Ideal Gear And Machine Works Celebrates 90 Years In Business


Delta, British Columbia-based Ideal Gear & Machine Works Inc., a power transmission company, is celebrating its 90th anniversary.

The company was established and incorporated in 1919 by Herb Elfstrom Sr. and Francis Smith, former machinists for Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. Their machining business began by providing services for fishing vessels, steam tugboats and grain elevators.

With the onset of World War II, the company's efforts became strictly war production, where it supplied valves for the Liberty Ships being built at Vancouver shipyards.

In 1963, William Raymond Ahnert joined the company as a welder, working for both Herb Elfstrom Sr. and Herb Elfstrom Jr. Ahnert took an interest in the machining business, especially gear cutting, and by the early 1970s, he began investing in gearing machinery. As a result, supplying gearing to various companies became the business's focus.

Herb Elfstrom Jr. passed away in 1983, at which time his wife, Mary, signed the company shares to their daughter, Wendy Elfstrom, and William Ahnert. The pair headed Ideal Iron Works until 2003. The company now includes the fourth generation of family members serving customers with gearing and machining needs.

In 2003, Ideal Iron Works amalgamated with another family business to become Ideal Gear & Machine Works Inc. The company has expanded its facility to designate space for gearbox repair, testing and inspection facility.

The company has now purchased new tooling and equipment to produce gearing for wind turbines and specialty high precision speed increasers for new fuel cell technologies.

SOURCE: Ideal Gear & Machine Works Inc.

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