Manufacturer of the Year: CLIMAX Portable Machine Tools

Manufacturer of the Year: CLIMAX Portable Machine Tools

Portland Business Journal, September 2020: Founded in 1965, CLIMAX Portable Machine Tools makes portable machining, welding and valve testing equipment. “Portable” is the key word there, and it’s what has distinguished CLIMAX throughout its 55-year history.

Founder Paul Strait essentially invented the portable machining industry when he created the first Model 65 Key Mill in his shop in Tillamook.

“Paul invented a tool for the logging industry in Oregon in his garage,” CLIMAX President and CEO Tom Cunningham said. “It made life easier for workers. They could get their work done faster, and it was safer, and therefore it was less expensive. It’s still the way we do it today. Most of the tools are one-of-a-kind devices that save people time and money and let them work safer.”

CLIMAX’s 45,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Newberg is able to produce roughly 75 standard products, while also meeting demand for one-off, custom products.

Since its founding, the company has continued to innovate. It has sold more than 20,000 machine tools globally and has launched 40 new products since 2015. It currently owns 14 active patents and has seven pending.

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