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It all started in an artificial tooth factory


August 21, 2019  


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S.S. White Technologies is celebrating 175 years.

“I am so excited to reach this 175-year milestone alongside a management team with some of the brightest people in the business and fiercely loyal and proud workers,” said president and CEO Rahul Shukla. “The entire team is completely devoted to providing tremendous expert technical support to customers in the projects they undertake.”

Where it all began

Founded by Dr. Samuel Stockton White in 1844 as an artificial tooth factory and growing to become the largest dental manufacturing company in the world, the company patented high-speed flexible shafts used in its White dental engines in 1874. The unique flexible shaft technology later became the company’s focus, used in numerous industrial and automotive applications.

At the birth of automotive mass production, S.S. White designed a flexible shaft speedometer cable, installed as standard in early model Ford Motor Company vehicles.

During the Second World War, S.S. White flexible shaft technology proved itself in the air as a critical component in U.S. military aircraft, enabling effective navigation even during tight maneuvering and poor weather conditions.

Left to right: Tom Sarnoski, director of finance; Sheryl Sheppard, HR manager; Rahul Shukla, president & CEO; Subra Naglapura, VP of operations; Akash Shukla, customer relations officer (Shukla Medical, Orthopedic Implant Extraction Subsidiary of S.S. White).

Shukla began his career at S.S. White as a full-time summer quality inspector in 1973, working his way up to draftsman, methods engineer, manager of industrial engineering, and later to director of research and development.

In 1988, when S. S. White’s parent corporation put the company up for sale, Shukla liked the product so much that he bought the company, focusing it on flexible shaft technology and surgical instruments. He is among the world’s foremost authorities on flexible shaft design.

Under Shukla’s leadership, and after conducting years of research and experiments, S.S. White developed precise mathematical formulas governing the performance of flexible shafts. Shukla used the formulas to develop an industry-leading computer-modelling program for designing flexible shafts to microscopically precise parameters.

In 1990, S.S. White released the proprietary PERFLEXION software, which allows engineers to fully model the behaviour of all wires within a shaft and optimize for flexibility while minimizing torsional deflection with 20-30 per cent improvement over industry standards.

With the acquisition of Snap-On Medical Products, Inc., S.S. White now applies its flexible shaft expertise to the removal of orthopedic implants with state-of-the-art Xtract-All hand-held surgical instrumentation.

Today, S.S. White operates globally with facilities in the United States, United Kingdom, and India. It dominates the Flex Shaft market for Commercial Aircraft TRAS (Thrust Reverser Actuation Systems), supplying Flexible shafts for all of today’s major aircraft power plants including, CFM Leap series (1A, 1B & 1C), Pratt & Whitney GTF series, Rolls Royce Trent 1000 series and XWB, and GE9x Turbofan Engines.

S.S. White flexible shafts are used in 98 per cent of aircraft flying today, numerous surgical instruments, cutting edge industrial applications, and millions of automobiles. The company’s flexible shafts are on the space station and have gone to the moon.