Congratulations Gracie on Your U.S. Citizenship!

After many years of hard work Engracia (Gracie) a tenured member of the Horberg team, has been given her U.S. Citizenship, and we wanted to send out our public accolades on this incredible achievement. 

We are proud to celebrate you, Gracie!

According to a U.S. News report, two-thirds of Americans would not pass the test that is administered and must be passed in order to become a United States citizen. In addition to demonstrating the ability to read, write, and speak the English language, the test also consists of 10 civics questions – and Gracie answered all correctly!


Gracie began her career with Horberg over 33 years ago and has been an incredible friend, team member, and employee. 

Originally from Pedrario Montalegre, Portugal, Gracie came to the U.S. along with her parents just as she was turning 16 years old. They, like many, were in search of a better life. Her first job was making pocketbooks in a small factory here in Bridgeport. She also worked at a factory making electric component parts. It was during this time that she decided to start her own cleaning business, part-time.

In 1989, she heard from a friend that there was an opening at Horberg Industries, where she applied and got the job. Gracie has been with us ever since!

Commenting on her citizenship, Gracie said, “I feel really good and empowered by this achievement in my life. I am so happy.” 

Gracie has lived in the U.S. for 53 years. Friends and family always talked about how difficult it was to gain citizenship, so she put it off until last year when she finally decided to go for it. According to Gracie, the process took approximately 1 year to complete and was not as difficult as she had been told, or thought it would be, and now wishes she would have started the process sooner.

Now that she is a US citizen, Gracie said she is looking forward to traveling with a United States passport and to her first time voting in the next election.

The United States of America was founded on the principle that every individual has the opportunity to achieve success. You have demonstrated a spirit of fortitude and perseverance!

We are so honored to see you reach this goal in life and excited for your future!  Congratulations Gracie!

Kenneth F. Taylor, Jr.

Farewell to a True ‘Giant’, Kenneth F. Taylor, Jr.

Kenneth F. Taylor, Jr.

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of a colleague, fellow staff member, and dear friend, Kenneth F. Taylor, Jr. (Ken), who left his earthly home on December 8, 2021.

If you were to peel back the layers of Horberg Industries over the years, you’d find Ken’s fingerprints on just about anything and everything you saw.

Born in 1933, Ken served in the U.S. Army from 1953-1955, following which he enlisted in the ranks of Horberg Grinding Industries, Inc., working for his uncle, William Horberg, where he continued to serve with pride in a business founded on the principles of precision. 

For almost 57 years, he held the positions of craftsman (in both metal and wood), inventor, teacher, mentor, production process master, and caring friend. 

His colleagues have offered these reflections:

“Any task that Ken is given gets done and gets done right.  He seems to challenge himself to ensure his ability matches any task he is asked to perform”

“He was a true craftsman and helped anyone that needed it.  (He) tackled new projects and figured them out with his amazing breadth of skills.”

“He was a huge part of my life at Horberg. I will really miss him.”

“As good a craftsman as he was, he was humble enough to appreciate the ideas and inputs of others.”

It goes without saying that his influence was enormous; his contributions and his presence will certainly be missed.  It has been a privilege not only to work with you but also to know you.  Godspeed, Ken. 

cyber security

Cybersecurity and the Defense Industrial Base

cyber security

Cybersecurity is a major topic today, not just in news headlines but also in boardrooms and living rooms.  As we all continue to move even further into the digital landscape, the dangers of cybercrime are lurking around the corner. In a highly connected world, things like ransomware, data harvesting, and identity theft are happening at alarming rates.

In fact, over $3.5B (yes, that’s with a “b”) in revenue was reported lost, according to research from the FBI IC3 2019 Internet Crime Report, as the result of cybercrimes in 2019. Of that amount, email compromises alone accounted for more than $1.7B.  During that same period, almost 500,000 incidents were reported by businesses and individuals. Imagine what the total would be if you included all incidents that were never reported.

So, what about the Defense Industrial Base?

The Aerospace and Defense industries are charged with protecting certain types of information to which they have access. This is referred to as CUI (controlled unclassified information) and requires much more than mere hardware and software solutions to keep secure.  

Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information

Oddly enough, CUI is not determined by what it is, but rather by what its effect could be if it fell into the wrong hands.  In other words, it could be reasonable to define CUI as information that its unauthorized disclosure could be aggregated with additional information to reasonably be expected to cause a negative impact on national security.

