ZEELAND, MICH. — Extol Inc., a toolmaker that makes welding equipment and assembly systems, is celebrating 30 years in business.
Ross Van Klompenberg began the business by building tooling and custom assembly machines in his garage for local automotive parts suppliers and the office furniture industry. To meet demands for the equipment, he brought his younger brother, Chip Van Klompenberg, into the business.
The company has expanded to employ more than 80 people today. Extol has become a recognized manufacturer of plastics-joining equipment — hot-plate welders, infrared staking and welding, spin welders and adjustable work stations — and custom assembly equipment. Extol employees work with customers from a product's initial concept to pre-production part runs.
Extol has an applications lab that provides consulting services, including feasibility testing, recommendations about design for assembly, prototype assembly and pre-production runs.
Extol helped Ford Motor Co. win the Society of Plastics Engineers' 2014 Automation Innovation Award for its active glove box, a safety system of an injection molded knee airbag integrated into the glove box system.
In 2009, Automotive News, a sister publication of Plastics News, gave Extol an honorable mention award for its patented InfraWeld process, which harnesses infrared energy to join plastics together.
The Van Klompenberg brothers took the company name from Psalm 68:4, which says to extol and praise God. Under the company's Significant Impact initiative, the company also supports people in need.