From fulfilling “huge” government orders to very short runs of one to 10 parts, OTTO prides itself on operating in “custom” mode almost all the time to produce vital communications components and electronic switches/controls that military personnel, first responders, heavy equipment operators, and aerospace companies rely on.
OTTO has always taken a unique approach since its founding in 1961 in the basement of company founder Jack Roeser in Park Ridge, IL. Moving to an old forge building in Carpentersville in the 1980s, they began extensive renovations down to every detail, and continue to make significant investments into its facilities throughout today.
In February 2022, the specialty switch maker poured the concrete for a new molding operations floor and moved into the 25,000-square-foot molding shop that Thanksgiving. Under-floor utilities such as water, power, compressed air and exhaust “keep the molding floor clean and pristine,” said Ed Trowbridge, Senior Manager of Manufacturing Operations. OTTO’s campus features not only its Molding operations but its Controls and Communications divisions and an industrial rental area with office spaces. Farther up the road is OTTO’s Tech Center, which handles machining, stamping, and tool and die fabrication.
The company employs 535 — some of whom rent homes from owner Tom Roeser, who purchased and renovated hundreds of houses in Carpentersville and neighboring cities to improve the community and have his workforce nearby. OTTO also developed a Federally accredited apprentice program through The United States Department of Labor, with the Tooling Manufacturers of America (TMA) as the classroom training instruction provider. As of May 2023, they employed 17 apprentices.