For example, under the CUI “umbrella” you have

  • Controlled Technical Information (CTI), where the CUI could include research and engineering data, engineering drawings, along with associated lists, specifications, standards, process sheets, manuals, technical reports, technical orders, catalog-item identifications, data sets, studies and analyses, and related information, as well as computer software executable and source code.
  • Export Controlled information, where the CUI could include information concerning certain items, commodities, technology, software, or other information whose export could reasonably be expected to adversely affect the United States national security and nonproliferation objectives.

Enter DFARS 7012 (…bring on the acronyms)

One of the means by which the DoD specifies the measures that must be taken to protect CUI exists in DFARS 252.204-7012, often referred to as DFARS 7012.  If you receive a contract subject to the DFARS 7012 clause, your contractor systems are subject to NIST SP 800-171.  Further, if you, as the contractor, intend to use an external cloud service provider, it must meet the requirements established by FedRAMP Moderate.  Maybe you’ve heard of CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification).  Presently it’s somewhat of a moving target, but it’s essentially the 110 controls set forth in NIST 800-171 r2 plus 20 additional controls.  That gets you to CMMC Level 3, which is considered the next step for cybersecurity compliance for most defense contractors.  Phew!

As you might guess from the above, achieving and maintaining compliance on paper as well as in practice can be a daunting task when you consider the ever-changing nature of the rules necessitated by a constantly shifting security landscape.

With the recent increase in cybercrime activity, we must “up our game” as these attacks have become more sophisticated and devious.  You can have the best firewall in the world, but it only takes one click of a link or attachment contained in a seemingly innocent email to rapidly put your entire IT infrastructure at risk…or worse…potentially exposing not only CUI but also sensitive company information.

So, what is Horberg doing?  Actually, quite a lot…

Having measures in place like firewalls, network protection systems, and anti-malware solutions running, fully patched, and up to date is good…but not good enough.  Our very best defense against the risks posed by cybercrimes is education and continuing awareness.  

Horberg is currently undergoing another round of NIST 800-171 r2 assessment, remediation, and training.  Outdated/insecure equipment, software, and procedures are being replaced/updated.  We have aligned ourselves with KnowBe4, a leader in the field of security awareness and training solutions, to assist us in mitigating our (and any company’s) greatest vulnerability…the staff. 

Having ourselves been victimized by this high-tech, nouveau, brazen, virtual crime…without a doubt, our best plan is to be proactive.  As Ben Franklin famously advised, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  When it comes to cybercrimes, truer words have never been spoken. 


Is the Aerospace Market Looking Up?


With much of the uncertainty and restrictions from 2020 now behind us, we are watching the aerospace and defense industries for an indication of post-COVID recovery. These industries saw some of the largest decreases over the last year during shutdowns as passenger traffic slowed substantially since travel (flight) restrictions were mandated. These shutdowns also spilled over into the commercial aerospace sector and reduced the need for aircraft and parts. 

It’s interesting to note that the year over year decrease in passengers was about 61%, while the decrease in the number of flights was only 42%.  It has been postulated that airlines have delayed discretionary maintenance and upgrades to conserve cash during the uncertain economy. However, the aerospace industry can only kick the can down the road for so long until these issues eventually resurface and demand attention.

The good news is that things are starting to look up. With the economy in recovery mode, experts say pre-COVID travel demands won’t ramp back up fully until at least 2024 but that more air travel is expected. 

The Business Research Company published a study that found the global aerospace market will reach almost $328B in 2021 which represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% and the commercial market is expected to see a 7% CAGR – reaching nearly $431B by 2025. 

According to another report from research firm Deloitte, the defense sector is one that is expected to remain stable in 2021. As most countries remain committed to sustaining their military capabilities, they have not significantly reduced their defense budgets. These factors contribute to this sector seeing only slight pain points ahead. There is little question that these will include certain delays and cost increases as the previously hobbled supply chain continues to recover.  

MA4018 and MA4109 DOWEL PINS

Metric Dowel Pins: Featuring the MA4018 and MA4109

As you likely already know, dowel pins play an important role in precision assembly for holding, pivoting, locating, and hinging parts in fixtures and more. These parts can be manufactured in different sizes and specifications as well as materials and finishes.

Today, we’re looking specifically at metric dowel pins and in particular the MA4018 and MA4109 dowel pins. MA4018 and MA4109 DOWEL PINS

Did you know the MA4018 and MA4019 series metric dowel pins differ only by material (this includes the hardness as required by each material’s specification)?

