Last updated: February 12. 2014 11:59AM - 551 Views
By - lmihm@civitasmedia.com

Craig J. Orosz | The Lima NewsMachinist Ron Roeder, of Gasdorf Tool and Machine Company in Lima, checks a roller with a micrometer. The company made the roller for Nickles Bakery in Lima.
Craig J. Orosz | The Lima NewsMachinist Ron Roeder, of Gasdorf Tool and Machine Company in Lima, checks a roller with a micrometer. The company made the roller for Nickles Bakery in Lima.
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LIMA — Gasdorf is much more than a career to the 30 employees currently on the payroll. In many ways it almost like a family.

“We kind of have people on different shifts working different hours, and it makes it nice,” said co-owner Dick Rapp. “We are very customer-based, and we are very specific to our customers needs.”

Gasdorf has been in operation since 1953. Rapp and his partner, Lynn Krohn, purchased the company, located at 445 N. McDonel St., in 1972.

The company carries four patents, including a small electric motor insulating machine, a corrugated box lidder-taper machine, a brush auger machine and the Hoop-A-Way, which is a cost-effective alternative to basketball rim replacement.

The company focuses on making parts from drawings, designing and building and reverse engineering. For example, if you have a foreign car and are having problems locating a part, Gasdorf can reverse engineer the part and make a replacement.

“We can twist a shaft off of a drive if someone can’t find a part,” Prinsen said. “Maybe the car was made in Europe, and the part isn’t available. We can look at it, and we make the part.”

As with many small machining businesses, Gasdorf had a rough spell when the economy took a turn in 2008. However, manager Dave Prinsen said things are definitely looking up.

“It was a lot better last year than it was in 2011 and 2012,” Prinsen said. “It has been a long, slow recovery. But like everyone else, business seems to picking up a little better here.”

Design and engineering capabilities at Gasdorf include computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing. Design specialties include custom machines, material handling equipment, tools, fixtures and gauges.

Materials machined include mild, alloy and tool steel; cast iron; sheet metal; aluminum; copper, brass; wood; plastic; rubber; synthetic materials; and fiber boards.

Prinsen said Gasdorf’s customer base numbers in the hundreds, but some of the major ones include Procter & Gamble, DTR Industries, Emerson Electric Company, Dana Corporation, General Electric and Pro-Tec Coating, just to name a few.

The company has 22,500 square feet of operating space, 4,500 square feet of office and engineering space and 5,000 square feet of assembly space. The company operates with 400 to 500 man-hours daily and hopes the slow increase of business will continue in 2014.

“The last six months of 2013, there seemed to be some real improvement,” Rapp said. “We need more customers. We are hoping for that to continue.”

Rapp said the Gasdorf name is synonymous with excellence worldwide due to strict quality control standards, combined with continuous technological advancements guarantee superior workmanship in all our products.

He said all management personnel have hands-on experience on the manufacturing floor, making Gasdorf products practical, efficient and cost effective.

“From concept to design and build, to set-up assistance, we specialize in various types of equipment,” Rapp said. “We provide general machining, equipment maintenance and rebuilding. We can pretty much help anybody, and our products are practical, efficient and cost-effective.”

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