SIFCO INDUSTRIES, INC., a major international metalworking firm
supplying the airline industry, began in 1913 when five Cleveland men formed the
Steel Improvement Co. Initially a small, heat-treating operation designed to
improve the physical properties of metal, Steel Improvement was located on
Chester Ave. In 1916, the company became the Steel Improvement & Forge Co.
when it acquired nearby Forest City Machine Co., a maker of pole-line hardware.
After servicing the automobile, arms, and naval industries during World War I,
the company's business declined and the company's executives moved away from
dependence on the
In the postwar period, the firm's acquisition of the forging division of
Champion Forge Co. in 1954 made Steel Improvement one of the nation's largest
commercial forging shops. The company expanded into related areas, such as
custom machining, by acquiring several small companies and developed significant
forging operations in Argentina, Brazil, Japan, and India. In 1969, the company
changed its name to SIFCO Industries, Inc. It continued to grow in the 1970s
and 1980s as the aerospace and defense industries expanded and for which it provided a number of forgings and replacement parts for the aviation
industry, also found its own fortunes tied to the expansion or contraction of
the aviation industry. By 1995 SIFCO's revenues were over $61 million and the
company had plants at 970 E. 64th St. in Cleveland and 5708 Schaaf Rd. in
Independence, employing 150 people. In 1996, sales reached $85.4 million as
Boeing and other major customers increased demand for the company's products.
That same year, the company's products supplied 90 percent of airlines worldwide
and SIFCO Industries ranked in the