Northwest Aerospace News February | March 2018 Issue No. 1 | Page 40

NOVATION F ollowing customer needs has always been a passion for Novation, Inc., a specialized surface finishing and testing company in Spokane Valley, WA. Fred Le Friec, the owner and founder of Novation, says he keeps listening to customers—a defining enthusiasm that makes working with his business easy! These commitments have defined Novation from the be- ginning. Though Novation was born in 1990 and originally worked primarily within the electronics sector, Le Friec could see the potential of expanding to serve the aerospace industry. “Our first venture into aerospace began in 1995 when Boeing approached us to become a Boeing certified shop, to support their newly opened Spokane facility. Our customers have always driven the new directions in which we’ve taken the company,” he said. Starting with Boeing Novation continued this particular direction with Boeing for five years, until the company was put on inactive status as a contractor due to a change in demand for Boeing products. This early period with Boeing was great for Le Friec’s busi- ness, he believes, because it allowed the organization to refine their internal operations and begin mastering their specialties. “This was a great experience for us,” Le Friec adds. “I believe it expedited the development of our quality and other internal systems.” Of course, in aerospace, those quality standards are everything. Boeing has their own specific quality standards with their certification program for contractors—a process which took Novation nearly three years to complete, when they decided to pursue re-certification with Boeing. Meeting the growing needs of the aerospace sector appeals to Le Friec. Having achieved NADCAP certification in 2005, when the Inland Northwest Aerospace Consortium (INWAC) formed in 2006, Novation joined this core group of contract manufacturers, emphasizing its aerospace expertise. 40 NORTHWEST AEROSPACE NEWS Novation’s wet coatings facility applies most of the aerospace primers and topcoats being specified in todays industry.