Founded in 1982 as a High-Quality, Precision Enterprise
Founded in 1982 by industry leader Ralph “Buck” Cates, our mission was clear. Be the very best you can be and others will follow. From a small repurposed 5,000 square foot shop, Ralph expanded it twice in the following 5 years to 17,000 square and needed more help. In 1988 that help arrived in the form of a buyout from local business leader Phil Reader and former family owner of the famed Lake Lawn Lodge resort on nearby Delavan Lake. Phil helped turn the business from startup to a strong industry leader by the early 90’s. Phil’s son Mike arrived in late 1995 from the Commodity Futures Industry to help take the business to even higher levels and by 1998 we had outgrown the existing facility located in Walworth, Wisconsin.
A search for a new green site led us to the welcoming community of Elkhorn, Wisconsin and a new 45,000 square foot manufacturing facility was completed in February of 2000. This set the stage for growth and expansion of markets to this day. The expansion led to our first CNC Swiss lathe. It was a wonderful complement to our 80 Swiss made Tornos machines and again opened up new opportunities in more complex precision parts. By 2007 we had 11 CNC Swiss machines. We then added 4 more CNC Swiss machines, our first from Tsugami and another 3 Tsugami CNC Swiss in 2009 in the heart of the great recession. Based on customer demand, we also added a 2” capacity Miyano ABX-51SY CNC Turret Lathe. This was the first departure from Swiss style machining and a wonderful compliment to the existing technology platforms and filled a much needed gap in size capability.
In the last few years, we have invested more than 10 million in capital equipment to ensure our standing as an industry leader in precision machining. We now have 27, state of the art CNC Swiss-type machines, 6 Miyano ABX CNC Turret Lathes up to 2.5” capacity and 70 Tornos, Swiss made, cam actuated machines for very small, close tolerance work. But all this means nothing if not for the skilled craftsmen and women we work with every day. We continue to lead the industry not only in machining, but the development of the next generation of manufacturing professionals to ensure the legacy continues.
Going forward, Mike is still blessed to have his father by his side, and looks forward to having one or both of his boys (Mike and Ryan) join him in the business. Together with our sixty-five dedicated employees we continue to partner and grow with clients in a variety of industries. We are committed to being the very best, family owned and operated American manufacturer of precision machined parts in the world. No worries of off shoring, corporate thinking or venture capital rollups, we are here for the long haul and committed to our customers, employees and community partners.