LOS LUNAS — Accurate Machine & Tool Company, a multi-generational family operation in Los Lunas, owes its success to the Pluemer family’s dogged perseverance.
Started in 1962 by Herb Pluemer, a machinist at the military base in Albuquerque, he worked evenings building his own business. The schedule left little time for sleep.
“I slept an hour here and there,” Pluemer said laughing.
As his sons, Greg and Steve, grew, they learned the family business and eventually expanded it to include injection molding for mass production of plastic products and metal parts.
The company outgrew its Albuquerque location and the brothers negotiated on a new location in Los Lunas in 2014.
Accurate Machine & Tool has contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense to manufacture custom plastic and precision metal aircraft and weapons components, and also contracts with medical and private industries.
The company has contracts to make concession products, such as umbrellas, plastic cups and popcorn buckets for about 68 zoos around the nation.
This year, they signed a five-year contract with Cobalt Couplers, who make underground utilities, such as fiber optics, to make the connection joints for the fiber casings.
“We have Accurate Machine & Tool, that’s the mother company, then another company called PVC, another company called Party Outlaw and another one called Ribs One and Ribs Two,” said Greg, who has lived in Bosque Farms for 31 years.
The Pluemer family own Ribs Hickory Pit BBQ in Los Lunas and Tractor Brewery in Albuquerque, among other enterprises.
Their willingness to try new endeavors is key to their success. If they don’t have a mold for a product, they’ll try to make one rather than turn away a potential job.
“We’re pretty entrepreneurial — we’re really good at developing. We never say ‘no’ to a customer if they want something totally new,” Greg said. “We actually bring it in and think about it. We try to design around it.”
Perseverance, a willingness to try new things and a strong work ethic have brought success to the family business.
“Me, Steve and my dad are workaholics. We work nonstop,” Greg said. “My dad is 78 and he’s here every morning ... every day, seven days a week. Saturday, Sunday — it doesn’t matter.”
Greg said he gets up at 3:30 a.m. and heads to the gym for a workout before going to the plant, where he’ll spend the rest of the day until 7 or 8 p.m.
“We don’t know how to quit. When most people quit, we don’t,” he said.
Herb says “a winner never quits and a quitter never wins.”
Right now, it’s a busy time for the family as they sell a partnership with another enterprise and move Accurate Machine & Tool to a new facility.
The Los Lunas Village Council recently approved an industrial revenue bond up to $15 million for the benefit of Accurate Machine & Tool Co. to purchase 10 additional acres across the street from their current location. There are four acres set aside for the new, 50,000-square foot facility slated to open in January.
The company will be hiring for the new plant in January, and it looks like the project could grow another 20 jobs on top of the 30 they have now, Greg said.
There will be all types of employment positions including administrative, warehouse and assembly workers, skilled engineers, machinists and experienced plastic injection moulding mechanics.
Accurate Machine & Tool staff work a 40-hour week, overtime is optional and starting pay is about $12 an hour with top level machinist earning $30 to $35 an hour, Greg said.
“Most of my employees have been here over 20 years,” he said.
Greg said land availability, plus the village governing body’s willingness to work with the Pluemers, the professional staff, including Adolph Lopez, the code enforcement supervisor and Ralph L. Mims, the economic development manager, are why the Pluemers moved the family business to Los Lunas.
“That’s the reason we stay here,” he said.
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