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VistaTek acquires UFE complex

By: Frank Antosiewicz

March 8, 2013

VADNAIS HEIGHTS, MINN. -- Vista Technologies LLC plans to more than triple the size of its operations with the purchase of a two-building, 56,000-square-foot complex in Stillwater, Minn., that formerly housed the operations of UFE Inc.

"We've done some internal growing. Now it is time to expand externally," said Dan Mishek, managing partner of Vadnais Heights, Minn.-based VistaTek, in a telephone interview.

He said VistaTek has boosted its certifications such as ISO 9001:2008 and UL in recent years, and its 15,000-square-foot facility is getting cramped.

The company is planning an 18-mile move to Stillwater, where it will refurbish the UFE complex, which has been closed since 2009, he said. VistaTek plans to occupy the building by July.

The company was started in 1996 as Vista Technologies by Jim and Lorinda Mishek. It is now owned by their children, Dan and Allen, and Jennifer Sutherland, and uses the name VistaTek.

The two buildings — with 48,000 and 8,000 square feet of space — were used for injection molding before, so they offer a strong base to work with, Dan Mishek said. VistaTek will redo the floors, paint the walls, update the lighting and add a heating and cooling system.

VistaTek is adding a Milltronics high-speed milling machine, as well as three Arburg injection molding machines. When the facility is up and running, it will have seven presses, with clamping forces up to 220 tons.

"Ideally we would like to have them delivered to Stilllwater and bring them online so there is no downtime during the move," said Mishek, noting that once the new machinery is running, it will allow a controlled move from Vadnais Heights.

He said all 26 employees are expected to make the move and they are already looking to hire six more workers. The company worked with Stillwater officials and gained a five-year tax incremental financing agreement for $250,000. It does require that the company maintain 35 employees.

Mishak said that sales are rising this year in both mold making and molding. He said the company has been successful in offering quick-turn tools in 1-3 weeks and production tools in 2-3 weeks.

The extra room will boost its ability to handle an increasing workload.