Ownership

Company History

 

It's been a long road since our humble beginnings making soap dishes 70 years ago. Now with 275 employees-owners across 4 shifts, the parts we've built have helped protect our country, allowed millions of airline travelers to reach their destinations, and have revolutionized our daily lives with our support of the GPS II satellite system.

Royal Original Logo

1949

Harley Cole opens ‘Royal Plastic Manufacturing’ in Minden, NE to manufacture plastic products such as soap dishes.

1954

Royal transitions to manufacturing fiberglass-reinforced parts.

1958

According to local legend, a group of engineers from McDonnell Aircraft were boating in the nearby Harlan County Reservoir when their boat developed a serious leak. The group happened upon Royal’s founder and then owner, Harley Cole, who fixed their boat and was subsequently given an invitation to submit bids for making spare parts for McDonnell. Royal was awarded contracts, and by 1958, the company was exclusively in the composites business.

1978

Founder Harley Cole passes away and Royal is purchased by, California-based, M.C. Gill Corporation.

1980s

Royal acquires more aeronautic customers and produces primarily fiberglass covers and ductwork for military aircraft.

1990

Royal breaks ground on a new 20,000 square foot building.

Phil Gill

1993

Phillip Gill moves to Nebraska and purchases Royal from M.C. Gill Corp. Royal doubles in size to 18 employees and starts reinvesting profits to grow and compete in the structural composites arena.

GPS Satellite

1996

Royal purchases an autoclave and begins making antennae for the GPS II, a global positioning satellite.

2001

Royal develops engineering capability and now supplies prime and second tier suppliers with both quality engineering and on-time production. Emphasis was placed on making parts requiring more sophisticated quality systems.

2006

Royal qualifies to NADCAP and AS9100 quality standards for graphite epoxy.

2008

Phillip Gill establishes an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and begins selling shares of Royal to employees.

2008

The facility is expanded to 52,000 square feet and the number of employees reaches 100.

2010

Royal Plastic Manufacturing is renamed Royal Engineered Composites to more accurately reflect Royal’s business.

Royal Engineered Composites Autoclave2011

An additional 30,000 square feet are added to the current facility, bringing it to a total of 82,000. The addition features a 12,000 square foot clean room, a 12’x30’ autoclave, a composite machining center with waterjet and router, and a ply cutting table with conveyor system.

2014

Phillip Gill exits the day-to-day operations and Dave Arnold, an employee-owner, is promoted to President.

2019

We are celebrating our 70th anniversary in 2019! Fittingly, our continued success has led us to add 70 new positions at Royal over the past year! These additions have enabled us to add a weekend shift to continue operations 7-days-a-week.