FROM RACE CARS TO ESPRESSO MACHINES... TIPKE MANUFACTURING
HAS DONE ALMOST EVERYTHING IN ITS NEAR 50 YEARS IN
AND ITS STAPLE PRODUCT IS NOW USED ALL OVER THE WORLD.
DEREK DEIS TAKES US INSIDE THE SPOKANE COMPANY IN
OUR LATEST EDITION OF "MADE IN THE NORTHWEST."
TIPKE MANUFACTURING HAS A RICH AND STORIED HISTORY.
JIM TIPKE FOUNDED THE COMPANY IN 19-65 TO MAKE RACE
CARS. HE EVEN FABRICATED THE INDY CAR SPOKANE RACER
AND INDY 500 CHAMP TOM SNEVA DROVE DURING HIS ROOKIE
TEST IN 19-72.
EVENTUALLY... TIPKE MOVED INTO GENERAL MANUFACTURING...
DESIGNING AND PATENTING THE DO IT ALL "FOLD IT" CART
"jim originally built the fold it cart for a family
member and it just, everybody thought it was a good
idea, so he decided to start manufacturing it."
THE COMPANY NOW SELLS THREE TO FOUR THOUSAND OF THEM
A YEAR... TO PLACES AS FAR AWAY AS THE MARSHALL ISLANDS.
"they'll use their bicycle hitch and pull them around
with their bicycles to haul things around."
THE ALUMINUM CARTS... WHICH CAN BE FOLDED OUT OR BACK
UP IN JUST SECONDS... ARE COMMONLY USED BY GARDENERS...
BOATERS... OR ANYONE WHO NEEDS TO HAUL THINGS AROUND.
tipke's foldit cart weighs only 33 pounds, but it
hauls 330. and the slim design fits nicely in your
garage or storage area."
"we actually use them all over the shop for jobs we're
working on, so they get tested daily here."
TIPKE MANUFACTURING HAS ABOUT 30 EMPLOYEES. AND THESE
DAYS... IT'S MOSTLY A JOB SHOP... DOING WORK FOR ALL
KINDS OF INDUSTRIES.
construction equipment, man lifts, espresso machines,
hot tubs, spa accessory parts."
THEY EVEN DO MILITARY PLANE WORK. THESE COUNTERTOPS
ARE BEING BUILT FOR A SEATTLE COMPANY THAT WILL PUT
THEM IN LAVATORIES ON C-17s.
they'll put the sink, countertop and toilet in kind
of a little self-contained enclosure. and then, from
there, they give that to boeing and it goes into the
TIPKE ALSO SPECIALIZES IN TUBE BENDING... A NICHE
THAT'S GROWN QUITE A BIT OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS.
we do a lot of work for genie industries for the man
lifts. it's one of our bigger customers. we build
a lot of their exhaust and air intake components."
AND TIPKE HAS MADE A LIVING ON INTERMEDIATE VOLUME
MANUFACTURING... BEING MORE FLEXIBLE FOR ITS CUSTOMERS.
"to where there's not as much of a set up cost as
there would be with higher volume manufacturing."
BUT THE COMPANY HAS ALSO HELD ON TO ITS ROOTS. THAT
INDY CAR SNEVA FIRST DROVE 41 YEARS AGO IS BEING FIXED
UP... SO IT CAN BE SENT BACK TO THE BRICKYARD THIS
"there's kind of an exhibition lap they're doing before
the race and a few different things going on with
the car, so it'll be exciting to take that over there
and be a part of that."
IT'S TIPKE'S PAST MEETING THE PRESENT... IN WHAT'S
BEEN A NEAR 50 YEAR RACE.
FOR MADE IN THE NORTHWEST... I'M DEREK DEIS... KXLY