SMT Machine and Tool works with NWTC to recruit workers

January 17, 2012

From “SMT Machine expands, works OT to keep up” — HOWARD — SMT Machine & Tool can add bricks and mortar to keep up with business — and it is — but filling that space with bodies is a challenge.

SMT is adding 28,700 square feet onto its building at 1325 Cornell Road. The $2.2 million addition will include new offices, a sixth Vertical Machining Center and room for more growth.

Owner and President Russ Styczynski would like to start a second shift, but said it’s difficult to find machinists who want to work that schedule. Finding machinists is difficult, period.

“We are working with (Northeast Wisconsin Technical College) and Bay Port High School’s tech ed class. We’ve let them come to our facility and talk to our machinists,” he said.

He’s looking to hire five to 10 people, including assemblers. So constant has been its growth, the company recently had to forgo in-house assembly work because new machines took up that space. With the addition, it will be able to do more of that work again.

Sales are between $5 million and $10 million and have been increasing since Styczynski bought the company in 2006.

Financing for the addition was provided by Bank First National of Manitowoc. Bayland Buildings of Hobart is the contractor.

Business slowed during the recession, when maintenance projects were much of the work, but in the last 18 months sales started picking up. SMT’s machinists are working overtime to keep up.

“Bayland said this is the fifth or sixth machine shop expansion they’ve had,” Styczynski said. “We have orders into April right now and it’s still coming in. If I could do a second shift, I could double the company.”

Much of the work SMT is doing is side frames for printing presses, which is all new equipment, but Styczynski said they are seeing activity in mining, the marine industry and heavy equipment, too.

“We worked last year to diversify our clients. I can see jobs for five customers right here,” Styczynski said, standing on his factory floor.

His newest machine, to be delivered in April, is a Mighty Viper Vertical Machining Center, SMT’s sixth’s and largest VMC. Its table size has an X-axis of 201 inches, a Y-axis of 102 inches and a Z-axis of 42 inches.

It’s the seventh new piece of equipment he has added since buying the company, and the addition will have prepoured foundations for more.


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