Southern Manufacturing Technologies: A Forerunner in Precision Manufacturing

When it comes to defining excellence in precision custom manufacturing, Southern Manufacturing Technologies, Inc. located in Tampa is considered the best in class delivering “value and outstanding quality” to its customers. Since its establishment in 1983, SMT has been a leader in providing high precision components and assemblies for aircraft, aerospace and defense industries. Some of its customers include: Aerocontrolex, Conax (Cobham), Honeywell, Teledyne and Woodward Governor. Its 20,000 sq ft facility in Tampa serves as a launch pad for manufacturing parts used in space vehicles, mars rovers, military/general aviation aircraft, regional and large jet planes, missile defense systems and satellites.

Given its gigantic scale of operations and high profile customers, investment in cutting edge technology takes precedence in defining success and meeting high-tech demands of its clientele. Shannon Sweatman, systems administrator at SMT states “we have an aggressive growth strategy, and strive to be the supplier of choice to the top global companies in our industries.” Maintaining these high standards requires “innovation, passion” and emphasis on “customer focused” strategies. SMT is a certified small employer with AS9100 certification under its belt. The company is capable of producing a large mix of parts while running 24/7 with lights-out capability. Its horizontal milling machines are on an automated 23 pallet system and controlled by a single cell controller computer. Two of the machines have 300 tool capacities; while the other can hold 120 tools. SMT also designs its own fixtures, specific tool and machining centers, and uses CAD and CAM software to model parts and program CNC machines. The company recently invested in a water jet deburring machine—the only one of its kind in the country—that enables removal of internal burrs from complex components with decreased cycle times and increased consistency. “Everything we manufacture is custom made, and we are very adaptable to each of our customers’ needs” Sweatman said.

Indeed SMT has been at the forefront of providing high-tech machining services for almost 30 years, and has been a member of the National Tooling & Machining Association (NTMA) since 1984. Most recently SMT was named NTMA’s 2010 Technology award winner. In the past, the company has also bagged the NTMA Safety award, business excellence award, OSHA Sharp award, and earned a spot on the 1988, INC 500 list of fastest growing companies in America. SMT’s relentless commitment to support high-tech operations in Tampa and in Florida has paved a close partnership with FLATE. In May 2011, SMT hosted the FLATE Industrial Advisory Committee comprised of industry partners from the manufacturing community, representatives from related professional organizations in the community interested in promoting/supporting education and training of the manufacturing workforce at various levels. Through this partnership SMT hopes to work with FLATE to support local robotics programs/teams, and/or hone competencies needed to train the next generation of high-tech workers.

For information on SMT contact Shannon Sweatman at, or visit For information on FLATE and its Industrial Advisory Committee contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at, or visit