No matter what Len Tamasi did in his life, he was a perfectionist. Tamasi emigrated from Italy to the United States when he was 17, his family settling in Boston, Massachusetts.
After serving in the U.S. Air Force, Tamasi returned home where he was introduced to centerless grinding while working in a machine shop. Tamasi believed he could offer superior centerless grinding services, so in 1958 he quit his job, took out a second mortgage on his house, and founded Boston Centerless with one machine.
Tamasi’s business plan was simple: provide customers with excellent quality and service, build a solid reputation so more work would follow. That plan led him to 26 straight years of sales growth. During that period, Boston Centerless became a leader for grinding services (GrindAll Division) and accuracy in ground bar materials (AccuRod Division).
In the early 1990s, the business transitioned to the second generation; son Steven assumed leadership. With the rapid growth and sophistication of CNC Swiss screw machining, the need for ultra-precise ground bar materials was growing, and Steven saw the potential to expand AccuRods.
In 1995, the company set out on a lean journey and looked to cement its core purpose and values, building on the foundation Tamasi started. After a few iterations, the core values that guide the business every day crystalized: be trustworthy, take initiative, put the team first, and demonstrate excellence.
In 1999 Boston Centerless moved into its facility in Woburn, Massachusetts, and today the company produces 5x more than then. Throughout the 2000s it was primarily from expansion of the existing products and services:
Grinding services: Thru- feed, infeed, form grinding
Producing, distributing precision bar materials: stainless steels, titanium, aluminum, red metals, plastics
In 2004, the PinGage division started selling thread- and gear-measuring wires and cylindrical plug gages.
In 2006, the company was awarded the Shingo Prize Northeast Silver Medal for Excellence in Manufacturing – the first time a metal-working contract manufacturer in the U.S. received recognition for excellence in lean manufacturing.
As original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) continued to grow, so did the need for an international supplier and distributor, so officials drafted a strategy that included product and service line extensions, and geographic expansion.
Boston Centerless added distribution centers in Cleveland, Ohio, and Minneapolis, Minnesota; sales representation in East Asia; a material validation center providing ultrasonic testing, eddy current testing, XRF alloy verification, and laser marking; and consulting and training services for CNC Swiss machining through the SwissAssist program.
Today, the company supplies round bar materials, precision flats, and other raw material shapes and forms. Material preparation services and customized inventory management programs allow customers to do business with a single vendor.
While the company’s primary market segment is the medical device industry, it also serves aerospace & defense, and automotive markets where its materials are used in critical applications around the world. The company’s products are sold to all 50 states and to more than 20 countries.