35 Lightning II, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-22 Raptor — along with pieces for missiles and radars.

“There’s a very large demand for our parts right now,” Director of Marketing and Sales Kevin McEuen said. “With the unrest in the Middle East as well as Ukraine, there has been a large surge in the production of military aircraft and military weapons.”

In front of the entrance to the building at 1415 Martinez Lane, there is an oversized granite arrowhead in the sidewalk. Above the entrance, next to the name of the business, there is another arrowhead. Inside, the walls are decorated with Native American artwork and artifacts. 

Savage’s founder, W.T. Gardner, who died in 2013, was proud of his Choctaw Indian heritage. He started the business from his home in 1973 while working as a machinist for Texas Instruments.

“T.I. needed some parts that were very difficult to make,” McEuen said. “He laughed at them and said he could make them in his garage.”

Gardner was able to manufacture complicated mechanical parts for T.I. in his garage, which eventually led to him strike out on his own and officially open a facility in Garland two years later. Before long, the growing company moved to a 40,000 square foot space in downtown Wylie, which then followed with a move to Martinez Lane to its current 80,000 square foot home.

His widow, Jo Ann Gardner, still runs the business today as CEO and president.

“We help keep America safe,” Gardner said.

Savage turns raw materials into machine components with a precision of one-tenth of a thousandth of an inch.

“That would basically be taking one of your hairs and splitting it ten ways and taking one of those splits and splitting it ten different ways,” McEuen said. “An F-16 is comprised of about 350,000 parts per plane. If you add all the nuts and bolts and rivets and everything, it’s about 5 million parts.”

For traceability, defense industry protocols require Savage to keep both hard copies and electronic copies of every part they make. The company can provide the history of its parts starting with the ore being dug out of the ground. The protocols also require the company to hire American citizens and use all domestic materials.

“Our specialty is the small clips and brackets and components,” McEuen said. “It all starts with just a small clip that fastens to something else which fastens to something else, all the way up to the big fuselage.”

Aircraft parts cannot be cut with lasers, McEuen said, because it makes the metal brittle. Savage has water jets that use streams of water set at about 60,000 PSI to cut through three-inch armor plates with no heat.

McEuen says the company struggles to recruit employees with machining experience, which is why they have always worked with the Wylie Economic Corporation for Manufacturing Day.

“Machinists are a dying breed right now,” McEuen said. “Manufacturing Day teaches students that if you go through a trade school you can make as much, if not more, than those who go to college.”

Subscribe RH Love

0 Comments

Order photos

Related News

Reader’s Choice Awards – 2024

Reader’s Choice Awards – 2024

After months of hard work — voting, reviewing ballots and tallying results — the Best of 2024 results are in!  This special section is one of my favorites because it is a celebration of local businesses and individuals who have been recognized by citizens for the hard...

read more
Mayor talks infrastructure improvements

Mayor talks infrastructure improvements

Mayor Matthew Porter gave his State of the City address Tuesday, March 26 at Collin College Wylie. Jeremy Hallock/The Wylie News Mayor Matthew Porter delivered his State of the City address to a conference room packed with city employees, educators, members of local...

read more
New development on Country Club OK’d

New development on Country Club OK’d

Representatives on behalf of Congressman Keith Self presented congratulatory letters to Wylie Fire Rescue 2023 Award Winners at the Tuesday, March 26 regular council meeting.  Jeremy Hallock/The Wylie News After much consternation, a change of zoning request for a...

read more
Once-in-a-lifetime event fast approaching

Once-in-a-lifetime event fast approaching

Millions of people across the country are traveling to the path of totality, which includes Wylie, to view the once-in-a-lifetime four-minute total solar eclipse next week.  And while most Collin County residents will be looking skyward on Monday, April 8, school...

read more
Fine arts, CTE directors update WISD trustees

Fine arts, CTE directors update WISD trustees

Texas Academic Decathlon State competitors from Wylie High School were recognized at the Monday, March 25 Wylie ISD board of trustees meeting. Courtesy Wylie ISD Executive Director of Fine Arts Glenn Lambert presented what he called a “State of the Arts” in Wylie ISD...

read more
Coach Howard honored with Garrison Award

Coach Howard honored with Garrison Award

Coach Bill Howard receives the 2024 Elisabeth W. Garrison Legacy Award. From left, Stacie Gooch, Lymari Ames and Virdie Montgomery. Courtesy Ian Halperin/Wylie ISD The highlight of Saturday night’s 21st annual Boots ‘N Barbecue gala was the presentation of the 2024...

read more
Resource group plans for future

Resource group plans for future

Ronni Fetzer, Cherie Privett, Liz Garrett, Sherry Higgins, Fran Fisher, Roberta Mallory, Jon Bailey, Nancy Miller, Jim Berger and Karen Ellis at the Community Resources Group meeting Tuesday, March 19. Jeremy Hallock/The Wylie News A group of individuals representing...

read more
Train horns sounding again in Murphy

Train horns sounding again in Murphy

Wayside Horns are designed to warn motorists on North Murphy Road of trains on the CPKC railroad tracks. Bob Wieland/Murphy Monitor The mournful – and loud -- sound of train horns has resumed along a southern Collin County rail corridor as CPKC, formerly Canadian...

read more
Grand Champion!

Grand Champion!

Senior Mimi Erwin shows her steer Friday, March 22 at the Wylie ISD Ag Barn. The ag student won Grand Champion Steer and was named Senior Steer Reserve Showman Champion at the 2024 Show and Sale which culminated Saturday, March 23. Jeremy Hallock/The Wylie News Wylie...

read more
Order photos