In September 2016, Hanson Mold celebrated its 50th anniversary serving the die cast and plastic molding industries from the company’s mid-western home in southwest Michigan. “We design, build, sample and inspect die cast tooling primarily for the automotive market,” said Dan Mitchell, President of Hanson Mold. Specifically, Hanson Mold builds production and pre-production die cast dies and plastic injection molds for any aluminum or plastic part found under the hood of a car.
The company prides itself in its competency of every aspect of the die cast building process from the initial design all the way through the final inspection. Starting with two people, company founder Merlin Hanson launched Weldun Mold in 1966 as a division of Weldun Tool and Engineering in Three Oaks, Mich. In 1971, the company moved to Bridgman, Mich., and changed their corporate name to Weldun International. Over the next decade, the mold division grew to more than 80 teammates. In 1986, Hanson realized his company would need the resources of a larger corporation going forward and sold all divisions of Weldun International to Bosch Corporation. On Jan. 1, 1987, Hanson purchased the Mold Division back from Bosch as they had no plans to build mold tooling. He renamed it Hanson Mold, and moved it from Bridgman to St. Joseph, Mich. There he built a new facility on 50 acres consisting of a 32,000 square foot building for manufacturing, 7,500 square feet for the office and engineering area, and a separate 5,000 square foot test building used for sampling their dies. The test building was expanded to 10,000 square feet in 1997 to accommodate a 1,600 ton die cast machine to go along with the original 600-ton machine. A 10,000-square foot addition to the manufacturing building was completed in 2012 to bring the total manufacturing floor space to 42,000 square feet.
Hanson, a tool and die apprentice graduate himself, takes pride in the people that work at Hanson Mold. Most of the company’s machinists, moldmakers, and managers served their apprenticeship at Hanson Mold. “We’ve been fortunate to build this company into a fine operation with great people, offering them good wages and benefits. That’s overall what I’m as proud of as anything,” Hanson said, reflecting on his life’s work and his accomplishments. Although Hanson built several thriving companies over the past decades, three of which still operate under the Hanson Group today, his sentiment reveals that – above everything – locating, training, retaining and rewarding outstanding teammates is at the heart of his success. Throughout his tenure in business, Hanson has proven that these things are important to him: the security of his people, involvement in his community, and the reputation of his companies.
Today, Hanson Mold is a flourishing, world class tooling company that not only values its teammates, but also the community in which it is located. “We know that we can’t draw people to the area unless it’s a vibrant place,” Hanson said. “We try to involve ourselves; we are active in the community college, local Chambers of Commerce, built the first local hospice center in the area, supported a new heart center which is under construction at Lakeland Medical Center, and more. Our purpose is to create an environment that is comfortable to move into, with good schools. I think that’s part of the responsibility for people who employ others in the area.” The Hanson family has also played an important role in promoting the future of manufacturing in the region through Lake Michigan College. Last August, the college cut the ribbon to announce the grand opening of the Hanson Technology Center, named in honor of Merlin and Carolyn Hanson. The Center will help create a workforce critical to the future of manufacturing and the region’s economy.
Hanson still serves as Chairman of the Board at the Hanson Group, while his son, Greg Hanson, is President of Hanson Group. “The Hanson family has always recognized that it’s the people in their businesses that make them successful.” said Dan Mitchell, President of Hanson Mold. “We have a strong set of core values and a strong culture that grew our company into a world class manufacturer.” Merlin Hanson frequently reminds the team that the company could buy a lot of equipment and build the best of facilities, but it’s the people that make the business spin. “The rest of it you can do with a pickle if you get it going fast enough,” Hanson added.
"Mitchell disse. Embora Hanson Molde tenha a capacidade de máquina de todos os componentes de suas matrizes em casa, eles também contam com outros especialistas no campo e Castec Corporation tem sido um fornecedor de longa data de pinos de núcleo para Hanson Mold. "Castec tem sido um muito confiável Fonte para usarmos quando precisarmos de capacidade adicional em nosso departamento de torneamento CNC ", acrescentou Mitchell. Além disso, Hanson Mold é dedicado a avançar a indústria de transformação através da colaboração. A empresa faz parte da Berrien Tooling Coalition, um grupo que se reúne para compartilhar recursos e informações que podem ajudar a tornar-se mais forte. A empresa também tem sido parte da American Mold Construtores Association desde a década de 1970, Esse foi um ano difícil para todos ", disse Mitchell. "De 2010 até 2016, nós vimos muito crescimento em nossos negócios como a indústria automotiva tem sido muito forte." A demanda por peças de alumínio em veículos subiu, e que a demanda tem sido uma força motriz para a empresa.
E eu acredito que seu futuro nesta empresa e nesta indústria é tão bom quanto ou melhor do que era para mim e minha geração há mais de 35 anos ", disse Mitchell. "Greg Hanson também é muito inflexível que mesmo que nós apenas comemoramos 50 anos, nós estaremos um dia comemorando 100 anos aqui em St. Joseph."
|Company Name: Castec Corporation|
Mike Yamashita - Sales Manager
Nicki Murphy - Sales
|Company Name: KM Industrial Machinery|
530 West Kalamazoo
Ave. Kalamazoo, Ml 49007
Phones: 1 800 727 6625 / 269 381 0690
On the Web at: www.km-industrial.com