Raymond Elliott Loyd
Master of Manufacturing Techniques
Inducted in 2007
Derby Fabricating founding chairman Raymond Elliott Loyd was born and raised in Birmingham and educated at Auburn University, paying his own way and graduating in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.
That same year, he moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where he was admitted to General Electric’s prestigious engineering training program. A standout, Loyd was made a design engineer in GE’s appliances division. His work changed how Americans live, for he led development of the Carry Cool, the first room air conditioner to sell profitably for under $100.
Air-conditioning technology had been crude up to that time, but employing materials engineering, Loyd eliminated 26 metal parts and introduced a product so popular, a plant was dedicated to its manufacture. He was recognized with a national award from the Society of Plastics Engineers, and three patents were issued for related innovations.
Loyd was with GE for a decade and a half, during which time he earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Louisville. GE highly valued Loyd’s abilities. He became GE’s manager of international marketing and won the firm’s elite Cordiner Award. Then a unique opportunity arose: Loyd founded Derby Packaging, a start-up fabricator of insulation and gaskets. Louisville, the heart of the nation’s appliance industry, had a great need for high-tech innovations. Multiple successes led to rapid growth and a name change to Derby Industries, which more accurately reflected the company’s expanding business plan.
Derby Industries specialized in global supply chains and inventory management, assemblies and contract manufacturing, spare parts and warranty repairs, retail packaging and distribution, and information systems. Loyd sold this portion of the business in 2000. He retained the die-cutting portion of the business and renamed it Derby Fabricating, which became Loyd’s next challenge. He sought to bring his creativity and engineering expertise to the automotive and appliance industries. Able to change with the times, Loyd competed successfully across three decades in dozens of industries, with hundreds of products and services.
Today, Derby Fabricating has locations in four states and is a leading die cutter of nonmetallic materials for automotive and appliances clients. Derby Fabricating has been a pioneer in the achievement of TS 16949 certification, meant to unite global automotive manufacturers in quality of production. Loyd’s audit scores and parts per million results are the envy of other chief executive officers, and his annual revenues exceed $30 million. A determined competitor, he is a compassionate boss. Employees have gratefully accepted interest-free loans; others have found their tuition bills and general expenses taken care of in times of greatest need. Loyd’s compassion is rewarded with loyal and productive employees who help to make his company successful.
Among his other business roles, Loyd is a partner in Purcell Staffing, a global firm that provides temporary employees to businesses, industries, and government; in Flair Molded Plastics, an injection molder for the automotive and appliances industries; and in Global Link Logistics, which offers freight logistics and warehouse services.
A longtime member of the Auburn University Alumni Association, Loyd also belongs to the AU Engineering Eagles Society and supports the school’s engineering unrestricted fund. He and his wife,Eleanor, also an Auburn graduate, established the $1 million Raymond E. and Eleanor H. Loyd Scholarship. The impact of this scholarship on the next generation of engineers looms large. Over the scholarship’s 20-year term, many Auburn engineering students will benefit.
Raymond and Eleanor live in Louisville and have two children, Alan and Krista Loyd, and five grandchildren.