Joe Collins and Jon Freeman, co-founders of Trimantec, pride themselves on designing, building, engineering and servicing the one-of-kind manufacturing solutions that their customers have come to rely on them for.
Joe graduated from NC State University in 1986 with a BS degree in electrical engineering. After graduation, he went to work for RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company where he honed his skills as an industrial controls and automation specialist. Joe left Reynolds in 1993 to become the controls engineer at the small automation firm TMC Automation. By the late 1990’s, TMC had grown into a major supplier of finishing and packaging equipment for US sock manufacturers and was purchased by Speizman Industries in 1998. During the transition, Joe became vice president of operations and maintained that position until the company closed in October 2000.
Jon graduated from Ledford Senior High School in 1985 and continued his education at Davidson County Community College where he studied machine tool technology, metallurgy, welding and business. After graduation, Jon worked in the machine shop at DS Miller, Inc in High Point, NC. In 1993, Jon was offered a position in the research and development department of Sara Lee (HBI) where his team provided manufacturing and plant support to enhance production efficiencies. After leaving Sara Lee, Jon served as the production manager at TMC Automation. While at TMC, Jon’s responsibilities included the oversight and management of purchasing, machine inventory, production, assembly, and logistics of various textile equipment configurations.
Because of declining domestic textile manufacturing, TMC Automation closed its doors in October 2000. Because Joe and Jon had already formed a close working relationship, they decided to become business partners and open a custom automation firm. Their goal was to broaden their market beyond textiles while still supporting the customer base of the textile company that they both worked to build. Triad Automation Group (TAG) was thus formed in November 2000 with Joe as president and Jon as vice president.
Business began in a small, 1500 square foot garage north of Winston-Salem, NC. TAG opened its doors with a grand total of four employees (including Joe and Jon). With the help of previous business relationships from the textile industry, they were able to hit the ground running.
In 2001, an opportunity arose for expansion. TAG acquired the assets of West Point Technical Sales, a cable and harness assembly manufacturer. Soon thereafter, the small work force of four had grown to 15. Due to this growth of the combined company, TAG relocated to its current location off Indiana Avenue in Winston-Salem in May 2003.
The manufacturing space on Indiana Avenue, which originally occupied 9,000 square feet, has expanded over the years to the current 18,000 square feet. These past 14 years have seen TAG evolve from a local automation equipment company into a complete manufacturing solutions provider.
In 2014, Joe and Jon decided to rebrand Triad Automation Group as Trimantec. The name Trimantec; better represents the scope and depth of the manufacturing technologies that have become the company focus. The original custom automation firm has expanded into machining and fabrication, electromechanical manufacturing and parts distribution.
Jon and Joe attribute Trimantec’s success to their belief in fostering a strong relationship with the customer before, during and after the sale. They believe that a successful business relationship is a covenant agreement between the customer and the company. While business contracts are based upon distrust between parties, covenants are promises based on mutual trust. This is a principle that is part of their core belief system and permeates everything they do.