Cedarburg manufacturer expands

Carlson Tool & Manufacturing Corp. recently began a 10,800 square foot addition to its Mequon facility, expected to be completed before the end of the year.

Carlson Tool & Manufacturing Corp., a Cedarburg-based tool and die and precision hole drilling company, recently began a 10,800-square-foot expansion of its 48,000-square foot-facility at 5545 W. Pioneer Road, Mequon.

The company’s headquarters and design, tooling and molding facility also is along Pioneer Road, but just across the border in Cedarburg.

The expansion of Carlson’s Mequon building should be finished in early October, said Jerry Edquist, president and chief executive officer of the company. Machinery used in the building’s existing footprint will be moved into the new space, he said, and new equipment that has been ordered will be moved into existing space.

The new equipment is expected to be in place by early 2009, Edquist said. "We’re making room for some of the larger equipment that we ordered earlier this year," he said.

Carlson Tool & Manufacturing’s east facility has all of the company’s expansion room, Edquist said, with a total of 32 acres available.

"The east plant is readily expandable, and that plant is very full," he said. "This is part of our ongoing growth and expanding our marketplace presence."

When the expansion is finalized, Carlson will have more than 100,000 square feet of space between its four facilities. Aside from its Cedarburg and Mequon buildings, the company also has small operations in California and Alabama.

In total, Carlson has 157 employees, 150 of whom work in its local operations. The expansion will enable the company to hire 10 to 15 new workers eventually, Edquist said.

"As we bring new equipment in, we hire in a dribble here and there as we bring in work to fill up the machines," he said. "We’re going to be continuing our trend of adding (employees), but it depends on the size of equipment we order."

Carlson Tool & Manufacturing will have more than $30 million in sales for fiscal 2008, up 20 percent from fiscal 2007, Edquist said.

While crews are still building the 10,000-square-foot addition, Carlson already has plans for a 30,000-square-foot expansion that will be needed within the next three to five years, Edquist said.

"We’ll reconfigure this space (under construction now) into part manufacturing, part office and our lunch room when we do the next expansion," Edquist said. "We’re positioning ourselves in the market, expanding our geographic footprint and our work is coming in bigger chunks now. The upward potential is pretty interesting."

For more information, visit www.carlsontool.com.

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