About Us, The Collins-Phillips and Pi Tape History
It is impossible to have a legitimate conversation about diameter measuring tapes without focusing on the names of Norman Collins, Leo Cochran and Harold Phillips, the individuals who invented and advanced the Pi Tape system.
Norman Collins circa 1961
Harold Phillips circa 1967
In 1944, while working at Solar Turbines in San Diego, Norman Collins developed a measuring tape method that would accurately measure diameter utilizing circumference measurement. Also in the mid 40's, Leo Cochran saw Norman's innovation and advanced his own company. As Norman's business grew, he was introduced to Harold Phillips, Sr., a retiring calibration technician for the Atlas Missile Guidance Systems. In 1966, Harold and Norman partnered and changed the name from Norman Collins Company to Collins-Phillips Tool Corporation. Ultimately the Pi Tape name and logo were introduced, making "Pi Tape" synonymous with accurate precision diameter measurement on a global level.
Mary Collins circa 1961
Jerry Mathis & Mary Collins circa 1981
The Right Stuff
The history of the Collins' and Phillips' families and Pi Tape products parallels the most innovative years of the American aerospace industry. Programs like Gemini, Apollo and Saturn all utilized Pi Tape products. Firms such as General Atomic, NASA, Lockheed, Rocketdyne, Ryan, Solar, Rohr, Convair, General Dynamics, Boeing and Martin Marietta all relied on Pi Tape instruments to advance their projects.
From the Alaska pipeline to printing press rolls, nuclear power plants to PVC extruders, space and aircraft industries to car wheels, Pi Tape has partnered with leaders of industries for over 71 years.
The technology we use to manufacture Pi Tape products has advanced significantly over the last 8 decades. We have continually improved our production and calibration applications to be state of the art, with 2 temperature controlled calibration laboratories and computer controlled engraving equipment.
Pi Tape is the world leader in specialized precision measuring tape solutions for unique applications. In addition to an unparalleled range of stock instruments, Pi Tape VP and Quality Assurance Manager, Jerry Mathis, a veteran with our firm for over 30 years, continues to work with innovators and talented engineers to develop specialized diameter measuring tapes and custom measuring tools that enable progressive firms to accomplish their design and manufacturing goals.
Successful business leaders and distributors have long realized that putting an entire engineering, manufacturing or production program at risk by utilizing copies or "knock offs" of the original Pi Tape innovation is never worth the liability. History has proven that experimenting with valid technology in an invalid application is flawed and not a replacement for innovation and intellect.
Pi Tape measuring instruments will continue to be the most innovative and accurate measuring tape products available on a global level.
Simply put, Pi Tape products offers accuracy and credibility that have no peers, resulting in the expansion of our calibration capacity to continue to critique and measure tolerance compliance. Major companies and testing labs routinely send precision measuring tapes to Pi Tape for our knowledgeable critique. Our commitment to the individual firms, distributors and testing labs, where accuracy, credibility, dependability, innovation and service are paramount, remains the same as it was in 1944.
Whenever and wherever failure is not an option, Pi Tape is proud to be part of the team.
- Mission Accomplished -
Harold "Skip" Phillips, Jr.