The County Press

Lum company builds life-saving machine components for global market



Lumco sales manager Marc Morisset does double-duty and is working on assembly of a machine they’re building a Maryland defense contractor. Photo by Jeff Hogan

Lumco sales manager Marc Morisset does double-duty and is working on assembly of a machine they’re building a Maryland defense contractor. Photo by Jeff Hogan

LUM — The name of the company is Lumco Manufacturing — it’s a manufacturing company located in the tiny hamlet of Lum — hence the name.

In an unassuming building on Mitchell Lake Road about two blocks south of the stop sign in Lum, it’s not easy to tell what kind of work is done behind their walls. But it’s impressive — the company does engineering, fabricating, machining and tooling for a diverse customer base that ranges from automotive, to the oil and gas industry to defense.

Company president/ owner Mike Morris, 37, is particularly proud of a job his firm secured to build a custom production machine for AirBoss Defense Group in Landover, Maryland — a few miles from key U.S. military departments. AirBoss Defense Group operates a state-of-the-art filter research and production facility. Lumco has the job to build a machine that will produce vital filter cartridges used in the manufacture by AirBoss of enclosed respirators used by frontline healthcare workers in the battle to save lives of people sickened by COVID-19.

Lumco president/owner Mike Morris, a Lapeer graduate, reviews a 3-D image of the machine assembly his company is building for a customer in Maryland.

Lumco president/owner Mike Morris, a Lapeer graduate, reviews a 3-D image of the machine assembly his company is building for a customer in Maryland.

“I feel satisfaction. They (employees) get to stay employed and they feel good to be doing something for the good of the country at this time,” said Morris.

AirBoss Defense Group, said Morris, is a sister division of AirBoss Flexible Products based in Auburn Hills, Michigan and is one of Lumco’s biggest customers. “I have worked closely with AirBoss management and we were awarded the job,” said Morris. “It was able to keep us an ‘essential’ business and has allowed us to keep going longer.”

And it’s on the fast track. “There’s been no time wasting,” said Morris, who said a core group of four employees have been focused to design, build and ship the machine to Maryland in six weeks — a process that would otherwise take closer to 10 to 12 weeks to achieve. “It’s good. We needed the work and I’m glad we were able to do this. Our work volume has been down since the car industry shut down.”

Marc Morisset works on assembly of a machine that will be used to make cartridges for enclosed respirators for COVID-19 healthcare workers.

Marc Morisset works on assembly of a machine that will be used to make cartridges for enclosed respirators for COVID-19 healthcare workers.

As a result of the work slowdown, Morris had to furlough four employees — but thanks to the AirBoss work was able to retain six employees that began production May 4 on the machine that will be used by their Maryland customer for medical respirators scheduled to be exported globally.

Lumco workers, most who live in Lapeer County, operate CNC lathes, seven CNC mills and one water jet at the facility that in addition to the life-saving machine components for a global marketplace also design and fabricate automation equipment for the energy sector in the Gulf of Mexico region of the country — including custom tooling for rolled pipe manufacturing.

Resultant of the contract manufacturing job for AirBoss Defense Group, Lumco has also bid on other projects for Airboss Flexible Products (located in Michigan) to aid in the manufacturing of military products.

The Lapeer Development Corporation (LDC), Lapeer County’s county-wide economic development organization, supports Lumco’s unrelenting business attraction efforts in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. LDC Executive Director, Quentin Bishop was impressed by Lumco’s leadership and business acumen despite the high unemployment rate and business shutdowns across Michigan.

Lumco president/owner Mike Morris holds a cartridge a machine his company is building that will be used by a manufacturing customer to produce enclosed respirators.

Lumco president/owner Mike Morris holds a cartridge a machine his company is building that will be used by a manufacturing customer to produce enclosed respirators.

“Mike indicated in early March that Lumco would continue to pursue new essential business aligned with fighting COVID-19,” said Bishop. “He kept his word and Lumco is now building parts that are critical to lifesaving equipment used around the world.”

The LDC can provide strategic guidance and financial resources to Lapeer County businesses of all sizes. Businesses in need of support may contact the LDC by email at quentin@lapeerdevleopment.com or call 810- 667-0080.

Lumco owner Mike Morris (left) discusses a project with CNC machinist Justin Diller.

Lumco owner Mike Morris (left) discusses a project with CNC machinist Justin Diller.

The metallic fabricated Lumco Manufacturing sign outside the Mitchell Lake Road facility offers only a hint of what goes on behind the walls of the 52-year-old company. Photos by Jeff Hogan

The metallic fabricated Lumco Manufacturing sign outside the Mitchell Lake Road facility offers only a hint of what goes on behind the walls of the 52-year-old company. Photos by Jeff Hogan