Reich Tool & Design stays innovative after 50 years

Made in Milwaukee

Mike Fiduccia makes an adjustment on Reich Tool & Design’s new Swiss turning machine.

Reich Tool & Design Inc.
W175 N5750 Technology Drive, Menomonee Falls
Industry: Die making and contract machining
Employees: 63

Reich Tool & Design  employee Jason Woiak sets a tool in a CNC machine.
Reich Tool & Design employee Jason Woiak sets a tool in a CNC machine.

Reich Tool & Design Inc. recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, and one of its keys to success over the past half century has been diversification.

Following some tough times brought on by recessions and 9/11, the second-generation, privately-held manufacturing company came up with a diversification business plan and implemented cross-training.

“We keep a good, strong company being diversified between our customer base and our core competencies,” said president Fritz Reich.

According to Reich, RTD and its sister company, Trinity Biomedical Inc., have three core competencies.

“Our roots – and still it’s the largest portion of what we do – is we design and build metal stamping dies for many, many industries,” he said. “Number two, we do contract machining, again, for many industries. And the third is our medical cleanroom, where we support the medical device industry.”

Trinity Biomedical was formed in 2008 and resides in the same Menomonee Falls location as RTD. The companies service many industries, including appliance, medical and aerospace. In fact, in 2007, RTD received aerospace contracts from NASA.

RTD was started by Fred and Judy Reich in 1965 in a 500-square-foot rented shop in Butler. In 1999, their sons took over the leadership, with Fritz Reich becoming president and Brett Reich vice president.

Today, RTD and Trinity Biomedical are located in a 52,000-square-foot “RTD Innovation Center” that opened in 2007.

Mike Fiduccia makes an adjustment on Reich Tool & Design’s new Swiss turning machine.
Mike Fiduccia makes an adjustment on Reich Tool & Design’s new Swiss turning machine.

Fritz said the square footage of the building, which sits on 44 acres, is capable of nearly doubling, and it may undergo a full expansion within the next five years to accommodate future growth.

RTD’s revenue has grown 15 percent per year for the past 10 years, with its biggest growth year in 2006 with 37 percent.

The growth is due to high quality work and long-term relationships with customers.

Next year, the Reichs are anticipating an increase in revenue of 15 to 20 percent. They predict this growth to occur because of the addition of a sales and marketing director and the investment in more than $1 million worth of new equipment in the past year.

“We can only grow as fast as we pick up people,” Fritz said. “In the past, if you got work you’d buy equipment and you hire people. Now, you have to try and find people, and if you find people then you buy equipment and the work will be there. We’re doing it the opposite of anything we ever did.”

RTD and Trinity Biomedical’s clients are from all over North America and are mainly OEMs and contract manufacturers.

RTD has about 63 employees, and is currently hiring for half a dozen positions. Trinity Biomedical has five employees.

The companies operate on two shifts, and all of their products are “very customized.”

For metal stamping, employees receive prints and solid models of parts that need to be mass produced by customers. Then they design and build stamping dies to produce the parts, and the customers run the dies in production stamping presses.

The contract machining and Trinity Biomedical manufacturing processes are similar in that they both receive prints and models from the customers, order the materials, computer program the machining paths and machine them using CNC mill/turn machines, wire EDMs (electrical discharge machines), waterjets, and/or utilize cleaning, passivation, assembly and packaging in the medical cleanroom.

Fritz said the people and culture of the companies are what sets them apart from their competitors.

“Our people are happy and proud of what they do,” Fritz said. “We’re a family company, and we certainly care about our people.”

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