That’s how far a line of 1,000,000 Chris King bearing races would reach if you stacked them end to end. That’s the height that Felix Baumgartner jumped from in the Red Bull Stratos project, the edge of space, 23.5 miles from the surface of the earth. On January 14th, 2014 at 2:38pm PST Edward Panibratets made his millionth bearing race on one of our New Britain lathes. There is a good chance that if you purchased a Chris King component in the past decade Edward had a hand in its manufacture. To add another level of excitement to the occasion today was Chris King’s birthday and it was an amazing gift to see an employee and colleague hit this huge milestone.
There is a lot of history surrounding this lathe; Christine Cole, our shop supervisor was the first person to carve a bearing race with it and since then it hasn’t stopped turning out parts. Probably the last of these machines to be produced by New Britain, this machine was our companies introduction to Ruben Lara. Ruben was integral in modernizing this machine and many others from an older analog cam control system to the computerized ubertechnology that is necessary for our production demands.
Sadly, Ruben is no longer with us, he passed away last year after a long fight with cancer. He lives on in the machines he helped to build and the lessons that he shared with the rest of us. Ruben would have been proud to see Edward hold that millionth piece high above his head, knowing full well his part in this accomplishment.
We took some time to eat cake, take a company photograph, and commemorate all of our fantastic employees for their hard work. We look forward to the next million.