William C. Sandlin founded Ultramation in 1968.  At that time, he already had ten years of experience in manufacturing, followed by five years working for Texas Instruments in semiconductor development and technology.  Recognizing the necessity for creativity in solving problems for labor intensive manufacturing processes, Sandlin saw a future for a company that focused on automation.

While working on many diverse problems, and soon after opening his business, Sandlin discovered a need for a precision sliding mechanism in assembly manufacturing.  Recognizing this, he began to design a mechanism that used a pneumatic or hydraulic cylinder, that would become the linear thruster which is widely used today in manufacturing.

Since its founding, Ultramation has provided creative solutions for a wide variety of American companies. Customers range from manufacturers of candy and tires to refrigerators and the U. S. Postal Service.

The thruster design was submitted to the U. S. Patent Department in 1971.

After completing the research necessary to confirm no similar device existed, the patent was granted in January 1974, to inventor William C. Sandlin, Assignee Ultramation, Inc.

Sandlin has received more than fifteen patents.  However, it was the success of the Linear Thruster patent in 1971, that led the company to devote a major portion of its resources to the expansion and efficient manufacture of this product line. With a proven process and a dedicated, experienced work force, Ultramation remains competitive, long since the linear thruster patent expired.

Ultramation sells Linear Thrusters directly, and also OEMs Linear Thrusters for several manufacturing component providers. Ultramation is a family owned business located in Waco, Texas. Both employees and stock holders share William Sandlin’s founding commitment to provide a top-quality product at the best price.

Picture of the inventor

The Linear Thruster was invented by William C. Sandlin who holds the original patent. “Linear Thruster”       Original Patent Granted in 1974 to William C. Sandlin / Founder and   current CEO Ultramation.