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Business News Article
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Bless Precision Tool, Inc. Utilizing Larger Facility in Upper Hanover
Written by Bradley Schlegel Correspondent

Bless Precision Tool, Inc. Vice President Tim Bless and President Howard Bless in front  of a CNC machine used to manufacture a part for use on construction equipment. The company recently moved from Quakertown to the former Edmund Optics building on Montgomery Avenue in Upper Hanover Township.

        Since opening a tool and dye business in his garage 36 years ago, Howard Bless periodically expanded the operation.

        In February, Bless moved the business into an expansive property encompassing 55,000 square feet at 601 Montgomery Ave. in Upper Hanover.

        Bless Precision Tool, Inc. has room to comfortably operate its numerous machines, according to Vice President Tim Bless. He said the new arrangement, a 22,000-square feet, including 19,000 square feet for its machine shop, is sure to significantly improve the workflow.

        "It's still too early for me track," said Tim Bless, Howard's son who oversees the business' daily operations. "But it's got to make us more efficient."

        The multi-million dollar business, which currently has 23 employees, utilizes computer network control to produce custom precision parts for a wide range of companies and government agencies.

        According to Howard Bless, those parts – made of steel, brass, aluminum, plastic and alloys – are implemented in a variety of products. He said those projects include robots used in hospitals for surgery, metering pumps, hydraulic connections, guns, printer motors and devices that stick labels on pill bottles. The company's previous contractors include a guitar manufacturer and a cryogenic company.

        "I like the fact that we are creating things that help people's lives," said Howard Bless, 70, a graduate of Quakertown Senior High School whose father worked with manual machines. "I'm looking at more than the bottom line."

        Computers incorporated into each machine allow the business to convert raw materials into usable devices. Last week, Howard Bless identified a computerized milling machine that turned a small sheet of metal – 1 ½ inches thick and weighing 20 pounds – into a metal shelf.

        Four years ago, Howard Bless said he began looking for a new location after the business outgrew its previous location in an industrial park in Richland Township. His company purchased the property from Edmund Optical Manufacturing, LLC in November for $1.4 million, according to information posted on the Montgomery County Property Records website.

        According to Tim Bless, the operation previously crammed its machines into an 8,000 square foot facility. He said that most days, a significant amount of finished products and raw materials had to be moved into the parking before the work could commence.

        Howard Bless has expanded his business several times since its inception in 1980. In 1982, he moved it into a 1,200 square-foot building, which doubled the size of the operation.

        In 1983, Howard Bless quit his full-time job at another machine shop to focus on his own business.

        "Instead of working two 40-hour weeks, I was working one 80-hour week," he said.

        Two years later, the company added a 50 percent addition, extended its total square footing to 1,800. Two more moves followed. By 1999, the business had grown to 8,000 square feet.

        The elder Bless is looking for tenants to fill the new facility, which includes 2,500-square feet of available office space. He said the eventual plan is to find three businesses to join company that does coding for various lenses in the rear of the building.






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