Cross Spikes™ at the Reno Cyclocross Nationals Expo

If you are at the 2018 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships in Reno, Nevada, visit us at the Race Expo.

Our bright orange and black tent is located a stone’s throw from the finish line.

  • We have a full complement of inventory.
  • Swing by and say hello and get your Cross Spikes™ while our supplies last.
  • We only brought a limited amount of inventory from Connecticut.
  • We can accept cash or credit cards. 

Tuesday’s course conditions were challenging to say the least. Steady rain, especially late in the day turned the soft clay soil into a thick and greasy muck. The course should dry out over the next few days, but the ground will remain moist. Before the rain, the uphill section was rideable, but when the course conditions deteriorated, riders were forced to run.

The off-camber section is even more challenging than advertised and many riders were planting a foot around the corners. Some ran the entire section and this is wear traction is critical. The lead rider in the 40-49 Non-Championship Race slid out and rolled his front tubular in the process.

There is a set of barriers requiring most people to dismount. The Belgian steps require most athletes to run. Most athletes are also running over the ditch.

So, there are multiple dismounts requiring traction, which are perfect for Cross Spikes™. We are recommending Medium and Long, but course conditions will change as more and more riders wear it in.

For more background on the race, check out our Reno edition of Cross Spikes™ News.

See you at the race!

Posted in Front Page, General News, Team Horst Sports |

Cross Spikes™ News Launched: 2018 Reno Cyclocross Nationals Edition

Check out the latest edition of Cross Spikes™ News. It’s chock full of information about the 2018 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships in Reno, Nevada. Plus, information about pre-orders for delivery on-site. If you are in Reno for race week, visit us at the Race Expo!

Posted in Front Page, General News, Team Horst Sports |

Reno 2018 Cyclocross Nationals Preview-We Will Be There!

The Kerstperiode in Belgium ended on 01 January with the GP Sven Nys in Baal, where Cross Spikes™ ambassador Katie Compton had a fantastic victory in a complete mudfest. As this intense period of European racing ends, we are excited to turn our attention to the upcoming USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships, in Reno, Nevada. The USA’s premier cyclocross event kicks-off on the 09 January with Non-Championship races, and culminates with the Elite championships on 14 January. In between, there will be some of the most competitive age group championship racing to be found anywhere. Rancho San Rafael Park is the site of this year’s race, and following the success fo the 2017 championships in Hartford, Connecticut; the Reno community has pulled together a fantastic event.

Horst Engineering will be there supporting the event, exhibiting at the Expo, and sponsoring the Mechanics National Championship. Later this week, we will post more details about on-site sales of our patented Cross Spikes™ product line.

Pre-orders are welcome and you can arrange to pick-up on site at the race. For pick-up in Reno, order online, select Pick-Up as your shipping method, and then e-mail to make detailed arrangements. In the next week, we will post information regarding on-site sales at the Expo and race venue. 

Also look for our Reno edition Cross Spikes™ newsletter during the week of 01 January. Who knows what conditions we will face? It could be muddy. It could be snowy. Regardless, the steep run-ups and off camber sections will require traction. Be prepared. Our patented designs, precision machining, and thread rolling processes make our toe spikes the best you can invest in. Cross Spikes™ are available in Stainless Steel and Titanium as individual sets, but also in Kits and Pro Kits.

So many of our ambassadors will be racing in Reno, including reigning national champions Katie Compton, Stephen Hyde, Ellen Noble, Adam Myerson, Matt Timmerman, and Lizzy Gunsalus. The best cyclocross racers in the business count on Cross Spikes™ for traction.

See you in Reno!

Posted in Front Page, General News, Team Horst Sports |

Ann Nelson’s Retirement

It’s been a busy week for parties, but today’s celebration to honor Ann Nelson was special. Sending a longtime employee off to retirement is bittersweet. We honored Ann after 24+ years with Horst Engineering in our Part Marking department.

Part Marking is one of those unsung processes in any aerospace manufacturing operation. It is often a final step or nearly final step in our sequence of operations. Most of the parts we produce are physically marked per customer and industry requirements with a part number, vendor code, customer code, government cage code, and/or serial number. If the part isn’t marked, then the packaging is marked. Traceability from “cradle to grave” is a hallmark of aerospace products.

Pictured L to R: Mariette Pelletier, Ann Nelson, Adeline Livingston

In the history of our company, no one has marked more parts than Ann. Our primary methods include:

  • Dot-Peen Marking
  • Vibro-Peen Marking
  • Electrolytic Etch Marking
  • Ink Marking
  • Roll Marking
  • Stamping
  • Engraving
  • Laser Marking

In her early days, she worked part time from home, where we installed a small compressor. Eventually, she joined us full time at our East Hartford plant site. Over the years we have invested in new technology. In addition to marking our own parts, we perform part marking as a service for a handful of other aerospace manufacturers. She left her legacy at our 71-year-old #familybusiness as many others before her have.

