Compass Celebrates Fourth Anniversary of Founding

Charlotte, NC – October 16, 2023 – Compass Precision celebrates four years of existence today. The rapidly growing manufacturer of precision metal components for mission critical applications was founded on October 16, 2019, when it completed the simultaneous purchase of Advanced Machining & Tooling (Salisbury, NC), Quality Products & Machine (Charlotte, NC), and Tri-Tec Industries (Charlotte, NC).

“Hard to believe it’s been four years already,” said Rick Loyd, President of Tri-Tec (pictured on left above). “Compass has been a good parent. Tri-Tec has purchased several CNC machines under its watch. We get lots of support, but get to run our own business independently. It works for us.”

Compass acquired Tri-Tec along with Advanced Machining and Quality Products from previous majority owner ZP Enterprises in Atlanta, GA. Brent Zelnak, President of ZP Enterprises (right above), has remained in close contact with its former companies and visits occasionally. He is always welcome.

“The transition of ownership from ZP Enterprises to Compass was smooth and cordial,” explained Gary Holcomb, Compass CEO (center above). “Brent and his father Steve Zelnak assembled a collection of three, high quality CNC machine shops. They formed the basis of our Compass platform. From it, we have been able to expand significantly through both organic growth as well as via acquisition.

Part of Compass’s growth has been fueled by equipment investment. Since its formation, the firm has purchased about 25 new CNC machines, including sophisticated 5-axis vertical milling centers and state-of-the-art multi-tasking machines capable of doing both milling and turning in a single set-up. Its single biggest investment, completed early this year, is a latest generation horizontal milling center with massive automation capabilities, including a linear pallet conveying system and 12 pallets, making the machine exceptionally well qualified for extended lights-out operation.

The company has successfully utilized these new capacities and capabilities to grow its business with both existing and new customers spread across the United States. Compass currently serves about 300 customers, many of which are in expanding markets like aerospace & defense, space, semiconductors, medical, telecommunications, power generation, and industrial automation.

In addition to growing organically, Compass has also completed five add-on acquisitions since 2019, greatly expanding the company’s geographic presence and adding significant additional capacities and capabilities to its original core. Under the mantra of “We do the tough stuff,” all of the company’s acquisitions, both of equipment and new shops, have been focused on assembling the means to machine precision metal components that most CNC shops are unable to make due to extreme tolerances, complicated shapes, difficult-to-work-with materials, and/or demanding surface finishes.

“We strive for excellence in making parts few other CNC machining companies can do,” said Gary. “Sometimes the challenge lies in the part’s geometry, sometimes in the material, and sometimes within the project itself with regard to lead-times or quantities. Every time we buy something, be it a new machine, a piece of software, or an entire shop, we attempt to add a capability we didn’t have before that customers need and few other suppliers have.”

Compass’s first add-on acquisition occurred in August 2020 when it acquired Gray Manufacturing Technologies in Denver, NC. Adding Gray to the fold greatly expanded Compass’s simultaneous 5-axis milling capabilities. Acquiring Douglas Machining Services in Winona, MN the following spring dramatically added to the company’s multi-tasking mill/turn capabilities.

The next acquisition was R&D Machine in Oldsmar, FL, purchased in April 2022. R&D added additional 5-axis milling capacity while the acquisition of Strom Manufacturing in North Plains, OR a few months later brought significant horizontal milling capabilities. Finally, buying Bergeron Machine in Westford, MA in April 2023 expanded Compass’s capabilities into precision Swiss screw machining.

“Our Compass story is one of an organization focused on complex CNC machining projects, with shops filled with advanced equipment, and people excited about our mission,” stated Gary. “With eight facilities spread across the country, and more to come, we have the breadth and depth to serve our customers well, making parts most other suppliers can’t. We have been at this for four years, but we only have just begun.”

For more information about Compass Precision, its growth plans, and unique business strategy, please contact Gary Holcomb, Compass CEO, at