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Features TekTone Sound & Signal celebrates 40 years of business

More than 60 employees from in and around Macon County gathered for a 40-year anniversary photo.Macon County based medical manufacturing company TekTone Sound & Signal is celebrating its 40th year of operation. In addition to being open for four decades, TekTone Sound & Signal is also celebrating a record month in sales, with August being the highest sales month in the company's history.

TekTone Sound & Signal Mfg., Inc. began its manufacturing operations in Lake Park, Fla., in 1973. The rapid growth of the company and the need to serve the intercommunication market both nationally and internationally has led the company to expand. In 1989, TekTone opened a manufacturing facility in Franklin. In 1998, TekTone constructed a vast research and development department in Franklin, and in 2001, relocated all operations to Franklin.

“Macon County is in one of the most beautiful areas of the world,” said TekTone president Carlos Mira. “Our scenery, the mountains, rivers and lakes, and our relatively temperate climate make it a very attractive place to live. I travel all over the world, and cannot think of a better place I’d rather live.”

Over the last 40 years, the industry TekTone services has drastically changed, and in order to remain competitive, TekTone has had to stay one step ahead of the game. “Obviously, technology has evolved both in the design and manufacture of our products. For example, our first products primarily utilized analog components with one or two integrated circuit chips. Everything was hand soldered utilizing through-hole components,” Mira said of the company's greatest change over the last 40 years. “Today the majority of our products utilize SMT (Surface Mount Technology) components placed on the circuit boards with a ‘pick and place’ machine using state of the art automation.”

Dave Duelfer has worked for TekTone for 25 years, relocating from Florida when the company did. Duelfer serves as the Engineering Projects Coordinator and believes the company's success can be attributed to the management. “Sense of individual ownership in the deliverable each employee works on and the sense of being in it for the long haul,” Duelfler said when asked why he believes TekTone has been successful over the last 40 years.

With drastic changes in the nation's economy and the evolution of Macon County over the last 40 years, TekTone attributes its success to the community. “We are an agile company and by nature a bit conservative,” said Mira. “We are able to contract and expand when necessary. Growth is vital, but it is far more important to remain a viable business. After all there are almost 80 families in Macon County that count on us.”

Twenty-seven-year TekTone veteran Bill Aston works as the company's metal shop manager. "We make most of the metal products and parts that go into TekTone products," said Aston. "I program the machines that we use. I supervise or repair our equipment and plant maintenance." As the metal shop manager, Aston says the biggest change he has seen over his tenure is the change in the type of materials that go into the TekTone products. "When I started at TekTone, 98 percent of what went out the door came out of the metal shop, now only five percent is produced in the metal shop," he said.

As one of the employees who has worked for TekTone the longest, Aston attributes the company's success to the employees and the business offering a quality product at an affordable price.

According to Mira, with August being the company's highest sales month to date, that is a great indication that TekTone's growth potentially is limitless. “We are on pace to have our most successful year in the history of TekTone Sound & Signal Mfg., Inc., but more importantly, we’ve laid the foundation for years to come,” said Mira. “We are primarily a manufacturer of products for the healthcare communications market. Obviously there are huge growth opportunities with anything related to healthcare for the foreseeable future. To insure we stay abreast of market needs, we maintain a five-year product plan that is constantly monitored by our sales and marketing staffs.”

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