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AADA Article CMTincCraft Manufacturing and Tooling, Inc. (CMT Inc.) was founded in 1988 and began as a CNC Machining subcontractor to the growing aerospace business base in beautiful Hot Springs, Arkansas. Since then, CMT has evolved into a fully integrated aerospace and defense component supplier.  CMT President Tom Butler worked with the company as a customer for 20 years before becoming the company President in 2013.

CMT is a small business with a surprisingly broad array of capabilities for a shop of its size.  While most businesses of this type and size might focus on just sheet metal or just machined components, CMT has managed to also include fiberglass, metal bonding, in house chemical processes, painting, and heat-treating, among others. These diverse internal capabilities allow them to be particularly competitive with similarly sized shops regionally and nationally.

These unique offerings have served CMT’s customers well. A recent example of this is a challenging program for a key customer in which CMT had to acquire special processing approval. Over the last 6 months CMT has delivered over 8,000 parts for this project without a single line rejection.

CMT is continuing to invest in its core capabilities to ensure that the company can continue to deliver at this level. Recent investments include new high-speed machining equipment coupled with key customer special process approvals, which has placed CMT in a position to support growth for the upcoming years. The company is also focused on diversifying their customer base while working hard to maintain the key customer relationships they currently have.

CMT President Tom Butler feels that Arkansas offers unique benefits for Aerospace in its quality of life and core of uniquely skilled and knowledgeable professionals.  Butler, who had previously worked for other aerospace defense powerhouses such as McDonnell Douglass and Triumph, notes that the ability to work in a small business environment provides a greater opportunity to work towards customer satisfaction and develop a personal relationship with coworkers. Arkansas’ economy also benefits from companies such as CMT, whose customer base is primarily located out of state. This fact brings out-of-state dollars into Arkansas’ economy.

Being a member of the Arkansas Aerospace and Defense Alliance has also offered lucrative benefits to CMT, who has been a member since it’s inception and attended each of the annual Summits. Chief of these would be the networking opportunities. As a result of these opportunities, CMT is close to completion of a large contract with a company that they met at this years Summit.  Additionally, CMT also helped fellow AADA member B&M Painting secure special process approvals with Lockheed Martin. Butler notes that customer referrals from fellow AADA members are an invaluable asset to Arkansas aerospace and defense companies. 

Companies such as CMT Inc. are prime examples of the strong core of Aerospace and Defense companies that add immense value to the AADA and make Arkansas a unique place for the industry and as a whole.