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TAC Technical Instrument Corp. (TACTIC) is an equipment designer and manufacturer specializing in immersion ultrasonic test systems and accessories used for defect detection in critical application metal tube, bar, and billet products. TACTIC also provides replacement parts, repairs, upgrades, and training. The company was acquired by Laboratory Testing Inc. (LTI) of Hatfield, PA in July 2018 and continues to operate at its long-time location in Trenton, New Jersey.

TACTIC was founded in 1962 by Kenneth H. Beck, president, and William I. Shepley, vice president. Bill Shepley retired in 1983, but continued to work for the company as a part-time consultant until the year 2000. Ken Beck became chairman in 1989 and turned over the position of president to his son, Fred, who had joined TACTIC in a sales role in 1980. Fred remained president until the company was acquired in 2018, and now holds the position of vice president of sales.

The company’s co-founders brought a wealth of knowledge, experience and innovation to their new business, and established TACTIC as the leader in ultrasonic inspection systems with their product line of standard and custom equipment.

Ken Beck

Ken graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He served in the U.S. Army between 1943 and 1945, and was stationed in Iceland where he built and ran the first Armed Forces radio station in Iceland. Ken worked for the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Kaiser Fleet Wing, and Curtis Wright Co., where he was involved with designing radio telemetry and other avionic control systems, before cofounding TACTIC.

Ken held several patents and had authored numerous published papers on the subject of ultrasonic wave propagation and inspection techniques. He was a long-time active member of ASTM International and participated in the development of standards as part of Committee E07 on Nondestructive Testing. He was instrumental in creating the ASTM standard E 2375, Practice for Ultrasonic Examination of Wrought Products, under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee E07.06 on Ultrasonic Testing Procedures.

Bill Shepley

Bill joined the U.S. Navy after finishing high school in 1941. He graduated from the University of Rhode Island in a program called physics engineering in 1950. Bill became a pioneer in the development of ultrasonics and has his name on early patents with Sperry Products, Danbury, CT and Curtiss-Wright in Woodbridge and Princeton, NJ. At TACTIC, Bill developed the system for testing metal tubing and other metal products with ultrasonics.

Laboratory Testing Inc. is an accredited, independent materials testing and metrology laboratory. At the time LTI acquired TACTIC, both companies were family-run businesses, with second-generation ownership. LTI was started as a nondestructive testing lab in 1984 and has been using TACTIC equipment to perform ultrasonic testing since the beginning. The Lab currently runs seven TACTIC immersion UT inspection systems under one roof on two work shifts.

©1998-2006 TAC Technical Instrument Corp.