Manufacturing Today - May/June 2017 - 82
www.almmh.com / HQ: Rock Island, Ill. / Employees: 19 / Specialty: Positioning / Kevin Toft,
president: "One of the big things that sets us apart is our ability to respond to our customers' needs."
tioners have become the company's
main focus, though it still manufactures material-handling equipment,
Toft says. ALM Positioners was acquired in 2015 and relocated to its
new, state-of-the-art manufacturing
facility in Rock Island.
Small But Flexible
alm designs all of its
positioners to maximize space
in customers' facilities.
alm positioners' namesake products give heavy
equipment manufacturers a big assist. by jim harris
One of the biggest challenges
faced by the makers of heavy equipment is the sheer size of the products
or components they make. Bracing
and moving large equipment during
welding, assembly and other manufacturing processes can be too daunting - or even dangerous - for a person
or people to try to do themselves.
For the past 15 years, ALM Positioners has specialized in giving
manufacturers a hand, figuratively
speaking, when it comes to holding
"We work with large companies
and small factories that do custom
work," explains Kevin Toft, president of the Rock Island, Ill., compa82
manufacturing-today.com MAY/JUNE 2017
ny. "We work with the people who
The company designs, engineers and manufactures single- and
multi-column positioner lifts used to
lift, rotate or turn equipment. ALM's
positioners are used by manufacturers serving the mining, agriculture,
construction and other industries.
ALM started in 1982 as an importer of heavy automotive lifts from
Europe, but began manufacturing
material-handling lifts on its own
beginning in the early 1990s. One of
ALM's biggest customers was heavy
equipment manufacturer Caterpillar,
which approached it about building
positioners in 2002. Since then, posi-
With 19 employees working from
a single 24,000-square-foot manufacturing site in Rock Island, ALM is
smaller than many of its competitors.
"There are others who do what we
do but not the same way we do," Toft
says. "Our competitors' equipment
tends to be larger, heavier and more
expensive, while ours is designed for a
The company's size also gives it
greater flexibility in its work with customers. "One of the big things that
sets us apart is our ability to respond
to our customers' needs," he adds.
A recent example of ALM's ability
to meet a customer's specification
involved the company designing a
positioner that could be used to build
a yacht hull. "When the customer approached us with the idea, they told us
that other companies told them this
couldn't be done," Toft explains. "We
believed it was possible, and were able
to do it."
All of the positioners developed by
the company are designed to maximize space. "Factory floor space is
becoming an issue in the industry, but
no one wants to build larger factories
if they don't have to," he adds. "If we
can help companies get usable floor
space back, that's a big plus for them."
ALM's positioners are also designed
to work quickly. "We can get a weldment in position as fast as is possible,"
Toft says. "As far as we know, our positioners' elevation is faster than anyone else's on the market."