Bob Babst CEO Metal Finishing Company, Dr. Bob Smith CEO Blue Origin, and Rob Babst President Metal Finishing Company touring the Murdock facility.
Metal Finishing Company was honored to welcome Blue Origin CEO Dr. Bob Smith and his team to Wichita during their supply chain development visit in June 2021. The visit was also hosted and coordinated by Senator Jerry Moran as well as the Greater Wichita Partnership for economic development.
Metal Finishing Company is well positioned to provide inspection and processing services for the Space Industry and is eager to take on this new challenge. Our President Rob Babst had this to say during the facility tour:
“As a 3rd Generation family owned business here in Wichita, Metal Finishing Company has long been focused on the local aerospace community. From our management team to each and every employee here at Metal Finishing – we absolutely share a passion for manufacturing and aerospace in this state, and we look forward to working hard each and every day to do our part in the Blue Origin Supply Chain.”
The visit was also covered by local media and reported on by Daniel McCoy of the Wichita Business Journal as follows:
One of the biggest names in the new space race is ready to do business with Wichita.
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) this week, in conjunction with the Greater Wichita Partnership, hosted Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith at a dinner with local aerospace leaders and a tour of several suppliers the following day.
And as the young company ramps up, Smith said during a stop at Metal Finishing Co., the local supplier density and capability makes Wichita a potential “one-stop shop” for much of what Blue Origin needs.
“It’s so important for us to partner commercially with a wide supply base,” he said. “We’re really imploring the Wichita supply base to come with us on this great adventure for what we’re going to go do next in space. Kansas has a remarkable heritage in aerospace that’s almost unmatched.”
Blue Origin, which Smith said has grown five-fold in five years, will next month launch its New Shepard rocket into space with passengers for the first time — including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
But as the commercialization of space opens up new frontiers for companies like Blue Origin, Smith said there will be ever-increasing supply demand.
And in a globally competitive aerospace industry, he hopes to keep as much of the industry in the U.S. as possible.
“The reason I’m in Wichita is exactly that,” Smith said. “We are growing a space company. We really are in the second Golden Age of space flight.”
The trip to Wichita was the company’s first such tour of a supplier community — and Moran said he hopes Smith and the leaders of other space companies will become familiar faces in town as the Air Capital ties itself to the burgeoning industry.
“The goal, of course … is in the near future we learn of new business being conducted by Blue Origin with Wichita and Kansas companies,” he said.
The Metal Finishing Company President Rob Babst said it’s a partnership that he would be grateful to be a part of.
“We have to be competitive, other cities, other communities and other states really want what we have here in Kansas,” said Babst.
Metal Finishing Company shares in the Blue Origin vision to commercialize space travel and looks forward to being a continued part of Mankind’s journey to the stars!