Reed City Tool expands, grows over 55-year history

REED CITY — A Reed City company that has seen fluxuating fortunes for more than half a century is expecting it’s most successful year in 2013, with $15 million in sales. Reed City Tool, which first opened in 1958, has bounced back from threats of closure and economic uncertainty to see an increase in sales and production for each of the past three years. The shop opened in a 6,000 square-foot garage and has since expanded to an 80,0000 square-foot facility. In 2009, the operation sold $7.5 million worth of product. This year, it expects that number to double. Reed City Tool manufactures molds for automotive parts and materials such as capless gas pump plastic inserts, automotive interior fixtures, front grills for automobiles, knobs and various other plastic pieces. It also builds hydraulic presses and embossing dies for items such as plastic injection molded parts and garage doors. Eighty percent of garage door manufacturers in the world use equipment produced at Reed City Tool. “The overall market for our industry has improved,” said owner Rod Weck, who purchased the business in 2009. “All areas of our business have improved over the past three years. We have the fastest hydraulic press in the world.” The business’ continued growth has led to its recent purchase of a brand new 20-ton truck along to deliver constructed presses and manufactured items. The business also recently purchased a new OKK machine that doubles the capacity for high-speed machining. Currently employing 75 individuals, 30 of whom were hired in the past three years, the company aims to build the local economy by providing jobs and supporting other local companies. “We employ skilled tradesman and they make skilled trade wages,” said sales program manager Ron Marek. “Our primary electric and logic (provider) is a Reed City company. It’s certainly a plus for the local community.” Investing $1.6 million into additional property and new equipment since he bought the company, Weck said he expects the business to continue growth throughout the coming years. “It’s been a needed investment,” Weck said, of the financial investment. “The employees like it because they have more job security.” Along with additional expected sales and personnel expansions, Weck plans to extend the facility to land west of the current building in the future.