Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 74

BTD Manufacturing
www.btdmfg.com / 2016 Sales: $190 million / HQ: Detroit Lakes, Minn. / Employees: 1,050 /
Specialty: Custom metalwork services / Paul Gintner, president: "We've got a great model to sell."

Midwest

probably our last hurdle to becoming
self-sufficient."

Branching Out

manufacturing quality is a major
focus for btd while serving markets
like recreational vehicles, agriculture
and construction.

On Its Own

btd manufacturing is self-sufficient when
serving clients like polaris. by alan dorich
Many companies outsource work,
but BTD Manufacturing prefers to do
as much as it can under its roof. But
this is not as much about cost as one
might think, President Paul Gintner
asserts. "It's about the speed," he says.
Thanks to its Advanced Manufacturing group, BTD can quickly navigate
its clients' products through multiple
processes, including stamping and
tooling, all on its own. "That brings
value to our customer," he asserts.
Based in Detroit Lakes, Minn., BTD
offers custom metalworking services
including metal fabrication, forming,
welding, powder coating, prototyping and laser cutting. Founders Erling
Rasmussen and Paul White Jr. started
74

manufacturing-today.com JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017

the company in 1979 as Bismarck Tool
and Die (BTD) Co.
The company operated as a tool
and die firm for many years, but ultimately changed its operations. "Instead of just building dies and selling tools to the outside, we started
running them and building product
off them," Gintner says.
At the suggestions of its clients,
BTD added more metal fabrication
services. This included welding,
which it had originally outsourced. "It
got to the point where it was very hard
to grow because of purchasing costs
and markup over time," he recalls,
noting that the company recently added painting to its specialties. "It was

Today, BTD serves multiple industries, including agriculture, sport
and recreational vehicles, construction, lawn and garden, and energy.
Vice President of Sales and Quality
Jared Lotzer notes its largest customer is Polaris, which specializes
in on- and off-road vehicles, as well
as snowmobiles.
Polaris recently opened a facility in
Huntsville, Ala., which drove BTD to
purchase its own. "We needed a geographic footprint so we could grow to
meet their needs," he explains. "Our
growth is somewhat contingent on
our OEMs."
BTD had long planned to open a
location in the Southeast due to its
growing clientele in that region, but
Polaris' new facility fast-tracked the
process. "That initiated more of a
sense of urgency to say, 'What do we
have to do to partner with you there?'"
Gintner recalls.
The company ultimately acquired
Impulse Manufacturing, a Dawsonville, Ga.-based metal fabricator.
"They had a great presence in the
Southeast," he says. "They were very
aggressive and they really took the
time to invest in the right things to
stay current."
Impulse's location also benefited
BTD. "That puts us an hour-and-ahalf away from Huntsville," Gintner
explains, adding that this helps expedite deliveries to Polaris. "We'll
be producing a lot of their product
in the Southeast."

Centers of Excellence
Manufacturing quality is a major
focus for BTD, Lotzer says. "[We
have] a very robust corrective ac-


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017

Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 3
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Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Cover3
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Cover4
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