The story behind The Kinetic Co., Inc. is a story of entrepreneurial spirit. During the late 1940’s an industrial salesman named C.L. Masters heard many of his northern Wisconsin customers ask if he knew of a source for better quality industrial knives. They repeatedly asked for higher quality knives than were available on the market.
After continued growth from its beginnings, Kinetic ran out of room at it’s original location on South 34th
Street. In 1970 Kinetic moved to Greendale, where it is still located today.
In October of 1970. as they just completed the new facility in Greendale, C.L. the company’s founder, suffered a fatal heart attack. Control of the company was turned over to Joseph by his mother Emily. At the young age of 22, Joseph was now in charge of a growing and successful company. This transition was seamless and work at Kinetic continued. Running Kinetic was Joseph’s dream so he took the opportunity and ran with it. Every day for the next 43 years, Joseph would put every effort into making Kinetic bigger and better. He wanted to prove to his father that he could run Kinetic. This was a task that Joseph never fell short on.
In 1975, Kinetic purchased the steel mill shear knife line from The Tool Steel Gear and Pinion Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. This purchase entered Kinetic into the steel mill market for shear blades and slitters. These product lines have seen continued growth for Kinetic and have been a key part of Kinetic’s overall success in the industrial knife market.
In this same year Kinetic took another big step and built an addition for our heat treating and machining department. The key new piece of equipment for this building was a 156” long vertical vacuum furnace. This was one of two built. This furnace was purchased primarily for the carburization and tempering of our paper winding mandrels. This furnace has been a key part of the success and quality of our mandrels.
In 1983, Kinetic started to distribute paper mill log saws from a company in Sheffield, England called Microblade. In short time Kinetic became Microblade’s largest customer, and in 1985 Joseph made the decision to purchase Microblade. For a continuously growing company this was a much needed step for Kinetic. This purchase allowed Kinetic to supply a paper mill with virtually all items that were needed for their converting lines.
The word “CNC” became the buzz-word for manufacturing during the 80’s – Joseph’s desire to keep Kinetic on the front edge of technology led to us purchasing our first CNC lathe turning center. This machine was a Hitachi Seiki Lathe that was equipped with a shuttle table and robot arm for loading. Two years later the first CNC milling machine was purchased. This machine was a Toyoda Vertical mill. From this point on all new mills and lathes were CNC.
In the 90’s Kinetic saw two expansions - the first was an office expansion. At the time office space was very much needed. Kinetic actually had some second shift office employees. This new expansion was fresh with lots of lighting and plenty of space. To make room for more new heat treating equipment, a new shop addition was completed in 1995. This made room for Kinetic to install two new heat treating furnaces and more milling machines.
This decade saw another big change for Kinetic. Both of Joseph’s sons, Cash and Jared, became involved in the business. Cash, his older son was always interested in mechanical things – probably from his days of working and growing up on the family’s farm. While going to college, Cash worked part time in the plant where he wanted to learn all the machines and processes. Cash’s direct involvement on the shop floor has allowed for Kinetic’s continued growth – with his intimate knowledge of our shop, he has been able to help improve our processes by building on methods from years ago, incorporating new equipment and technology, and delivering to our customers the product they desire.
Jared, Joseph’s younger son could not have been more different than Cash. From a young age Jared was always interested in computers. This obviously came from Joseph, who knew computers were the key to the future and since the late 70’s insisted Kinetic keep up with this new technology. Jared worked part time at Kinetic while going to college just as Cash did. Jared played a key role in implementing Kinetic’s newest ERP system in the late 90’s.
Into the new millennium, Cash and Jared became more involved with Joseph in running the day to day operations of Kinetic. Cash continued in the plant specifying new equipment, overseeing installation, and manufacturing product. Jared became involved in sales and made many trips around the world meeting with customers, learning the products and understanding what the customers were looking for in order to help Kinetic continue to grow.
As the new millennia grew on, Joseph, Cash, and Jared discussed a new plant addition. However they kept finding a corner to add a machine being uncertain about the future of the economy. Then at the worst time our economy had seen in years, 2009, they decided to “pull the trigger” and build the biggest addition Kinetic ever did....12,000 square feet with two – 15 ton cranes. This building was designed to handle some of the largest grinders in the midwest. Timing could not have been more perfect for the completion of this addition. While the paint was still drying Cash secured a deal with the local power plant to do rebuild service on some of their equipment. During the building design stage, Joseph questioned Cash why Kinetic, a manufacturer of industrial knives, would need 15T cranes. Once this new work was flowing in – and parts were maxing out the lifting capacity of the cranes – his questions were answered.
Then, as it happened 43 years earlier, tragedy struck Kinetic again in 2013. While on vacation Joseph suffered a fatal heart attack. Sadly, it was only a few months before his planned retirement, a day he had been looking forward to – the transition and running of the company to be turned over officially to Cash and Jared. But surrounded by a management team, many who had grown up with Kinetic, not a beat was missed – customers continue to receive the same high quality product that Kinetic has supplied the market for over 65 years.
Jared, now president of Kinetic and Cash as Vice President will continue their grandfather’s and father’s passion of making industrial knives and providing machining and other services to local and worldwide companies.
With a strive and eagerness to continue the growth that the group of companies has seen over the years, in October of 2013, Kinetic purchased the perforation blade product line of Kopess Mfg. In January of 2014, Microblade Limited purchased the assets of Tempered Tools, a world renowned manufacture of high quality Slitter Tooling and Rolls for the steel industry.
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