Northwest Aerospace News February | March 2018 Issue No. 1 | Page 40
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
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.
NORTHWEST AEROSPACE NEWS
Novation’s wet coatings facility applies most
of the aerospace primers and topcoats being
specified in todays industry.