Patriot Machine went from a Missouri garage to a top aerospace industry supplier
Aviation runs deep in the Burns family. The founder of Patriot Machine, Judy Burns’s grandfather David Kemp served alongside famed aviator Charles Lindbergh in the National Guard; she grew up with the spirit of St. Louis. Today, Patriot Machine is still a woman-owned business founded by Judy and her husband Bob Burns, current president and vice president.
Bob had technical skills in the aerospace industry from working as a machinist, estimator, and numeric control programmer, and Judy had experience in accounting
and really enjoyed the business side of things. Before starting Patriot Machine, the couple would spend hours talking about their work, and they saw a need for computer-aided drafting (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) services in the aerospace industry. The two then decided to team up to offer these services.
“This original concept soon evolved into Patriot not only performing the CAD and CAM services but also manufacturing and delivering detail parts,” Judy says. “Bob had a few pieces of equipment in our garage at home where he would machine our products.
With a lot of hard work, help from good people, and God’s guidance, Patriot has gradually grown, and we now occupy a purpose-built 82,000-square-foot facility in St. Charles.”
After 23 years, Patriot Machine is a top tier supplier for the aerospace industry that produces complex structural machined parts and assemblies. Patriot supplies parts to original equipment manufacturers such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Spirit AeroSystems, Embraer, and other aerospace companies.
The company’s location is not happenstance. St. Louis has been an aerospace hub since Benoist Aircraft’s founding in 1912 and later McDonnell Aircraft’s founding in 1939.
“The St. Louis area has a significant history in aerospace, and this has been key for us in having access to so much industry talent,” Judy says. “Also, being centrally located in the United States has always been logistically beneficial in having relatively quick access to suppliers and customers across the country. Our company’s passion and competencies in aerospace engineering and manufacturing derive from our city’s aviation lineage.”
Patriot has been recognized as “Supplier of the Year” three times by The Boeing Company. This prestigious award highlights its achievements in innovation, as well as on time delivery and exceptional quality.
Recently, Patriot Machine finished a $10-million installation of the world’s most advanced hard metal machining equipment, which will help propel the company into the future.
“We produce the highest quality products, delivered on time at a great value,” Judy says. “This is only possible when each person at our company is challenged to take initiative and find innovative ways to improve their scope of work.”