Quiet, rural, Westfield New York is one of the last places on earth where you would expect to find an internationally recognized company that manufactures mechanical power transmission products. In 1900, when Dr. Charles Welch moved to Westfield, his vision was to build one of the world’s largest grape juice companies. Little did he know, his son Bill would launch a manufacturing company that would become part of one of the largest mechanical power transmission companies in the world.
The small Thomas Coupling Company, later called Ajax Flexible Coupling Co., was purchased in 1972 by Renold, of Manchester, England. Today Renold is the acknowledged leader in its industry. When you travel on a subway system — whether in New York City or Kuala Lumpur — it’s very likely that you are riding in a subway car driven by couplings and gearboxes manufactured here in Westfield.
Renold Inc, is located in the Westfield business park and manufactures a diverse range of products. In addition to transmission couplings and gearboxes, Renold engineers design sophisticated machinery for rolling steel and aluminum in mills around the globe. Using state of the art tooling and production facilities, they transform raw materials into precision machine parts.
Developing countries such as China and India who are building up their infrastructure, require many of Renold products. These emerging countries have been the source of increased export business in recent years, adding to the ongoing demand for Renold products here in the domestic market.
Renold and other international companies located in Westfield, have been well served by Westfield’s strategic location. Here they have easy access to the interstate highway system and two rail systems, the CSX and Norfolk and Southern. Westfield also provides these companies with a labor force that has the strong work ethic and loyalty that is bred into small rural populations — attributes that are difficult to find in the transient populations of large urban communities.
Although Westfield is located in an idyllic, agricultural setting, it enjoys all the necessary modern technologies. We have fast internet connections, a downtown Wi-Fi district, cellular phone networks, and one of the lowest cost electrical power rates in the country. Renold makes full use of these advantages to communicate worldwide with other Renold plants and customers and when they fire up their high-energy furnaces and machines.
John Rawlinson, retired VP of Sales and Marketing with Renold Inc., is now Executive Director of the Westfield Development Corporation.
Links: Renold Inc.