Colson Group’s New Jonesboro Facility

Colson Group’s new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Jonesboro is now completely operating at full capacity. While the old plant is being used for distribution, everything else has been transferred to the new building. Through investments made toward the new facility and its capabilities, Colson Group has expanded its production, standards, and improved the working environment for its employees.

More Products Made in the USA

The new 146,640-square-foot manufacturing facility now offers more production capabilities in the United States. Popular casters can now be produced even faster, and the new facility can assemble a wider range of low-volume and special caster products. This has given Colson Group new delivery capabilities with shorter delivery times for products manufactured and shipped directly from the U.S. rather than internationally.

Increased Internal Zinc Plating

There was a huge investment in a new line for zinc plating making it an expansion of the last plant. This investment allows Colson Group to have more product offerings, production lines, and an increase in the internal plating of main products in Jonesboro. It has even given them the capability to plate all Colson Group USA components at the new facility.

Advanced Robotics and Technology Advancements

Over the past year, there was an influx of investments in three new welding robots. Their technological advancements have helped to increase efficiency and product quality. With the addition of new robots and automation, the Jonesboro plant now has the capacity to weld over 2.3 million pieces annually with a 2-shift operation.

Expanded Stamping Production

Three additional manual presses and heavy-duty stamping press lines were added upon the new facility build. This, along with the latest technology in steel stamping lines, has expanded production capabilities. Additionally, the new facility now has a tool and die repair and maintenance area next to the stamping department which is capable of both tool maintenance and quick changeovers.

More Suitable Work Environment

The new plant has given employees a more work suitable and up-to-date environment. There was the addition of an environmentally controlled air system in the new facility. This was designed to maintain the air from various production lines such as capturing smoke and fume handling systems to ensure air quality. Aside from the air system, the lighting is more efficient for visibility purposes, there was a new temperature system installed which heats and cools the production area, and all other amenities are brand new.

In the future, they are looking into investing in enhancing assembly capabilities. Assembly was mainly transferred over from the old facility without much advancement. The goal is to expand and enhance it for efficiency. In terms of output, Colson Group hopes looking forward with investments in production capabilities, they will be able to drastically increase their product outputs in large amounts. This way they can continue to meet demands and exceed the standards expected by customers.

Facility photo by Nelson Films & Photography

Corrosion Prevention on Your Casters

When you see rust, you’ve got a problem. Corrosion in casters can occur in a variety of elements and for many different reasons. Moisture in the air, swinging hot and cold temperatures, chemical exposure, and other harsh environmental factors can cause your caster or wheels to corrode. Caster corrosion can leave your caster useless or in need of repair, which can lead to downtime, loss of productivity, unnecessary strain, and sometimes injury. 

Given that most casters are made of metal, from the plate or stem to the wheel bearing or wheel, if any parts of the caster become corroded, it can have a significant impact on its function. Knowing how to prevent corrosion from the start can keep your casters functioning longer and your business productivity moving efficiently.

Various environmental factors can wear casters down quickly and it’s important you monitor the condition of your casters to act fast in the event of corrosion. When there is corrosion in a caster it can lead to failure faster, and failure can lead to injury. For this reason, there are specific casters and wheels designed and carefully tested to withstand severe conditions without wearing down or corroding.

Stainless steel casters are the best option to prevent caster corrosion. Regular steel or zinc-plated metal casters work in traditional applications, but these are far more vulnerable to corrosion in demanding environments. In applications, where there are wide temperature changes in the facility, stainless steel casters are best to withstand these intense temperatures. They are also great for marine environments that encounter salt water. In the medical field, stainless steel casters resist damage from sterilizing chemicals they may meet, and they resist bacteria due to their lack of oxidation.

We understand there may be hesitation with paying more upfront for stainless steel, but in the long run, it will pay off. There’s no sense in buying new casters that will need replacing in a short amount of time. Paying upfront for a caster that can withstand harsh environments will result in better productivity and less downtime in the end. Such as with the Colson D4 Defender Series, designed for customers requiring lasting performance and corrosion resistance.

If you need a replacement or are looking to purchase for the first time, you can trust the knowledge and expertise of Colson Group to provide you with the best casters and wheels for your business, no matter the application or environment. 

Learn more about our stainless steel casters or other options for your business to prevent corrosion by contacting us today.