As you may recall from an earlier post, the M21143/1 and M21143/2 series dowel pins differ only by diameter. The MA4018 calls for material AMS 5688 (spring tempered 302 Stainless Steel), and the MA4019 calls for AMS 5732 or AMS 5737 (both A286, consumable electrode melted, solution and precipitation heat-treated).

Both drawings/specifications are published by the SAE International (Society of Automotive Engineers…yes, Automotive) as is the procurement specification MA4070, required by both.

The MA4070 specification covers “aircraft quality metric pins, such as straight, headless, headed, shouldered, and dowel, in metric sizes.” Its application is primarily for use in “aerospace propulsion systems requiring metric size pins for use as locks, positioners, guides, plugs, and other similar uses.”  And, just as the NASM21143 procurement specification carried a boatload of extra requirements, so does the MA4070.

While we’re talking about MA4070, let’s briefly look at some of its requirements:

  • Surface texture in accordance with (IAW) ANSI/ASME B46.1
  • Hardness tested IAW MIL-STD-1312-6 (for AMS 5732 and AMS 5737 material)
  • (Double) shear strength tested IAW DOD-STD-1312-113 (for AMS 5688 material)
  • Plating, product marking, and non-destructive testing are not required for the MA4018/MA4019 but may be called for on other pins that refer to this procurement specification.
  • Non-destructive (visual and dimensional) testing classification of defects:
    • The OD (outside diameter) and the OAL (overall length) are considered Major A and subject to a 1.0% AQL (acceptable quality limit)
    • Surface texture (e.g., .8-micron [~32-microinch] Ra finish on the OD) and other dimensional characteristics (e.g., .015 mm [~.0006”] FIR [full indicator reading] straightness) are considered Major B and subject to a 4.0% AQL.
  • Raw material certifications, including test results that demonstrate conformance to the chemical and physical specifications of the material.

And that’s not even the deep dive…these folks obviously mean business!  So, what’s the takeaway?  There’s more to these dowel pins than the “cutting of chips” …there’s an obligation to demonstrate compliance after manufacturing.

Just as with so many of the other dowel pins that we manufacture, when you encounter a requirement for a MA4018 or MA4019 metric dowel pin, don’t dismiss it as “just another commercial dowel pin”; as you can see, there’s much more to it when you read the fine print.

Let Horberg Industries be your trusted source for all things MA4018/MA4019…don’t you have enough on your plate?

Horberg AS9100D Certification

The Horberg Difference

Horberg AS9100D Certification

Since 1935, Horberg Industries has provided its customers with high-quality, high-value, on-time solutions. That’s a pretty good start, but beyond that, we’re all about service (even with a smile), trusting relationships, and transparency.

Speaking of transparency, our Quality Management System is ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D registered, and we have the certificate to prove it.  When selecting the right supplier for your needs, you’d be wise to consider the difference between feigning compliance and demonstrating it.  Anyone can say they’re “compliant”; many can even pay the fee and get the ITAR registration letter.  That’s just not enough!

Consider this: cheap (car) insurance is great, as long as you don’t have an “incident”. You’ve received the insurance card/paperwork and you’re good to go, right?  Hopefully, you’re smart enough to check reviews and take into account the level of service you can reasonably expect to receive when circumstances don’t go your way.

It’s not any different with dowel pins. 

Downstream Savings

The hastily chosen lower price option is often accompanied by negative consequences downstream; that’s something worth considering.  After factoring in customer complaints, the negative impact on quality scores, delays and stoppages caused by defective/late product, and the loss of customer goodwill, it’s not hard to comprehend how higher quality can actually realize lower costs.

If downstream savings is important to you, consider Horberg as the wise choice.

Our Qualifications

Horberg Industries is proud to be ITAR registered with the United States Department of State Directorate of Trade Controls (DDTC) and our QMS is certified to AS9100D.  If you look for us in the IAQG OASIS (Online Aerospace Supplier Information System) database, you’ll find us there. (For those working in the aerospace industry, this online resource is the reliable source for aerospace supplier certification and registration data.)  

Call Horberg Today!

From Aerospace and Defense to Medical and Technology, you can count on us to craft your order on time, to your exact specifications, while still receiving the best value.

But don’t take my word for it; allow us the privilege of earning your repeat business!  Check out the Horberg difference for yourself.