Working at Exotic:

culture of innovators & leaders

Who We Are

Exotic is a family-owned organization of individuals driven and committed to being the best complex sheet metal aerospace company that we can be.
We engineer, manufacture, and provide aftermarket support on vital systems and components for virtually every commercial airliner and military aircraft in active service today. We have sophistication to provide innovative solutions and the flexibility to provide rapid response to our customers' needs.
Our word is our bond and we conduct our business with respect, integrity and loyalty to our customers and employees.
Since our founding in 1966, Exotic has cultivated a culture of entrepreneurship where employees are inspired to be the best that they can be and are rewarded with a share in the company's success. The entire organization is motivated to do whatever it takes to achieve our customers' goals.

What we do

Our purpose is clear. We are in business to be the best solution for our customers. Our culture demands our passion each and every day - for excellence in everything we do. We strive to solve our customers' problems and provide world-class delivery, quality and support. We are determined to be the supplier our customers go to because they know they can always depend on us. Flawless execution is what we demand of ourselves each and every day. In the long term, if we do our part to make our customers successful, Exotic will be successful.

History

How it all started

1963

The infancy of the business is born by Don Lindsey in the Lindsey garage.

Don had overheard a conversation in the Boeing lobby regarding the failure of titanium sheet metal flanges on the 727 aircraft. Don, the consummate salesman, recognized this as an opportunity to utilize a manufacturing process that would revolutionize the forming of sheet metal parts. The process was axial-load bulge forming, a forming process whereby material thinning is minimized, while part configuration and properties are maximized.

This was the beginning of Don’s leadership in the sheet metal business specifically targeted to the aerospace industry. The business’s original press was built in Don and Phyllis Lindsey’s home garage and now resides in the company’s lobby at the main facility in Kent, WA.

As a start-up business, Exotic borrowed $800 to get underway and ordered its first shipment of titanium sheet from Timet, leaving $1.12 in its bank account. The titanium was used by Exotic to manufacture these new flanges and prove to Boeing the potential of the technology. Not only were Don and Phyllis able to sell the potential of the company to customers, but also to its suppliers and bankers.

1964

The first order Exotic received was for bellows for the Boeing wind tunnel. When the company needed more space to accommodate its first order for Farr Cannisters, its first non-flange bulge form job, the business moved to a larger shop (1800 square feet) at 2110 Ruffner Street in the Magnolia area of Seattle, which had been an old telephone company garage. A neighbor who worked at Boeing’s tool and die shop was hired part time and he became Exotic Metals’ official first employee.

1965

The first titanium flange order was received and shipped to The Boeing Company.

1966

In 1966, Exotic Metals Forming Company LLC hit a major milestone by becoming incorporated.

1968

In 1968, the company moved to 410 South 96th Street in South Seattle, a 4,000 square foot facility. On February 29, we hired a tool and die maker from Germany, who became our first full-time employee. During this year, we also established our first outside Board of Directors.

1970 - 1973

Although business was booming during this time, it was just the beginning of a roller-coaster period that almost shuttered Exotic's doors. The economy in Seattle was hit hard when Boeing and its supply base drastically cut orders—­sometimes in half, and sometimes in their entirety. As a result, Exotic’s employee count fluctuated wildly, from 25 to 50 employees, and sometimes to as few as three. Don and Phyllis Lindsey were determined to keep Exotic going regardless of these major setbacks.

Around this same time, the company also received its initial orders for Teledyne Harpoon parts. But in 1972, all but a few employees were laid off and throughout Seattle, signs appeared that read “Will the Last One to Leave Seattle Please Turn Off the Lights.” In every neighborhood there were houses for sale … times were at their worst.

1974-1979

Sticking to their guns, Exotic persevered and business eventually increased. In 1976, Exotic purchased the 1303 building on South 96th Street, which was just down the street from 410. It was a 35,000 square-foot facility, which essentially doubled the amount of floor space.