POTENTIAL HIRES

Colson has become aware of a fraudulent effort to defraud individuals with illegitimate offers of employment asking for personal information. For information regarding actual open positions at Colson Group, and to apply for employment with Colson, use the careers section of this website. Colson will never ask for banking information prior to accepted employment.

https://secure4.entertimeonline.com/ta/6142183.careers?CareersSearch

Colson Group Makes All Employees an Owner with New Employee Ownership Program

OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL., April 5th, 2022—Colson Group, the global leader in caster and wheel products, has unveiled a new equity participation program which grants employees shares in the company and encourages employees to “act like owners.” Chief Executive Officer Rich Kobor announced that the organization will provide this opportunity to all Colson employees worldwide at an employee appreciation event held at the construction site of the new Colson Group facility in Jonesboro, AR.

“We are working to create a culture of ownership and transparency,” said Kobor. “Our employees make our company what it is, and we want all of them to better share in our success. Our goal is to inspire our employees to act like owners, so that they have a stake in our company’s growth and a voice in our direction.”

The program, which is being structured and implemented in partnership with non-profit Ownership Works, aligns with Colson Group’s interest in creating and developing a strong culture of pride and engagement among its employees. The program aims to encourage employees to take greater responsibility for their work at the company by aligning the interests of both the company and the individual.

“Importantly, we believe this program could make a meaningful difference in the lives of our employees and their families, while driving increased value for Colson,” said David Wells, Chief Human Resources Officer.

This approach is based on the conviction that employees are significantly more likely to personally identify with their company if they own a part of it. Employee co-owners are more motivated and committed, willing to assume responsibility, and contribute to their company’s long-term success.

Colson Group is a portfolio company of Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC, New York-based private equity firm that builds stronger businesses by combining financial and operational discipline with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles.

About Colson Group:
Colson Group, the global leader in caster and wheel products, creates and drives solutions that move lives forward. World renowned brands provide specialized mobility for every industry and market. A leading product portfolio and proprietary global value chain delivery unparalleled efficiencies and support. With over 1,600 employees across 25 global facilities, Colson Group is committed to its customers’ success, ensuring proper products are selected or designed from the start, and always keeping the end-users’ safety, efficiency, and happiness in mind.

Press Contact: Eric Gorte
Phone: 989-859-1864
Email: [email protected]

Colson Group Announces Strategic Acquisition by Blue Wolf Capital Partners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COLSON GROUP ANNOUNCES STRATEGIC ACQUISITION BY BLUE WOLF CAPITAL PARTNERS
Aligned philosophies and vision for increasing customer value and accelerating global growth

 

OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL., March 1, 2021 — Colson Group, a global leader in caster and wheel product solutions, today announced its acquisition by Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC (“Blue Wolf”).

“We are excited to partner with Blue Wolf, a firm that shares our philosophies and vision for Colson Group,” stated Tom Blashill, CEO of Colson Group. “While our strong global brands and experienced team attracted substantial investor attention, Blue Wolf differentiated themselves. Their expertise and deep understanding of industrial businesses and customer channels will be a tremendous asset in our plans for operational and service excellence. Blue Wolf appreciates the work completed so far in our global transformation and their skillset and strategy will help accelerate it with further investments in domestic manufacturing, service technologies, and product solutions that continue to separate us from the competition.”

Blue Wolf is a New York-based private equity firm that builds stronger businesses by combining financial and operational discipline with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles. The firm works closely with management to create value at companies in specialty sectors including niche manufacturing, industrial & engineering services, forest & building products and healthcare services.

“Our experience building best-in-class industrial manufacturing companies positions Blue Wolf well to support Colson Group in accelerating growth and enhancing its current market position and manufacturing strategy,” said Adam Blumenthal, Managing Partner of Blue Wolf Capital Partners. “We are excited to partner with Tom Blashill and the Colson Group management team to provide the necessary capital and resources to drive long-term growth opportunities for the company and its customers. We look forward to building on Colson Group’s rich legacy of product solutions and long-standing business relationships with our commitment to organizational and operational excellence.”

Former owner Sentinel Capital Partners sold Colson Group to Blue Wolf after acquiring the company in 2012. Prior to Sentinel, the company was held by Robert Pritzker who acquired the Colson caster brand in 1953 and built it into the worldwide caster leader that is now Colson Group.

About Colson Group (www.ColsonGroup.com): Colson Group, a global leader in caster and wheel products, creates and drives solutions that move lives forward. World renowned brands provide specialized mobility for every industry and market. A leading product portfolio and proprietary global value chain deliver unparalleled efficiencies and support. With over 1,600 employees across 30 global facilities, Colson Group is committed to its customers’ success, ensuring proper products are selected or designed from the start, and always keeping the end-users’ safety, efficiency, and happiness in mind.

