Pindel Global Precision
2505 S. 170th St., New Berlin
Industry: Precision machined components
Pindel Global Precision was known for years as A.S. Pindel Corp., until the company rebranded at the start of this year to communicate its international ambitions.
“One of the beautiful things about the kind of parts that we make is that they’re very shippable, so really the globe is our opportunity set,” said Bill Berrien, chief executive officer at Pindel.
Berrien acquired Pindel in 2012, but Mark Pindel, the former owner, stayed on as president.
The New Berlin-based company operates from a 40,000-square-foot plant just south of West Lincoln Avenue. Berrien said the firm provides complex machined parts at medium volume for a variety of markets, including hydraulics, motion controls, industrial controls, automation, power distribution, heat transfer, firearms, some recreational markets and some light trucks.
The company also is looking to launch a sales team in Mexico with the goal of bringing some precision-related work back to Wisconsin.
“There are other folks, here, globally, that supply a more basic part; we like the ones with a little bit of challenge to them,” Berrien said.
Pindel focuses on parts with multiple features, close tolerances and other unique challenges. While the company will partner with customers on design for manufacturability, much of Pindel’s engineering focuses on how to produce parts internally.
“We like the opportunities of a high-mix environment. What we want to try to optimize is switchovers between the runs that need to be done,” Berrien said.
Historically, the company produced parts through multiple machining processes, but new investments in advanced CNC and CNC Swiss machines cut down on the number of steps.
“If you can get (parts) coming off complete in the machines, it’s really a game-changer,” Berrien said.
Berrien’s history doesn’t immediately suggest he would own and run a precision machine shop. He spent nine years as a Navy SEAL before joining GE Healthcare. He left GE and became chief operating officer at a friend’s startup that set up dialysis clinics. His next stop was Milwaukee investment management firm Artisan Partners, before he decided to use the proceeds from his startup equity to buy a company of his own.
But Berrien said he does see a lot of similarity between his time in the Navy SEALs and running the company, particularly when it comes to elements of leadership in smaller organizations. He said in both cases, he’s relying on people who are deeply experienced in different areas.
“People need to have the ability to contribute based on their experience and their insights and it’s definitely not top-down directed,” he said.
Berrien described Pindel’s organizational structure as a series of concentric circles with the production team at the core and other functions supporting the team and removing obstacles.
“They’re the ones creating the most direct value in solving the customer problems,” he said.
To rely on the production team means Pindel needs to have the right staff in place.
“Without a doubt, it is a talent business so the burden is on us to identify, recruit, train and retain skill. And skill that wants to stay here, skill that wants to grow with us,” Berrien said.
Pindel tries to do its part in preparing future manufacturing talent for the region. The company was named a friend of education by the School District of New Berlin, routinely hosts two or three GPS Education Partners students, has part-time positions for high school students and offers internships to engineering students from state universities.