Oak Creek-based Superior Die Set Corp. increased sales by 13 percent in the last six months, and this year plans to hire eight to 10 employees and spend $1 million in new machinery.
“We embrace change, and we’re always challenging the assumptions that what we’ve been doing all along is the right thing,” said president Frank Janiszewski.
One of the 92-year-old, fourth generation company’s upcoming initiatives is a new online training program developed by the National Tooling and Machining Association that allows employees to virtually learn how to run machine tools.
Available courses include basic math, blueprint reading, problem solving and CNC machining.
Janiszewski anticipates about six employees to start the program in the latter part of the year. Each module consists of three courses, and it will take employees one hour a day, four days a week for a month to complete a course.
Employees may do anywhere from one to four modules, Janiszewski said. The company pays for the training (a module costs $500 to $750), and the employees do the training on their own time.
Another upcoming goal for Superior Die Set is to reduce its lead times by 75 percent. Instead of turning around work in four to six days, employees would do it in one or two days.
That initiative was one of the many details about the company that Janiszewski shared with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Friday when he visited for a tour. Ryan stopped by several First District businesses that day in his efforts to commemorate their achievements and to hear their opinions on issues.
One of the congressman’s takeaways from his visit at Superior Die Set was on the economic trend of reshoring.
“I wanted (Ryan) to know that it’s real and the reasons for it and that it helps us and other manufacturers if we’re bringing that type of work back to the U.S.,” Janiszewski said.
According to Janiszewski, Superior Die Set has undergone myriad changes over the last 18 months since bringing on a new vice president of manufacturing, including new positioning of equipment and adjusting the process flow.
“If you saw the plant a year-and-a-half, two years ago, you wouldn’t recognize what it is today,” Janiszewski said.
Additionally, Superior Die Set hired 15 employees over the last couple years, and it invested $2.8 million in capital expenditures from 2013-2014.
Superior Die Set employs 200 in Oak Creek, 26 at its Greendale Precision Services subsidiary and 275 at its Poland subsidiary.
For more information on Superior Die Set, read its Sept. 2, 2013 Made in Milwaukee profile.