1982

In 1982, we purchased our first vacuum furnace and a 750-ton forming press to add forming capacity. The furnace was a major advancement as it eliminated costly subcontracting and manufacturing time; parts no longer needed to be hauled somewhere for heat treat, and grit blasting was often no longer required to de-scale parts. In addition, the vacuum furnace provided the ability to braze complex assemblies, such as the B-2 Exhaust Duct Liner.

Heat Shields for the A1 Abrams Tank Program AGT 1500 engines were being produced at a rate of 100 parts per month for Avco Lycoming. TCC Tubes for Pratt & Whitney were also a big seller because our manufacturing methods enabled us to produce a superior part at a lower cost than the competition.

In this same year, we built the 1000-Ton press and purchased our first NC Machining Center. We also invested in 8.91 acres of vacant land in Kent, WA.

1983

By purchasing our first laser machining center, we added laser drilling and cutting to our roster of capabilities.

1984

Exotic built its initial B-2 Exhaust Duct Liner.

1986

Exotic Metals Forming Company LLC finished a newly-constructed 64,000 square foot facility in Kent, WA and moved into these new headquarters with roughly 100 employees. At the time, helicopters ran low-flying training runs over coyotes in the empty fields surrounding our new address at 5411 South 226th Street.

1987

Our first 30,000 square foot addition to the Kent facility was built. The building was constructed around the press after it was assembled.

1988

We received our first order from Boeing for Environmental Control System (ECS) Ducting for the Boeing 757 aircraft.

Exotic celebrates its first 20-year employee.

1989

Exotic signed its first long-term agreement (LTA) with The Boeing Company for the 757 ECS Ducts. Boeing also started to temporarily offload ducting packages to Exotic while it underwent a re-vamping of its Auburn Duct Shop. We were given the more challenging parts first and we also received orders for spray bars and vacuum waste ducts which became a product line of its own.

1991

The early nineties again saw Exotic expanding its capabilities and capacity. Vacuum Waste Tubes became an important part of our product mix.

Kathy Binder was promoted to President of the company.

1992 - 1993

Exotic was awarded our first Plug and Nozzle exhaust system assembly—the Plug and Nozzle for the Boeing 777 with the Rolls Royce Trent 800 engine option. This assembly entailed producing the parts from a new titanium alloy.

Another huge milestone for our company was our developing a process to manufacture our own titanium tubing.  We continue to manufacture these parts today using the manufacturing methodologies developed in the early 1990's.

Exotic was honored as Teledyne CAE’s supplier of the year 1992-1994.

1994

Exotic acquired a portion of Parker Metal Bellows (PMB) in Moor Park, California and expanded our capabilities to include Super Plastic Forming. We also transitioned key personnel from PMB to our company. This acquisition allowed us to expand our ability to design and manufacture Engine Anti-Icing Ducts, form bellows and superplastic form titanium parts.

Exotic was honored with The Boeing Company Chairman’s award as the top supplier for the year.

1995

Awarded The Boeing Company President’s award as the supplier of the year in the outside production category, The Boeing Company’s Small Business Supplier of the Year, and honored as the 1995 United States Small Business Administration Supplier of the Year.

1997

Our facility was expanded again by another 70,000 square feet.

We were awarded our first EBU contract including a role as a systems integrator.

2000

The acquisition of a Real-Time X-Ray Machine put Exotic at the cutting-edge of sheet metal manufacturing. We helped establish industry standards by being one of the first aerospace fabricators to utilize this new tool to improve x-ray reliability and reduce production costs.

Exotic was honored as a Boeing Supplier of the Year.

2001

Exotic was honored again as a Boeing Supplier of the Year.

On September 27, 2001 our company’s founder, Don Lindsey, passes away from inoperable brain cancer. Kathy Binder is selected as Chairman of the Board, and Bill Binder is promoted to President and CEO.

2002

Exotic was awarded the Boeing Supplier of the Year, becoming the first ever 3-time consecutive winner of this prestigious honor.

