Francis J. Trecker (1909-1987)
Trecker (a son of a founder of Kearney & Trecker) graduated in engineering at Cornell, worked for Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, Pratt & Whitney Machine Tool, a consulting firm, and spent two years in Washington on defense subcontracting before joining K&T. When he became president in 1947, he moved all controls research to the main plant and greatly increased spending on R&D. In 1950 he began producing NC profilers and skin mills and in 1953 joined with Hughes Tool under the Aircraft Industries Assn. to develop an NC transfer machine. After that he brought Wallace Brainard from Hughes to develop a single machine combining the features of the Hughes line. The result was the Milwaukee-Matic, the first true machining center, a new type of machine that completely changed the nature of the world machine tool industry. Finally he pioneered in the development and use of computerized combinations of machines into cells, systems, and factories.