Learn About Integrated Engineering
1. IE was founded in 2007
IE is a family owned business that was started by two brothers Pete and Dave Blais in 2007 while in college. The company stayed in part time status until mid 2010. At that point we faced with two options: A) do we keep doing this car parts business? or B) get “real jobs”. Obviously we ended up choosing option A.
2. The IE owners were car guys from day 1
Pete and Dave were surrounded in cars and motorsports from day one. Our dad was and still is a huge car fanatic. A lot of weekends were spent at various race tracks around the country. A career in the automotive industry was predetermined from an early age.
3. IE started from VW ownership
Dave’s first Car was a MK4 12V VR6. Dave recalls thinking that this car was really fast initially but eventually traded it for a MK4 GTI 337 when they we’re released in 2001. The 337 GTI then became a company “daily driven 450HP” show car for the next couple years. To this day he still really considers the 337 as his first car and still owns it.
Pete’s First Car was a an Audi 100. The real story with this however is our father actually had built up a MK3 12V GTI with Schrick cylinder head, camshafts and valvetrain, and an intake manifold that was intended to be his first car. However, when the time came to get his driver’s license it was deemed too fast and replaced with one of the slowest VW/Audi cars you could buy (an Audi 100).
Eventually, Pete picked up a 1992 Montana Green MK2 GTI. The car stayed a 2.0L 16V for a couple years and then received a 1.8T 20V… and about 800HP.
4. IE is a continuously growing company
IE now has 15 Employees encompassing several different facets of engineering, CNC manufacturing, sales & logistics, marketing, race engine assembly, and performance install. The future continues to look bright with turnkey turbo kits, performance ECU software, and wide range of high quality bolt-ons currently in development.
5. We have a full in house CNC Shop
One of the things that sets IE apart from a lot of competitors is that a great deal of production is done on site. Having a full in-house CNC machine shop gives us the control to get things done quickly and ensure that the quality meets our high end standards. It is also ethically important to IE to maintain as many jobs in United States as possible. A few pieces of machinery worth mentioning are:
- Two vertical CNC mills.
- A small yet fast lathe, which is perfect for small parts and valvetrain.
- A Mori NLX2000SY - milling and turning center. This thing is the real deal and requires an expert/magician to be run correctly.
- Production Sunnen Hone - this machine is what we hone our connecting rods on. Making sure the connecting rod bearing tolerances are perfect is what makes or breaks a connecting rod.
6. Our first product was a connecting rod
The first IE product was a drop-in connecting rod for the 1.8T engine (produced from 1997 to 2006 in the USA). We were one of the first companies to pursue a connecting rod that utilized the stock pistons, which saved enthusiasts a lot of cash. This product eventually put us on the map and the brand grew from there. Now IE has 350 products and thousands of IE part numbers.
7. We came from a racing background
Pete and Dave also had the opportunity growing up to compete in a couple different automotive racing classes. In the early days this included briggs and stratton go-karts which eventually lead to the much faster shifter karts. Other automotive racing experience included formula fords and spec miata racing.
8. IE has two dyno facilities
All of our products are dyno proven for maximum hp with reliability in mind.
What good does the consumer get from non-validated parts. The answer? Not much. One thing IE has always prided itself on is only selling products that improve your car’s performance - we save the pointless modifications for ebay. When we decided to start developing high end engine parts, such as intake manifolds, we purchased a Superflow 902 engine dyno in order to make them perform as well as possible. Further down the line when we started our own software development, a Dynapack AWD hub dyno was purchased to expedite product development.
9. IE is based out of Salt Lake City, Utah
Why Utah? Surprisingly, we get this question all the time. The simple answer is the Blais family grew up skiing on the east coast and eventually decided to trade hardcore east coast ice for bluebird knee deep powder days in Utah. Unbeknownst to many, Utah is a legendary outdoor playground and has unparalleled access to hiking, biking, rock climbing and several other activities.
On top of that, IE is located minutes away from the world renowned Utah Motorsports Campus (formerly Miller Motor Speedway) and the Bonneville Salt Flats. We test all our parts on the racetrack to ensure they are good enough for your daily driver.
To check out one Bonneville project IE was a part of, check out the following link: http://www.performancebyie.com/blog/ie-powered-vw-passat-220-mph-climbing/
10. Product testing is our priority
A lot of times IE is not the first to market with our performance parts. This due in part to performing months and sometimes years of testing on products to ensure the utmost performance and safety for our customers. A great example of a product is camber plates that underwent several track session at Miller Motorsports Park before being released to the public.
11. We are serious about precision tolerances
The products we make require exacting tolerances to function correctly. For example IE high pressure fuel pumps require a tolerances measured to millionths of an inch. An ultra precise air gauge measuring tool is used to ensure the utmost reliability. IE connecting rods are also honed in-house with a cylindrical tolerance of .0002 of an inch.
We also ensure products always go on the first time with a perfect fit. No tweaking, bending or rigging parts to fit are needed. That's the IE way.
Want to know more about Integrated Engineering? Feel free to ask us more questions in the comments and we may just do a follow up article using your questions.