Helm Tool Co. Inc. and Intermolding Technology Inc. are under one soon-to-be renovated roof as a $13 million investment to move and grow enters its final stages at a 94,000-square-foot facility in Schaumburg, Ill.
The sister companies with a total of 74 employees had operated about 3 miles from each other, shipping molds back and forth for more than a decade between Helm Tool in Elk Grove Village, Ill., and IMT in Des Plaines, Ill.
Founded in 1977 by Helmut Mueller, who had emigrated from Germany in 1965, Helm Tool builds a wide range of molds from simple to complex tooling for the automotive, electrical, electronics, medical, optical and consumer products markets.
In 1993, Helm Tool invested in two molding machines to sample and test the tools it fabricated. Then, a customer gave the business two more presses to mold his parts. This led to the start of American Injection Molding in 2005 — it was renamed Intermolding Technology in 2012 — at a nearby facility in Des Plaines.
Now equipped with 19 presses from 35-600 tons of clamping force for production molding, sampling and prototyping, IMT serves the defense, industrial, consumer products, electrical, medical and optical industries.
Mueller, the company president whose design of cutlery molds for the consumer products market brought a lot of business, started looking for a place to consolidate under one roof around 2015.
However, the facilities for sale were too small to fit both companies or too expansive to fill or the cost of the parcel of land to build new was out of budget. Mueller needed to muster years of patience.
"One day a realtor called out of the blue and said they had a building that met our needs across the board. It was truly the space I had envisioned," Mueller said in an email about the warehouse purchased in 2019 near Chicago O'Hare International Airport.
The building needed work so the investment continued with $5 million of improvements made first to meet plumbing, electrical and flooring needs of the molding operation, which moved to the new facility in 2020.