75+ Manufacturing Industries Served: How We Did It

When you visit our plant here in Reading, PA, you’ll see our walls lined with parts and photos from the wide range of manufacturing industries we’ve served.


It’s like a “Hall of Fame” of sorts. Hundreds of parts representing a sample of the 20,000+ successfully completed custom orders are displayed (with customer permission).¬†Altogether, we’ve served over 75 industries since we opened our doors in 1967.

These parts represent more to us than “souvenirs” from past orders. They represent manufacturing solutions, manufacturing improvements, and manufacturing feats for our many customers. We are immensely proud of our history.

So, given the challenge of meeting customer needs in even 1 industry, how does a company like Specialty Design effectively serve 75+ industries?

How can we build special fixtures for a highway construction equipment manufacturer on one side of the plant, a special machine for an aerospace manufacturer on another, and simultaneously machine components for a food processor?

It’s all about process.

It’s also very much about having a world-class approach, team, communication, culture, new technologies and more. However, in order to adapt to the specialized needs of many different industries, it’s our relentless focus on process that has allowed us to consistently design excellent solutions for our customers for decades.

Let’s walk through the key steps of Specialty Design’s process for specialty manufacturing applications:

Blank Notebook1. Concept Definition

Understanding the concept for your unique application – whether it’s for 1 machined part or 5 automated machines – is a critical first step. We aim to sit on the same side of your table starting on Day 1. We partner with you to define project responsibilities, actions, deadlines and milestones. The more we work together to understand your operation and the required functions and outputs of your application… the better we can serve you the RIGHT way from the beginning.

Construction Hat2. Production Analysis and Consultation

The more we understand the layout of your facilities and production, the better we can design and build a solution. We best serve customers when we can schedule periodic walk-throughs of your facility. Your floor space, headcount, and pre-existing equipment are all essential considerations for your project. Plus, in the process, our experienced team of value engineers often uncover latent opportunities to help your bottom line!

ComputerChip3. Mechanical and Electrical Design

We design with durability and user-experience in mind. Building equipment that runs well in your plant 15+ years from now is our goal. The best design achieves the required function and is simple, easy-to-use, scalable, networked and built with components that are industry-standard.

cnc-machined-part4. Manufacturing

Specialty Design’s in-house machine shop is well equipped, allowing us to keep most – if not all – your mechanical components under one roof. Less vendors, quicker lead time, and lower cost. Quality assurance, paint, surface finishing and product testing is done here too. Working with Specialty Design is an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of vertically integrated manufacturing, without the overhead and headaches.

Wrench5. Installation, Testing and Training

We provide the certifications, manuals and in-person training required to get you up and running quick. You can leave the installation up to us. We will stay at your plant until your parts, your fixture and/or your equipment are functioning as you intended. Even years after we complete your project, we are just a phone call away.

From concept to installation, Specialty Design can serve as your manufacturing partner each step of the way.

One day, we hope to add your custom part or photo to our Hall of Fame too.

About Justin Knabb

Justin Knabb is VP of Operations at Specialty Design and Manufacturing, a family-run, US manufacturer of custom home building products as well as custom industrial machinery. Justin is a fan of microbreweries, traveling, Apple products, and Philly cheesesteaks. He can be reached at 1-610-779-1357 or here.