Cox Machine, Wichita, KSProud to be a Closely-Held Multi-Generational Family Business
Founded in the 1950s, Cox Machine has remained a closely-held multi-generational family business for more than 60 years. Many of those years have been dedicated to aerospace parts manufacturing, while recent years have also included supporting satellite and launch vehicle customers and semiconductor manufacturers. We invite you to learn more about our rich history!
Our Rich History
Cox Machine was founded in 1954 by Ernest “Bud” Cox. From his experience as a machinist at Cessna Aircraft Company and Kansas Tool, Bud decided that he had the necessary skills to open his own shop.
The Early Years
Earnest “Bud” Cox constructed a 16-foot by 20-foot building on his property from scrap wood and began Cox Machine with four tools: a mill, a lathe, a shaper and a drill press. The drill press was a Christmas present from his wife, Ruth Ann.
Initially, finding customers was a difficult task. Bud was still working another job full-time, and he spent nights and weekends trying to solicit work. After six months, he got Cox Machine’s first job. When he received his first check, he used it to buy his wife a gold watch.
Ready to Expand
As the reputation of Earnest “Bud” Cox spread, he gained some new customers. By 1956, the business had outgrown the small building, and Bud moved Cox Machine to its own site, northwest of Wichita.
Cox Machine’s original building on this site was purchased from a man who had won the building in a poker game. The building had no plumbing, so an outhouse was erected on the property, which soon became home to a very large snake.
As Cox Machine continued to grow in size and reputation, the facilities were continually expanded and improved. More and more equipment was added to expand Cox Machine’s capabilities.
In 1972, Earnest “Bud” Cox retired from Cox Machine, and his son Steve Cox assumed the role of president and general manager. Also in 1972, Cox Machine purchased its first CNC machine.
Through the following years, Steve Cox continued to expand the customer base, facilities and capabilities of Cox Machine.
By 2000, Cox Machine had outgrown its home of 45 years, and construction began on a new site, approximately 1/4 mile east of the original site. Construction was completed in 2001, and the new site now houses Cox Machine’s primary Machining Operations, as well as the Administrative Offices, Quality Department, Planning and Production Control Department and Shipping/Receiving.
In 2010, Cox Machine added 30,000 square feet of manufacturing space to the Wichita location. The expansion allows us to continue the creation of manufacturing cells to increase our capacity.
Expansion Of Assembly Operations
Cox Machine constructed a new 50,000 square-foot facility for assembly operations, located directly across the street from our headquarters in Wichita, Kansas. The expansion is a result of greater customer need for sub-assemblies and program build-rate increases.
Awarded SHARP Status
Cox Machine was 100 percent SHARP certified at both Wichita and Harper locations. A dedicated safety team achieved the highly regarded SHARP certification, bringing the entire company to an elevated level of health and safety recognized by the United States Department of Labor.
We Have Grown Rapidly
What began as a small one-man shop in the 1950s now includes 168,000 square feet over five locations! See how Cox Machine has grown rapidly to meet the needs of our customers globally.