YOUNGSTOWN – Kiraly Tool and Die Inc. spent 2020 investing in new machinery and education for its 21 full-time employees, although the year wasn’t without challenges.
Increased lead times and the lack of available raw materials led to shutdowns and delayed orders throughout the industry, resulting in a 15% decline in sales.
“We also saw a big decline in efficiency because of COVID-19 disinfecting and creating barriers for employees’ safety,” says owner Steve Kiraly. “Through our efforts we are happy to report we had zero COVID illnesses in 2020.”
This year, the company celebrates 20 years in business.
Kiraly says he looks for sales in 2021 to match or exceed those of 2019, which was the best year in the history of the company.
To that end, Kiraly purchased two new 4-axis high-speed machining centers to create more machining capacity and invested more than $200,000 in new tooling to increase efficiency.
The company also hired a second, full-time tool designer, he says.
In 2021, Kiraly Tool and Die plans to purchase a new 5-axis machining center and hire two additional tool and die makers.
A shop supervisor and a quality/shipping manager will also be needed to fill two newly created positions, Kiraly says.
Going forward, the company’s backlog for new tool orders is greater than in the previous year, which is a sign the economy could be beginning to pick up.
“There is a lot of new product activity, which is extremely promising. We are the first to feel the effects of an economic downturn, but also the first to feel a surge,” Kiraly says.
The company will delve further into “post 3D printing” machining operations. Some 3D printed parts require precise tolerances and superior surface finishes that are not yet achievable by printing, he says.