How Hard Work, An Idea & Persistence Pays Off…
Frank Agius began practicing locksmithing in 1959 in addition to his cabinet-making business. As he became more involved with lock work, he realized that he needed a better machine to originate keys than what was currently available. He designed a code machine for his own use, made up of spare parts he found around the house. Accurate to one-half thousandth of an inch (.0005″), the machine could cut depths ranging from .115″ to .400″ and accommodate practically any cylinder key. A distributor in Detroit, Sam Solomon of Hugo Solomon and Sons, heard of Frank’s invention and talked him into traveling to a few trade shows to see if there would be a market for the machine. There was definitely interest, and with the help of Sam and a few other investor-friends, Framon Manufacturing Company was formed. The first Framon Code Machine was shipped in 1972.
One snag that was constantly showing it’s face was the lack of depth and space information that was critical to use the machine. Frank sent out requests to most of the lock manufacturers for depth and space information. Only one reply was sent back, and it explained that information on depths and spaces was not available. With that, Frank sat down at the family kitchen table armed with a set of dial calipers and began to decipher everything he could about various locks and keys. Many nights were spent determining the various space and depth information. Things have really changed today, as almost every manufacturer releases this info on request.
The #2 became well-known throughout the industry as a highly accurate and durable code machine. Frank even showed this off at many trade shows by dropping the machine from the table, picking it up and cutting a perfect key with the machine. The #2 Code Machine remains one of Framon’s best selling machines.
Throughout the formation and early days of the company, Frank’s wife, Barbara, played an important role. Keeping the books at night after work, paying the companies’ bills, and raising the children kept her very busy. Dad frequently attributed the success of the company to mom – “Couldn’t have done it without her!” She agrees it was difficult but well worth the work – but still gives dad most of the credit. Typical husband & wife – they can’t agree on anything!
Frank & Barb Agius – Founders of Framon Manufacturing Company, Inc.
In 1982, Frank designed a new machine for cutting tubular keys. The TKM-100 was Framon’s second machine, and is used by many locksmiths and tubular lock manufacturer’s daily.
Many other machines were designed and marketed: a flat steel key duplicator, a drill fixture for safe work, a machine to duplicate high security automotive keys, and dedicated code machines. We continually strive to meet the demands of today’s locksmiths and lock manufacturers to produce a key machine that will be highly accurate, durable, and easy to use.
Frank began teaching free seminars on key machines and key cutting in the mid-1980’s. The “Frank and Bill Show” featuring Frank and Bill Reed began an age of free education for locksmiths all through the United States.
Frank began teaching free seminars on key machines and key cutting in the mid-1980’s. The “Frank and Bill Show” began an age of free education for locksmiths all through the United States.
Frank passed away in May of 2003. The company is now owned & operated by his daughter and two sons. In addition to the manufacturing company, our family also operates a full time lock shop. Frank’s Key & Lock Shop serves as our testing ground for any new machine ideas. Our customers appreciate the fact that when they call us for information, they aren’t just talking to salespeople.
Thousands of locksmiths around the world rely on our machines every day for their code work and duplicating needs. Feel free to contact us for further information. If you would like a catalog, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.