A Trip Down Memory Lane: 50 Years of AMERON History

September 28, 2021

A Trip Down Memory Lane: 50 Years of AMERON History

  By Bobby Pulliam, Director of Aftermarket Sales at Ameron

As AMERON prepares to celebrate a milestone 50-year anniversary in 2022, I wanted to reflect on the team’s humble beginnings and notable achievements during the past half-century.

In 1972, Overland Aviation was founded by former Walter Kidde engineers George Balella, Frank Martinez and Jim Farmer in St. Louis, MO. The team of three aimed to offer exceptional customer support and develop new technology utilized in aircraft safety systems. They serviced oxygen components, fire suppression systems, air compressors and pneumatic valves for various aircraft, namely the Fairchild FH-227. 

Menlo Smith, the founder of the popular candy SweeTARTS, purchased Overland Aviation in 1989. As new aircraft were released and the demand for modernized safety systems increased, the Overland team recognized an opportunity for growth. In 1996 they purchased a safety equipment repair station in New York, and in 1997 they acquired MASS Systems in Baldwin Park, CA.

MASS Systems was founded in 1988 by former senior executives of Pacific Scientific. They developed patents applicable to fire suppression systems and continue to be an industry leader in the design and development of parts with manufacturer approval, more commonly known as PMAs. MASS Systems is known for designing complete fire suppression and oxygen systems for aircraft manufacturers and OEM-alternate piece parts with FAA-approval, un-matched quality and significant savings.

In the early 2000s, AMERON moved its repair station from Valencia, CA to Baldwin Park, CA and conducted operations alongside MASS Systems. The combination of MASS Systems’ expertise in product design and development with AMERON’s team of skilled mechanics and technicians made waves across the industry. Within a decade they caught the attention of AMETEK, Inc. an organization with more than 100 brands across the globe. 

In 2009, MASS Systems and AMERON were acquired by AMETEK, Inc. and joined the AMETEK MRO division. The marriage of these pioneers in the industry resulted in the formation of AMETEK AMERON LLC, dba MASS Systems. The backing of AMETEK was a catalyst for international expansion. Repair stations in Europe and Singapore joined the St. Louis, New York and California operations. Capital infusion from AMETEK allowed for the procurement of the latest equipment and accelerated PMA research and development.  Within ten years the engineering team had designed and developed more than 500 FAA-approved PMAs and provided OEM support for fixed wing and helicopter manufacturers including Boeing, Airbus, Bell Helicopter, and many others. 

AMERON holds dear to the principles instated by its founders some 50-years ago. Excellence in customer service and innovation in aircraft safety equipment remain the primary focus of the team worldwide. With more than 650 FAA-approved PMAs, an ever-growing capabilities list and a team of industry experts, AMERON has its sights set on another 50-years of success. 

Follow along for more content as AMERON heads into its historic 50-year anniversary in the coming months or contact us to learn more.

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