ITD Precision a Full Service Stamper
With 20 Nidec Minster straightside and gap presses and a stamping capacity of up to 400 tons, ITD Precision has grown to one of the largest metal stamping companies in Texas.
But stamping is just part of the ITD Precision story.
“The core of our business is stamping and it always has been stamping,” said ITD Precision President Michael Tofte. “But we’ve grown over the past 15 years. We’ve become more than just a stamper.
“Where we really shine is in value added products,” Tofte continued. “We need a part that’s stamped, it’s heat treated, it’s e-coated, it’s insert molded, and it’s assembled. We do all of those things under one roof, and we do them well. There’s a gazillion guys that have 100 to 400 ton machines. We differentiate ourself with the value added processes.”
A third-generation family business, ITD Precision was founded in 1946 by Michael’s grandfather, Fred Tofte. The company started out in the tool and die business and slowly transitioned to stamping. Today ITD Precision has two locations in Texas, including the corporate headquarters in Houston and a facility in Harlingen.
ITD Precision primarily serves the automotive industry, specializing in the safety restraint market. Complex stampings are also being produced for the HVAC market along with the oil field industry and other general industrial applications.
“In the last five years we’ve diversified quite a bit,” Tofte said. “We want to diversify within the automotive industry itself, while looking into more markets and regions.”
ITD Precision’s relationship with Minster began with the purchase of some of the company’s first new presses.
“So it’s kind of a funny story, actually,” Tofte explains. “Back in the late 1980’s our stamping operation had kind of grown a little bit and we had a need for a 100-ton machine that could handle a high speed application. So my dad and an associate jumped on a flight. They went on the tour at Minster, had a great visit, found the machine we wanted — it’s still out there today.
“There was no question that they were going to buy the machine,” he continued. “The question was how are we going to pay for it? Because the cost of that machine was more than our entire building, all of our property… everything.
“And so we bought that machine, and two years after that, we bought the 300-ton press from Minster,” Tofte added. “Same deal. Two machines that are worth more than three times the building that we were in. That’s no joke, three times more. But those presses are still out there right now. And each one of them has easily made more than a billion parts. They’ve been great machines.”
Tofte has come to appreciate the value of a well-built Minster press, regardless of its vintage. ITD Precision has had two different used Minster E2-Hevitamper presses remanufactured by Nidec Minster.
“It’s a durability thing,” he said. “I have zero issues finding a 1980 to 1990 machine, buying it, and sending it to Minster to have it rebuilt. It’s really because of the frame on those Minster presses. They’ll just last forever. I mean, they honestly will, and that’s really the key.
“And for the money, it’s a good investment,” Tofte continued. “The goal is to have a like-new machine for a lot less of the cost of a new machine, and you can get it a lot quicker.”
And for Tofte, having the press remanufactured by the original OEM also adds value.
“It’s worth it to send it to Minister to have it rebuilt to their standards. That’s worth a lot of money to me,” he said. “You get the warranty, the people at Minster know what I want, and if there’s ever any issues, you know there’s one place to call.”
Nidec Minster recently opened a new 25,000 sq. ft. addition dedicated to press remanufacturing and after-market component and spare part production. Minster is uniquely positioned to offer customized remanufacturing services with OEM assets and short term deliveries.
Nidec Minster also offers an extensive inventory of used machinery, providing its customer with a variety of unique solutions, whether its based on an application, delivery schedule, or budget requirement.
“Another advantage of dealing direct with Minster in remanufacturing is that they take trades,” Tofte said. “We’re always thinking long term to make sure our operation has the right equipment. We may end up trading a machine for another machine that I can then get remanufactured to fit our needs.”
More than 75 years after its founding, ITD Precision has experienced some remarkable growth in both size and the scope of its offerings. However, when it comes to attitude, service, and attention to detail, Tofte strives to maintain a small company experience.
“Even though we’re still a pretty large-sized company in the industry, I will never shy away from being small,” he said. “I want all my employees to know me and be able to talk to me. I still want to be involved in all the quoting. Being small is a good thing. No matter how big we get that’s something I’ll never walk away from.”