The History of CBS
Since 1972, CBS Manufacturing Company has provided the aerospace industry with the highest quality precision machining and assembly services. Established by J. James Lawton, the company began as a small, 2 employee shop located in Bloomfield, CT at a 3,000 square foot facility. The company began with only a few manual machines with limited capabilities including manual lathes, Bridgeport’s, Drill Presses, and a surface grinding machine. With this initial equipment, CBS was limited to a 6” diameter capacity.
Founder J. James Lawton stands in front of the Bloomfield location.
Over the next 9 years, CBS grew to 8 employees and had outgrown the Bloomfield facility. In 1981, the first company move occurred, transitioning to a 7,000 square foot facility located in Windsor, CT. With this move also came the expansion and introduction of the first of many CNC machine purchases. Over the next 14 years, CBS was able to grow into its new location with the addition of 7 CNC machines and 12 more employees. This was the timeframe with which CBS really found its niche market. With the evolution of CNC machines and the highly skilled employees that CBS had molded, expansion had become inevitable once again. In 1995, CBS built an expansion onto its existing location in Windsor, more than doubling the buildings size to 15,000 square feet. The additional space allowed for 8 more CNC machines to be purchased and utilized, including a 5 axis vertical milling center.
The CBS team at the Windsor, CT location.
By 2007, CBS had now been a long time supplier for the likes of Hamilton Sundstrand, Goodrich Aerospace, and Triumph and had once again found the need for another expansion. This occurrence would be a much greater move into a 40,000 square foot facility almost tripling in size and capacity located in East Granby, CT. CBS’ employee workforce has since grown to 36 employees, and an additional 11 CNC machines have been purchased and incorporated into the business between 2008 and 2015.
CBS at its current 40,000 sq. foot location in East Granby, CT.
CBS has now been owned and operated by its founder J. James Lawton’s three sons; Clifford Lawton, Bob Lawton, and Steve Lawton, for over 25 years. The brothers have been extremely active in the aerospace industry participating with industry associations such as the Connecticut Tooling and Machining Association (CTMA) and the Aerospace Components Manufacturers (ACM). In fact, CBS was one of the first 8 companies to join and help form the ACM, a Connecticut cluster group, which has now grown to over 100 aerospace manufacturing members and continues to grow every year. In addition, Clifford Lawton has held the role of Director for both groups, CTMA and ACM, during the associations’ existence.
CBS also participates in developing and encouraging the next generation to get involved within the manufacturing industry. Clifford Lawton actively works with Asnuntuck Community College’s advanced machining technology program, of which he has been a member of their advisory board since 2010. CBS has joined with Asnuntuck in sponsoring scholarships and providing internships which allow its students to gain experience both in a classroom setting and as an intern at CBS for an entire semester. In addition, Clifford Lawton is on the Board of Advisors of East Granby High School’s 5th Year Associates Degree Program. The 5th year program has played a role in introducing advanced manufacturing to students at East Granby High School. This program is the first program of its kind in the United States to enable high school students to achieve an associate’s degree after 1 year of post graduate work by working in conjunction with a community college throughout their high school years. This is helping students to reduce college expenses and achieve a career path in a reduced timeframe.