Throughout the housing industry, Jim Merrick is considered one of the true pioneers in the invention of Automated Machine Tools for housing production. Together with his wife, Norma, and his son Rick, and the invention of a Window Frame Machine back in 1960, Merrick Machine Company, under the “Triad” brand name, has gone on to develop Wall Panel Fabrication Machines, Fastening Equipment and Sub-Component Machines.
Merrick Machine and Triad Companies have always perceived their primary purpose to be one of innovation. Jim Merrick took a special pride in knowing his efforts and inventions benefited the housing industry, making the American dream more affordable for thousands of U.S. families. “I guess everybody has a little ego, and it flatters mine that I have been able to help in a small way to advance an industry that provides homes people can afford and be proud of.” Over time, even as Triad Companies expanded their industries, innovation remained the underlying focus. “Manufacturing Solutions for Over Half a Century” is the current motto posted on the website, and has played out in their varied product and industry focuses including custom housing machinery, custom plastic products, and the new Auto Dolly line.
Jim Merrick was awarded the 1986 James R. Price/Automation in Housing & Manufactured Home Dealer Achievement in Housing Award. This award was in recognition of his inventions and contributions to the housing industry. Over the years, Triad has produced more than 12,000 machines for housing. Quite literally, hundreds of thousands of homes have been built on Triad machinery all over the world.
In 1972, Merrick Machine began the diversification process into the plastic’s business, creating several other operational businesses.
- Triad Fastener (Injection molding company)
- Fu-Tek Machine and Tooling (Custom molds/dyes)
- Denver Plastics Nebraska (Injection molding company)
- Triad Products Company (Agricultural base)
With Merrick Machine’s success, opportunities came with it and Merrick Machine grew under the thoughtful planning and diversification of Jim’s son, Rick, to expand into Triad Fastener L.P. an injection molding facility located next door to Merrick Machine as well as Fu-tek Tool Company L.P., builder of quality precision tooling and dies, Triad Products Co., slow moving vehicle and other agricultural products; Denver Plastics Nebraska, L.P. located in Wahoo, Nebraska another quality injection molding plastics facility, and Ruvo Manufacturing; the industry leader in Automated Door Systems.
Over 50 years have passed and the business climate has changed since Jim started a small machine shop in Grand Island, Nebraska. However, the Triad Group of Companies has proven to be more than a success.
Today, under the direction of Russell Merrick, (Jim’s grandson), as CEO, the operations of the five companies are located in Nebraska and Colorado. Primarily a family operation, it now includes a fourth generation with the addition of Hope Merrick (Jim’s great-granddaughter). The Triad Companies, the parent company, retains its headquarters at Alda, Nebraska, (population. 400) thus maintaining a rather modest identity but the success and impact of has been felt worldwide.