Entrepreneur’s Story: Bonal Technologies– July 19, 2018 by Randy Myeroff

In this installment of Entrepreneur’s Story, highlighting the journey of successful private companies and their leaders, we focus on Tom Hebel and Bonal Technologies based in the Detroit, Michigan, area. We specifically take a closer look at how he recognized his family’s legacy of innovative metal-treating technology while continually reinventing the company’s product and application.
Below is an excerpt from their story featured in the spring 2018 issue of Taxonomics.


August G. Hebel, Jr. (Gus) was a perfectionist who insisted things be done right.
“He always wanted to improve whatever he was working on,” Gus’ son, Tom, says. “He had that kind of a mind. For a year and a half, he recorded everything he could about using vibrations on metal parts.”
Gus found the solution he had been looking for to help make their vibratory stress relief process more consistent. Thrilled, he called the company that manufactured the special equipment for Bonal, believing they would hail him as a hero. Gus said he would mail the results of his research in a letter to the company.
But before he could drop his letter in the mailbox, the company sent its own letter, saying it was not interested in changing its process. Further, it wanted nothing more to do with Bonal. For Gus and other company executives, the response was a turning point.
“They were absolutely, totally stunned,” says Tom. “The supplier said, ‘We’re bigger than you and we haven’t approved anyone changing our process, and you are no longer a dealer of ours.’ We were kicked to the curb.”
Read the full story in Taxonomics to learn more about how that fateful decision led to incredible opportunities for Bonal Technologies.
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