It is tradition that longtime employees are presented with a custom Gerstner & Sons machinist chest made in Ohio, by another multi-generation family business, but we opted to do something a little different. Instead of a machinist chest, she was presented with a custom Gerstner & Sons jewelry chest crafted from American Cherry and finished with a protective acrylic top bearing the Horst Engineering logo mark.

Ann has passed the torch to the next generation by cross-training colleagues to carry on the important Part Marking process, and we thank her for her years of service. Maybe this story will come full circle and will end where she started. We hear that the old compressor in her garage is still working and that in a pinch, she can come out of retirement to do a rush part marking job from the warmth of her living room. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that! We wish Ann the best.

Pictured L to R: Ann Nelson, Scott Livingston

Posted in Front Page, General News |

Family Day 2017

The Horst Engineering Family of Companies hosted an amazing Family Day event on Saturday 09 December at our Cedar Street plant site in East Hartford, Connecticut. This was the fifth time since 2002 that we have opened our operations to welcome the families of our employees. We held similar events in 2002, 2005, 2008, and 2014.

This event was been a labor of love for our Family Day Committee and was the culmination of four months of work. More than 120 spouses, significant others, children, siblings, parents, and grandparents joined more than 30 employee volunteers for a celebration of manufacturing. As our family enterprise approaches its 72nd year in 2018, we couldn’t be more proud of our role in “helping people fly safely” and “making stuff.”

We enthusiastically tag our social media posts with #madeinconnecticut #madeinmassachusetts #madeinnewengland and #madeinusa

The employee driven Family Day Committee did a fantastic job planning the open house. Manufacturing Month is October, and Family Day has traditionally been held as a kickoff on the last weekend in September, but this year’s event was delayed for a number of reasons. One of those reasons was our 02 October “Go Live” on Epicor ERP. The success of that major system upgrade from our former ERP system (after 18 years) was the result of more than three years of hard effort and preparation.

For each of our Family Day events, we have unveiled a unique precision machined product or products that demonstrate our capabilities. Past products in our Family Day Hall of Fame include:

  • Keychain
  • Pen
  • Golf Tees and Golf Ball Display
  • Yo-Yo
  • Airplane
  • Top

With a December date, the committee decided on a holiday theme. That made this year’s precision machined products unique in many ways, and the team outdid itself by producing four separate products.

  • Snowman Ornament
  • Christmas Tree Ornament
  • Dreidel (that can also be an ornament)
  • Snowflake Ornament

Click here for the full Family Day brochure that explains the history of the Christmas Tree, the Snowman, and the Dreidel. Click here for more Dreidel history, how to play the Dreidel Game, and lyrics to the Dreidel song.

The walking tour included stops at all of our major manufacturing process where our guests witnessed demonstrations of real work being done. At each station, the attendees picked up one of the detail components required to assemble their products. The last stop was final assembly and inspection where they put all of the parts together. This was a creative and fun way to teach and demonstrate, particularly to the children, how we do what we do. The assembly process was no easy task. Guests were given a “traveler package” that included typical work instructions and they had to follow the directions to complete their product, with final acceptance coming from our “inspector.”

36 Cedar Street

  • Station 1 (Main Aisle Outside of Quality Assurance)
  • Station 2 (Milling)
  • Station 3 (Turning)
  • Station 4 (Multi-Axis Turning)
  • Station 5 (Kitting/Crib/Auto Crib)
  • Station 6 (Video Tour of our 41 Burnham Street Plant where our Swiss Screw Machine and Accounting/Finance functions are located)
  • Station 7 (Part Marking & Assembly)

41 Cedar Street

  • Station 8 (Thread Rolling)
  • Station 9 (Centerless Grinding)

36 Cedar Street

  • Station 10 (Cleaning and Deburring)
  • Station 11 (Milling)
  • Station 12 (Quality Assurance/Final Inspection)

At each station, employee volunteers enthusiastically explained their roles and showed off our advanced manufacturing equipment and technology. There were so many “oohs” and “ahhs” as guests were wowed by the cool technology. We are always promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers, so it was fitting that we would promote it within the community closest to us. We displayed finished products throughout the factories, including parts for aircraft engines, cabin pressure systems, landing gear, Cross Spikes™ , and even rockets.

The event included refreshments, a “Guess the number of candies in the jar” game, raffles, and prizes. There were 252 candies in the jar…and the closest guess was 251. It was an awesome day for everyone involved.

Special thanks goes to the Family Day Committee for the time and effort that went into the planning and execution. Thank you to long time supplier, Poly-Metal Finishing, Inc., for their help with the anodizing process. The committee received strong support from our Senior Leadership Team, from our Management Team, and the event wouldn’t have been possible without the backing of the Livingston Family who have been in the business of manufacturing since 1946.

Photo Credits: Alan Grant, Digital Creations

For more photos, click here to see the album on our Facebook page.

Posted in Front Page, General News |