HERMANSVILLE - Stewart Manufacturing in Hermansville is branching out with a 21,000-square-foot expansion of its facility to include room for its latest acquisition, American Instrument & Implant, manufacturer of medical implants and instruments.
Acquired in downstate Manton in 2012 as American Tool and Die, the company has undergone a transition since purchased by Stewart Manufacturing owner Greg Stewart of Hamilton Lakes, Vulcan. The general tool and die manufacture was converted this year to a sole focus of medical devices, a lesser division of the original company. The move from Manton to Hermansville was completed earlier this summer.
"The growth opportunities were coming so fast that we were unable to keep up with the pace due to the fact we could not find a skilled labor force to add shifts to accommodate the growth. The decision was then made to move the business to the newly-constructed expansion of the parent company," said Stewart.
Process Technician at American Instrument & Implant Karl Scheeneman works in a 7-axis mill/turn machine producing titanium spinal implants. The medical implant and instrument manufacture is a subsidiary of Stewart Manufacturing in Hermansville and was recently moved to the home base in Hermansville.
All equipment was relocated over a three-week period with the help of key Manton employees, some of whom have relocated here with the company.
The existing Stewart Manufacturing employees stepped right up to the challenge of the new technology and did not skip a beat with our customers," he said.
Stewart added the company hopes to construct a separate, dedicated building for the medical business in the next year.
"We expect that over the next five years we will add 20 to 30 new jobs on the medical side alone," he said.
Major markets for American products are orthopedic and spinal implants and instrumentation. That company currently employs 10 people.
While American Instrument & Implant is settled in a 2000-square-foot section of the new Stewart Manufacturing expansion, the remainder of that facility is being outfitted with the latest technology for machining equipment, including two new robots expected soon, along with other equipment due to be up and running late in the third quarter or early in the fourth.
Stewart Manufacturing produces products for the diesel engine, agricultural, and mining industries. It marked its 10th anniversary last year as a precision machining company with a record of growth and stability. Despite an unstable national economy, Stewart experienced an average year-on-year growth of 31 percent during its 10-year span. Annual sales are over $20 million.
Stewart purchased the assets of PS Manufacturing in Spalding in 2003 with just nine employees and 17,000-square-feet of space. By 2005 more space and employees were needed and Stewart purchased the former Les Brown Chair factory in the Hermansville Industrial Park, which gave the company 77,000 square feet. Today's Stewart employment is at 120, and expected to increase as the new machinery comes on line.