Thank you for this opportunity to introduce and give you the history of Lorraine Machine, Inc.
Lorraine Tool & Die, Inc. was first incorporated in Detroit, Michigan in 1967 by Harry Coleman and Carl Huckzermyre. After meeting in one of Detroit’s large tool and die shops, these two die makers recognized approaching changes in the auto industry and decided to create work of their own.
Lorraine Tool & Die, Inc’s initial endeavor was with the engineering department at the Mosler Airomatic Division in Wayne, New Jersey. At the time, Mosler was developing a vacuum system for drive-up teller banking. The small company quickly grew with the manufacturing of a three-stage overhung belt-driven blower. Primary production included the machining of the aluminum castings at both the teller and the customer ends of the system. Lorraine experienced exponential growth with the production of over fifty thousand teller window systems.
Lorraine Tool and Die, Inc found a second profitable opportunity during the longshore strike in the fall of 1971. The Fuji Corporation was unable to supply ring compressors to Rotron, a local distributor to Whitlock Inc. in Novi, Michigan. Harry and Carl developed “RegenAir,” which quickly became the country’s largest manufacturer of regenerative blowers.
The “RegenAir” product line required thousands of castings on a regular, uninterrupted basis. Local foundries in Detroit gave priority to the auto industry, leaving small companies short of material. Concurrently, foundries in the Southeast were rapidly losing textile work to Mexico and were desperately in need of regular business. The decision was made to move to Greenville, South Carolina at the end of 1978, with full production achieved by January 1979 under the corporate name of Lorraine Manufacturing, Inc.
In South Carolina, the product line rapidly expanded beyond Whitlock and Mosler. The blowers were then sold in many industries, such as egg handling, spas, strip painting, water treatment, plating, and desalinization. In 1983, the product line grabbed the attention of Gast Manufacturing, in Benton Harbor, Michigan, and the “RegenAir” name as sold. Our name also changed again to Lorraine Machine, Inc. During the mid-1980s, the company struggled to find a new identity, but soon found a niche in government contracting. Lorraine Machine, Inc engaged with five Air Force bases and successfully completed twelve large contracts making spares parts for the B52, F15, C131 and H53’s.
By the early 1990’s we simultaneously took on machining castings for Spencer Turbine and producing antennas for the upcoming cellular telecom industry. Antenna designing and production only lasted a few years, until the CDMA process was proven and could be installed for consumer use in the United States.
Jerry Coleman was and still is an integral part of the company during the 60-year history, but in 2019 his son Harrison L. Coleman II retired from the Navy and became a 3rd generation owner and operator of Lorraine Machine.
I, Harrison Coleman strive to do our best work as a company, with commitment, and experience to assist a progressive company in their success.
Thank you for this opportunity