Grant Phillips Story

My father mentored and influenced my brother and me to obtain engineering degrees at the University of Missouri at Rolla, Missouri.

I received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in engineering management. I needed experience and worked for General Electric in Cincinnati, Ohio and Greenville, South Carolina while saving and investing a portion of my salary.

In 1998, I was presented an opportunity to buy a five-person engineering company.  God revealed to me through prayer that taking this risk was the right thing to do.  I was able to liquidate my General Electric Stock option plan that I have been investing in as an employee to fund the startup.

My first key decision before buying the business was the selection of a partner.  Though he was not a believer at the time, my partner is now a faithful, Catholic Christian man.  Our business decisions are derived from our belief that God is in control of our business and our lives.

Our early goals were focused on mere survival as a business.  As we became financially stable, we began to focus on providing world-class factory automation systems: large company technical solutions with small-company flexibility.  We were able to do this through two ideas: First, getting the right kind of employees,  and second,  keeping a long-view of healthy growth.

The first idea was incorporated by hiring engineers and technicians that were able to design machines in a team environment.  We have hired brilliant engineers that are able to freely take ideas from others.  It turns out that engineers with this humble attitude are often Christians!

The second idea was accomplished through working hard to meet our customers’ expectations over the past 13 years.  A small job well done leads to a medium sized job; a medium sized job leads to a transforming project.

Through this slow, steady progression we have been able to increase our sales revenues by 15 fold from the year before we bought the business to 2011. To date, we have increased the number of employees to 34.

It is interesting to note that a group of our employees meet every Wednesday for lunch at a local Chic-fil-a restaurant to pray for our business.  I love this! For more information please see our website:

REI Automation, Inc. specializes in designing and building custom industrial equipment, including assembly lines, robotic cells and special-purpose machines. Our consistent goal is to build elegant, robust systems that provide unmatched value for our customers.

Our reputation in the industry is one of innovation and teamwork. Our customers are experts in their products and processes; REI’s employees bring our vast experience with industrial automation and design creativity to the table. REI is proud of its in-house staff of highly experienced engineers and technicians who enjoy this creative collaboration to develop great machine systems.

REI has integrated systems for the automotive, medical, nuclear, heavy vehicle, communications, energy, and consumer goods markets. Utilizing cutting edge technology, REI can provide solutions for the applications our customers demand. REI has a broad range of experience integrating industrial robots, vision systems, laser markers, servomotor motion, leak testing, torque drivers, welding, and other technologies required to produce our customers’ products.




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