(In Loving Memory of Ronald Wayne & Grace Marie Albietz.)
Our history starts in the spring of 1955 with a young man just graduating high school from West End High in Nashville, Tennessee. He was looking forward to his first year of college at Tennessee State in Cookeville. After his first semester, he found that college wasn’t his style. After a disagreement with his father, Ron hit the road in his father’s car because grandpa blocked him in the driveway during the course of their discussion. Ron headed for St. Louis where he had relatives who could help get him started on his own. In 1957, Ron found employment at a little place you may know by the name of “McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company.” He worked on the F-4 “Voodoo” fighter aircraft until a car crash left him with a broken arm. Unable to work, Ron had no choice, but to return home to Nashville to be with his parents. After the arm healed, he returned to St Louis and shortly thereafter began to court Grace Pagano. “Grace Marie” as Ron lovingly referred to her, worked at the local grocery store that her parents owned. Eventually the two were married.
Ron found employment at Emerson Electric Company in their mail room. He held several positions within their Builder Products division until he eventually got into their elite, Special Products Group. This company created one of the first aftermarket Digital Read Out systems. At that time, DRO’s were essentially big massive cabinets with multiple racks of resistor cards (and later) printed electronic boards. The year was 1960 and this is when the Albietz family started with Ron & Grace’s first son, yours truly. Douglas came along in 1961 and Timothy in 1969.
After working all over the country installing these mammoth DRO’s with Emerson, the Special Products Group split up in 1969. The disperse remnants of these former Emerson employees formed almost all the DRO companies you see in the market place today. Companies such as Acu-Rite, ANILAM and Trionics, just to name a few. The company Ron went with, was Parametrics.
In an old US Motors building on Race Brook Rd. in Orange, Connecticut, some former Emerson employees (and some new members) went to work building the next generation of DRO’s. Ron became Parametric’s national sales manager for this DRO division. These infamously rugged and accurate Digital Read Out systems were built from 1969-1979. Many are still in service today. When Parametric decided to discontinue development of DRO’s to concentrate their efforts on motor controls, Ron took all the spare parts with Parametric’s blessing in order to start “Accurate Measurement Systems” in 1980.
Based in St. Louis, this little, serviced-based company began to grow right away out of a home garage and needed qualified help. Who better than to hire the kids who grew up in this field with Ron? You guessed it and AMS became the family business of Ron & Grace Albietz along with Douglas, Timothy and myself. Douglas and I actually started making rack and pinion scales with dad back in the 70’s. To say we have experience in this field is a gross under statement. As a family, we grew up doing only one thing, DRO’s for machine tools.
In 1986, Douglas went on to form AMT Racing Engines, which more closely aligned with the entire family’s passion for racing. He did so with our blessing and built a business that now utilizes a substantial amount of AMS product. Douglas will still help us out if a large project requires it. AMT has become an award winning operation with several track record setting engines and he’s branched out into seminar work in his field too. We are quite proud of Douglas’ work and his continued association with AMS.
We still specialize in selling and providing service to DRO and CNC feedback equipment. AMS became the sole supplier to many of the world’s most demanding manufacturers. Most of these companies have chosen AMS over their defined dealer in their respective, “assigned” jurisdiction or territory. AMS is now a world-wide supplier of scales, DRO’s, rotary encoders and CNC control equipment. We sell and service equipment in places like Japan, Brazil, Jamaica, Canada and Mexico. AMS now has the staff, inventory and equipment to handle most applications out there.
Ron Albietz (our founder, father, husband and dear friend) passed away in 2003 leaving his family to continue this rich tradition. He is missed in this industry, but we are making strides toward filling his rather sizable shoes. Grace Albietz (co-founder, mother, wife and dear friend) passed away on September 4, 2007. We know they are both watching over us. They taught us well so their names are honored with our every installation or follow-up call to one of their/our customers.
Part of that honor will entail expansion soon to serve our customers better. New staff and new facilities are coming. The commitment to bolster the level of service the “Accurate Measurement Systems” name was built upon, remains in the heart in all of us.
Thanks mom & dad, for all you did!
Edward J. Albietz