2004

The 6020 building was purchased, further expanding our production capabilities.

Exotic becomes the very first company to achieve Pratt & Whitney Gold Supplier status.

2005

We produced the first A380 Bleed Air System Ducts for Airbus.

A second manufacturing center, PEI, was established in Raymond, WA to manufacture Waste Ducts.

Our first 30-year employee was celebrated.

2006

Exotic was awarded the 2006 Airbus Aerostructures Supplier of the Year

2008

Exotic Aerospace Europe GmbH was formed in Hamburg, Germany.

While Boeing is on strike and not accepting shipments from its suppliers, Exotic employees continue working, making parts and sprucing up the facilities.

2010

A new building named 6102 was purchased and refurbished in Kent, WA.

2011

Awarded The Boeing Company Supplier of the Year for a record 5th time.

2013

Exotic is chosen to supply numerous parts and systems for the new 737MAX aircraft.

2014

Exotic acquired property at Airway Heights, near Spokane, WA, for a new facility. 

At our Kent location, we made a major acquisition of cutting edge manufacturing technology to support upcoming programs.

2015

Another major milestone was met when the Airway Heights, WA, facility was opened in March of 2015.  Our new facility will give us extra capacity to support upcoming aircraft rate increases and flexibility to lean out our value streams.

We delivered our initial 737MAX parts and systems to Boeing, plus delivered our first A320neo parts to UTAS. Exotic was awarded additional 777X system work.

Exotic is honored to receive the UTC Supplier Gold Award for the 11th straight year. 

Exotic celebrated our first 40-year employee anniversary with a visit from the Husky Marching Band.

Values

Furthering our BEST Guiding Principles  

For the past 50 years, Exotic has believed in a responsibility to give back to our communities.  Our employees, with support from the company, play an active role in supporting local events, charities, and community outreach programs by offering both our time as volunteers and financial resources for those in need. 

Some examples of where our employees dedicate their time with company support include:

  • Relay For Life 
  • Child Haven
  • Disaster Relief 
  • United Way Campaigns
  • Earth Day Campaigns 

At a corporate level Exotic is a strong supporter of Junior Achievement of Washington, aviation organizations such as the Museum of Flight, and organizations focusing on childhood education and STEM centered curriculum.

Award winning

Exotic is committed to being the best solution for our customers and we are pleased to be recognized by many of them for our outstanding commitment to quality, on-time-delivery and solutions-oriented partnerships.  Below is a sample of some of our successes over the years.

UTC Supplier Gold Award in 2006-2007, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2013, 2013-2014 UTC Supplier Gold Award in 2006-2007, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2013, 2013-2014
Boeing Performance Excellence Award in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013 Boeing Performance Excellence Award in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013
Honeywell New Product Development Supplier of the Year 2013 Honeywell New Product Development Supplier of the Year 2013
Gulfstream Supplier of the Year Award in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012 Gulfstream Supplier of the Year Award in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012
Pratt & Whitney Performance Recognition Award 2012 Pratt & Whitney Performance Recognition Award 2012
Boeing Supplier of the Year Award in 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2008 & 2011 Boeing Supplier of the Year Award in 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2008 & 2011
Aircell Performance Award 2008 & 2009 Aircell Performance Award 2008 & 2009
Pratt & Whitney Gold Supplier in 2004, 2005 & 2006 Pratt & Whitney Gold Supplier in 2004, 2005 & 2006
Airbus Supplier of the Year in 2006 Airbus Supplier of the Year in 2006
Boeing Q 100 Supplier Quality Recognition Award in 2000    Boeing Q 100 Supplier Quality Recognition Award in 2000
 United States Small Business Administration Subcontractor of the Year in 1995 United States Small Business Administration Subcontractor of the Year in 1995
Boeing Supplier of the Year 1995 Boeing Supplier of the Year 1995
Employment Opportunities

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