Dale Skoog, president and general manager of Osseo-based Die Technology Inc., is expanding his offerings in high-precision manufacturing with the launch of a sister company, Nanotech Precision.
Die Technology, founded in 1988, is a tooling manufacturer and machining-services company that designs and builds microsize components for the medical device, automotive, defense and aerospace sectors.
Nanotech Precision, incubated within Die Technology for the past few years, specializes in high-volume machining of complex small and micro-sized instruments, electrodes and components for the medical, electronic and aerospace industries. They are used in such products as minimally invasive catheters and heart rhythmic device components.
The two firms separated at the start of 2019, Skoog said. Die Technology has 25 employees and expects to hire two to three this year. Nanotech Precision has 20 employees and is looking to add five.
“In September 2016 we moved Nanotech into separate space,” Skoog said. “We were going to grow out of that space in two years or shut it down. We’re going on two and a half years and we’re bursting at the seams so we’re doubling the floor space for Nanotech.”
Both companies do business in Minnesota but ship products throughout the country and to Europe, Skoog said. He declined to name customers but said they include “the core medical device companies in town.”
Nanotech Precision was formed as Die Technology employees’ growing proficiency led to opportunities to do high-volume production of components with highly accurate microscopic features arose, Skoog said.
Skoog, Die Technology’s sole owner for more than a decade, joined Die Technology in 1989 and moved into management before buying the company.
Q: What is the strength of each company?
A: Die Technology excels in building precision stamping dies for thin and ultrathin materials. That gives us a knowledge base for producing high-precision assemblies and components. We’ve been doing that for 30 years. We developed Nanotech Precision to do high-volume production of small and micro-sized components. Our niche is to build small components with micro features in high volume.
Q: What are your goals for both companies?
A: We’ve made significant commitments to our customers; we’ve taken orders that are doable but a stretch. So we’re looking at significant growth for both companies for this year. We want to add some new technology. We’re trying to make the best of the skilled people that we have and give them new tools to do their job, and it seems to work really well.
Q: What’s driving your growth?
A: A lot of what we do is pushing the envelope of our competitors. We have the ability to get down to a little finer resolution or bring the size of our machined features a little smaller and a little more accurate. There’s a miniaturization in manufacturing and we’re trying to be a significant player in that space.
Q: How great a challenge is hiring?
A: It always is. But business is done by people. You start by hiring good people, allow them to develop their skills and then you give them the equipment and resources they need to exploit their skills. Then you add some technology advancement and more training. It ratchets up as you develop people and give them the equipment. We focus on the people. We view the people in the company as the company.
Todd Nelson is a freelance writer in Lake Elmo. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.