Oct 21, 2013

Comet clutch division a quiet giant in Edgerton

Excerpted from Janesville Gazette
By Neil Johnson

The company is seeing a resurgence as a recreational clutch manufacturer, ‘but many in Edgerton still don’t know Certified Parts Corp.’s Hoffco Comet clutch division is on the map.

After all, Comet is only housed in a 200,000-square-foot industrial building just a few blocks east of downtown. It’s only been the leading name internationally for clutches used in pretty much any go-kart, minibike, ATV, UTV or snowmobile on the market. And it’s only been located in Edgerton for three years now.

Still, Comet Division Vice President Jay Grafft recently had to call a local weekly newspaper with a reminder that the former Highway Trailer building at 415 Fulton Street is not vacant. Comet is in there.

“We’re sort of under the radar a little, I guess,” Grafft said as he moved through the mammoth facility.

The building houses hundreds of pieces of equipment for producing clutches along with a huge arsenal of equipment for Janesville company Certified Parts’ half-dozen other divisions. Eight full-time workers bustle at the plant, which quietly fills orders worldwide.

The uptick in production deals has kept the plant as busy as it’s ever been since it moved to Edgerton. Some orders have doubled, Grafft said. That’s pushed workers into a daily world of versatility.

The company now is forming a partnership with Blackhawk Technical College and Edgerton High School for an internships-to-hire program. It is using three-dimensional imaging CNC machines in training rooms at the plant to teach students specific production methods used in the Comet division.

Read the full article.