From its inception in 1983 to now, ARC Specialties has become a case study in the growth of an American entrepreneurial endeavor. Company President Dan Allford took the business out of a garage and has since turned the automated manufacturing systems provider into an international enterprise.

On the first episode of The Roboticist Chronicles, host Tyler Kern sat down with Allford to explore the history of ARC Specialties and analyze how its trials and tribulations reflect growth and challenges within the industry.

Continuity and steady growth kept ARC on an upward trajectory over the decades, and Allford said that sometimes it is not about what a company does, but what it does not do.

“As long as you keep your mistakes commensurate with the size of your business, you’ll survive. So, while we were small, we made small mistakes, and we survived,” Allford said.

ARC has endured the globalization of manufacturing which has seen jobs leave the United States, but Allford said the industry is entering a renaissance in America today. Certainly, that is a welcome sight to Allford, who after almost forty years still has an unwavering passion for welding and manufacturing.

“I still like building things,” he said. “The only thing better than building something is building something that builds something.”

After creating jobs in more than 20 countries, Allford’s greatest build may not be a product but an exemplary company.

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