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Expansion takes an Innovative turn at Malco Products SBC


Malco Products designs and manufactures innovative tools and equipment used in HVAC; roofing, siding, and gutter; fence, deck, and rail; and automotive industries. Serving trade professionals throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe, the company's offerings include hand tools, power tools, autobody tools, chain link and vinyl fencing, fiberglass and metal ductwork, drywall, flooring, gutter and downspout, roofing, and siding.

The Challenge

In the wake of significant growth, Malco Products found themselves running short of manufacturing capacity in 2016. The tool manufacturer needed more space, equipment and skilled labor to keep up with demand for products they had recently innovated.

Collaborating with UW-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center (MOC), part of the MEP National Network™, the company once again applied innovative thinking to meet this challenge.

With Innovations Management System and UW-Stout MOC's continued guidance, we're eliminating ineffective paradigms and now approach all aspects of our business differently.
— Eric Peterson, Director, Sales and Marketing

MEP's Role

Familiar with Innovation Management System (IMS) through previous work with UW-Stout MOC, Malco Products seized the paradigm shift this system brings. Originally the company entertained ideas of expanding the existing facility or building a new facility. Taking an innovative approach, they opened their minds to the possibility of utilizing an older facility outside their local area, and in early 2017 purchased a 346,000 sq. ft. plant located in DeWitt, Nebraska.

Closed since 2008, the former Vice-Grip plant location will soon re-open as Malco Products’ manufacturing site for the multi-tier Eagle Grip locking pliers. The new product line will make a domestically produced locking pliers a reality again for the first time in nearly 10 years, while providing opportunity for DeWitt’s skilled workforce. Manufacturing is scheduled to begin at the DeWitt site in fall 2018, and Malco looks forward to introducing new Eagle Grip products in 2019.

“We attribute this success, in large part, to innovative thinking initiated here by UW-Stout MOC,” said Eric Peterson, Malco Products' Director of Sales and Marketing.

Created March 4, 2021, Updated July 12, 2021