Listening to Joe Kavalauskas talk about his company's success in the face of harsh economic conditions is remarkably similar to listening to one-hit wonder Matthew Wilder's 1984 feel-good tune ``Break My Stride.''
The Dayton, Ohio-based injection molder and toolmaker is not only surviving the tough times in both automotive and U.S. manufacturing in general, but thriving.
Kavalauskas is vice president of Minco Group - comprised of All Service Plastic Molding Inc. and Minco Tool & Mold Inc.
In January, All Service opened a new, 30,000-square-foot injection molding plant in Fairborn, Ohio, near Dayton. By shuttering a smaller plant in Dayton, and transferring seven injection molding presses and adding two new ones to the Fairborn facility, All Service has boosted its capacity and is geared up for a sixth consecutive year of double-digit growth.
The new presses are a 950-ton Toshiba and a 500-ton Mitsubishi, according to an All Service news release.
The addition brings All Service's machine count to 37 presses, Kavalauskas said.
All Service will continue to focus on diversifying into other markets such as the medical and defense industries, but it also will concentrate on strengthening its core automotive business - supplying parts to Tier 1 firms.
The 22-year-old processor boosted its quality standards to TS-16949 certification in late 2004.
The flood of bad news out of Detroit has had little adverse effect on All Service's business, Kavalauskas said.
``We're lucky. We do a lot of work for Honda,'' he said. ``And we appreciate all of the work we've got. Most of the automotive business we're doing - we're doing OK in those markets.''
The company continued its healthy growth rate of nearly 15 percent last year.
Kavalauskas credits the entire Minco family's relative vertical integration as the key to success.
``We do product design, mold making, assembly - that's what separates us,'' he said.
Minco Group employs about 350. In addition to the new plant, Minco occupies a three-building, 170,000-square-foot complex in Dayton. Minco Tool & Mold was founded in 1984.
Despite the powerful movement of automakers looking overseas for lower-cost parts, Kavalauskas and other Minco officials believe they have what it takes to stay profitable as a ``Made-in-the-USA'' manufacturer.
Regarding companies rushing to low-cost countries for their parts and tooling, Kavalauskas said: ``We choose to believe that's how you won't stay afloat. We're not part of that initiative.
``We're about finding things we can do well and supporting our customers in product design, development and manufacturing,'' he said.