WASP Inc., is changing its name to FAST Global Solutions. WASP was founded in 1979 and grew to be the world’s largest manufacturer of non-powered ground support equipment for the airline and air cargo industry and a leading manufacturer of conveyors for the parcel delivery industry. In May, WASP acquired FAST Manufacturing, a major manufacturer of agricultural sprayers and liquid fertilizer equipment. In September, the manufacturers began a company-wide transition to FAST Global Solutions to better reflect the breadth of products and continued company growth.
“It’s been a very exciting and incredible year for us,” said Dane Anderson, FAST president and CEO. “Our team keeps growing, and we have increased our manufacturing space by 60 percent. That combination allows us to fulfill orders in just five to eight weeks for our customers around the world. Our entire team of more than 600 people focuses on providing solutions with consistent quality for our global partners.”
The company’s facility space grew to 500,000 square feet — enough room to park 11 Boeing 747s and keep the 600 employee-owners at work around the clock. The expansion also includes space to stock customers’ specially designed equipment for immediate shipment.
FAST invested more than $12 million in large-format metal manufacturing equipment this year to further speed production times. Among the new machines are flat sheet lasers, robotic welders, a tube laser, machining centers, heavy press brakes, and a continuous motion, state-of-the-art powder coat paint line. Those machines will enhance production and step up the capacity to quickly meet customers’ needs.
“We partner closely with companies to understand their equipment needs and provide solutions, and we’re ecstatic that this growth will allow us to not only meet their needs faster but to meet the requirements of new customers across the world,” said DeWayne Nelson, FAST vice president of sales and marketing. “We’re passionate about identifying and forecasting their needs in order to help them better do business. Our team is proud of the customer service we continue to provide them, too, as we stay in touch through the manufacturing and shipping process and follow-up once the equipment is in use.”
FAST custom designs equipment to meet specific needs and ensures all units meet OSHA, SAE and CE requirements as well as customers’ individual safety specifications. They vigorously test each design for further assurance of the safety and durability.
WASP began in 1979 as Watkins Aircraft Support Products and quickly earned a reputation for high-quality GSE. Production lines expanded to include a package conveyor line in 1985 and a military trailer line in 2002. FAST Manufacturing began in 1985 and merged with WASP this year. The combined manufacturing history and experience will fuel solutions into the future as FAST.
“The one thing that didn’t change in all of those years was the consistent focus on producing a quality product,” Anderson said. “We work with customers who have some of our GSE from those first years of production. They’re replacing it now not because it’s worn out, but because they need to update to fit their operations.”
WASP and FAST equipment is used across the United States and in more than 65 countries.