STC is celebrating their 25th anniversary as a manufacturer of high-performance transformers and electronics. As an ISO 9001 certified business, STC designs and manufactures printed circuit assemblies, custom cable assemblies, and wire harnesses.
The roots of the STC story trace back to 1967, to a company in Cape Girardeau, Missouri by the name of National Transformer. In 1986, current STC president Brad Cross was part of a group that acquired the engineering files and select assets from National Transformer. Cross moved the manufacturing facility to McLeansboro, Illinois in 1988.
The early weeks and months after the move to Illinois were filled with trials and obstacles to overcome, as production was temporarily conducted at both facilities. Production Supervisor Linda Shaw, who has been with STC since it’s beginning in McLeansboro, remembers these trials well.
“During the first week, we had no test equipment so we carefully built parts, shipped them out, and hoped they worked. We had only four or five winders, and no packing equipment or solder machines. But when we got our test equipment that second week, we did 100-percent testing just like we do today.”
The small cinder block building that housed STC during the first five years presented its own set of challenges.
“During a snowstorm that first winter, while we were assembling components, we started hearing an occasional “Pssst” sound,” Shaw recalls. We looked around, wondering what the sound was, and we saw little bits of snow blowing into the building. We were hearing the sound of snow landing in the hot solder pots.”
Shaw credits company president Brad Cross for the improved working conditions.
“He’s made it safer. He’s made it much easier and more efficient. We’ve come a long way.”
When asked about the STC’s advantages in the industry, Cross points to specific examples.
“We have low turnover for one thing,” Cross says. “Our staff is very experienced, but they’re also willing to learn the new technologies that we implement in order to increase efficiency.”
The figures bear this out. In fact, approximately 30 percent of the workforce has been with the company for over 15 years. Staff members take pride in being familiar with customer requirements and their intended use of STC products.
The production equipment today scarcely resembles the equipment in place 20 years ago, and Cross says that is another important factor in remaining a competitive industry leader.
“We focus on embracing change while remaining strong in what we do well,” Cross says. “Whether it’s getting a fax machine like we did in the early years when they weren’t widely used or installing SMT-assembly equipment. The quality environment we’ve established ensures that we’ll continue to provide reliable products, and it also enables us to look toward continually improving efficiency.