Colburn Manufacturing started as a dream of Scott Larson’s that grew over time. He had worked as a supervisor and trainer for several other machine shops and saw frequent employee turnover. He felt it was because employees weren’t being treated well enough. Scott knew that if the employees were happier and the work environment was better, there would be less turnover. So he started Colburn Manufacturing, turning his dream into a reality.
Now, two decades after its inception Scott’s whole family helps to run the business. Clint and Liz have become well known in the precision manufacturing industry and have been featured in several trade articles and publications.
Scott decided to start his own company out of a garage in Robbinsdale, Minnesota. He named it Colburn after his grandfather, who worked as a mechanic on the railroad. Colburn’s son, Scott’s father Floyd, was a machinist on manual machines for decades, sparking Scott’s interest in manufacturing. The original shop consisted of a Manual Lathe, a Manual Mill, and a Harding CNC Lathe.
Colburn Manufacturing moved to an expanded space of 720 square feet in Osseo, Minnesota. Continued growth soon required a move to an even larger space of 3,000 square feet. The company added a Kitamura CNC Milling Center, their first Citizen Swiss Machine, and a Deltronic optical comparator for inspections.
Colburn expanded to a newly-built 3,500 square foot building in Big Lake, Minnesota. They added three more Citizen Swiss Machines, one Tsugami Swiss Machines, a Micro-Vu Camera Inspection System, four Tumbling Machines, and three different Tool Sharpening Machines.
We purchased a 15,000 square foot building in Fridley, Minnesota. This location allowed us to be closer to some of our larger customers and a larger talent pool so we could continue to grow and meet the needs of our customers. That same year, we purchased one more Citizen Swiss Machines and another Tsugami Swiss Machine.
Colburn added another Citizen Swiss Machine and a Tsugami Swiss Machine, bringing the total number of Swiss machines to 10!
Colburn Manufacturing achieved certification for both ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 13485:2003 and purchased another Tsugami Swiss Machine.
Colburn Manufacturing was further certified to ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 13485:2016, and to improve onsite part cleaning, purchased a Betman Sonic Machine.
Colburn was featured in several magazine articles, including the March edition of Modern Machine Shop magazine, the March/April edition of the Precision Manufacturing Magazine, and the spring Enterprise Minnesota Magazine. CFO Cheryl Larson presented on Succession Planning at the Top Shop Conference that fall. We purchased another Citizen Swiss Machine along with an Automated Vision System to continue to grow our inspection department.
Colburn’s second generation was featured in the winter edition of the Enterprise Minnesota Magazine in the “Young Guns” article. We upgraded our parts cleaning machine to an iFP KP.30, and the mill to a FANUC RoboDrill.
Colburn Manufacturing now has 11 CNC Swiss Machines, Citizen and Tsugami, with a range of .25 to 32.0mm diameters. The company also has a robust inspection and cleaning department and has further enhanced our oil recovery and recycling systems. And we keep growing!
Scott has been a CNC machinist since 1990. His strategic leadership has made Colburn what it is today and he continues his involvement with the company preparing quotes for customers.
Cheryl has a background in business and accounting and handled the corporate financials for Colburn Manufacturing for most of her career. She continues to manage employee benefits.
Clint grew up in the Colburn Machine Shop and attended the machine trades program at St. Cloud Technical college. Today he oversees the day to day operations of the company by coordinating inspections and machining.
Liz grew up working in the Colburn Machine shop and has a degree in Spanish and Business Entrepreneurship. She is responsible for customer service, ISO and keeping the office running smoothly.
Oliver is Clint’s spunky pug. He is in charge of security at the machine shop.
Lacy is Liz’s lab mix from Ruff Start Rescue. She is head of the welcoming committee at the machine shop.
Contact Colburn Manufacturing to find out why our customers partner with us.