About Blue Wolf Capital Partners: Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC is a private equity firm that specializes in control investments in middle market companies. Leading by experience, and with a commitment to excellence, Blue Wolf transforms companies strategically, operationally and collaboratively. Blue Wolf manages challenging situations and complex relationships between business, customers, employees, unions, and regulators to build value for stakeholders. For additional information, please visit www.bluewolfcapital.com.

 

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Colson Group Appoints Bjorn Haldorsen as President of North America

New role will optimize growth initiatives and strengthen market position.

OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL., May 8, 2020 — Colson Group, a global caster and wheel product company, is pleased to announce the appointment of Bjorn Haldorsen as President of Colson North America. In this capacity, Bjorn will lead the company’s North American business operations, with focus on optimizing growth initiatives, expanding North American supply chain and manufacturing, and furthering the strategic integration of Colson North America to best service the marketplace.

This is a new position created by the company, highlighting its focus on growth for North America.

“As we continue to expand production capacity closer to our customers, the requirement for this role has grown and is now a critical step to accelerating our growth plans into the future,” stated Tom Blashill, CEO of Colson Group. “After an extensive search, we found the right person for this role, and I am happy to welcome Bjorn to the Colson team.”

With a focus on customer experience, Bjorn comes to Colson with over 25 years of leadership experience in supply chain, plant management, and general management. Prior to Colson, Bjorn worked for Honeywell International for 8 years and has been with Flowserve Corporation since 2002, where he served in various regional and global leadership roles. Most recently, Bjorn was the Vice President General Manager of Flowserve’s Americas Industrial Pump Operation where he was responsible for all business functions, leading more than 1,000 employees.

Bjorn received his Bachelor’s degree in purchasing and logistics management from Arizona State University and his M.B.A. in international finance at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. He will reside at the company’s corporate headquarters in Oakbrook, IL with extensive travel to all company facilities.

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About Colson Group (www.ColsonGroup.com):

Colson Group, the global leader in caster and wheel products, creates and drives solutions that move lives forward. World renowned brands provide specialized mobility for every industry and market. A leading product portfolio and proprietary global value chain delivery unparalleled efficiencies and support. With over 1,600 employees across 30 global facilities, Colson Group is committed to its customers’ success, ensuring proper products are selected or designed from the start, and always keeping the end-users’ safety, efficiency, and happiness in mind.

Colson Group announces acquisition of AS Rollen GmbH

Expands global caster and wheel manufacturing capabilities.

OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL., April 30, 2020 — Colson Group, a global caster and wheel product company, announced today the recent acquisition of AS Rollen, a Huckeswagen, Germany caster and wheel manufacturer. “AS Rollen has an excellent reputation for producing high quality, competitive caster and wheel solutions, specializing in the medical segment,” stated Tom Blashill, CEO of Colson Group. “This strategic acquisition will provide our global locations an excellent source of German manufactured caster solutions.” The company is located only minutes from Colson Group’s German offices.

AS Rollen and its staff, led by founder Mr. Arnolf Schulte, are now integrated into Colson Group’s Northern European organization which is led by General Manager, Ernst-Jan Venema. “The synergies of products and staff will enhance our abilities to better serve our customers throughout Europe,” said Ernst. “This will greatly shorten our lead-times as compared to products manufactured outside of Europe, opening up new opportunities for additional growth and flexibility throughout the world. We welcome the AS Rollen team to Colson Group.”

Mr. Schulte will remain general manager of the facility and team, working closely with Ernst and other Colson Group leaders to leverage its capabilities to further advance the company’s global supply chain. The facility is ISO 9001:2015 certified and utilizes state-of-the-art machinery to ensure the highest quality caster is consistently manufactured. Capabilities include: injection molding, automated/semi-automated assembly, and in-house testing. For more information about AS Rollen, you can visit https://as-rollen.de/.

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About Colson Group:
Colson Group, the global leader in caster and wheel products, creates and drives solutions that move lives forward. World renowned brands provide specialized mobility for every industry and market. A leading product portfolio and proprietary global value chain delivery unparalleled efficiencies and support. With over 1,600 employees across 30 global facilities, Colson Group is committed to its customers’ success, ensuring proper products are selected or designed from the start, and always keeping the end-users’ safety, efficiency, and happiness in mind.

Colson Group US Welcomes New Light Duty Manager

We want to welcome Christina Kurtich to her new role of Light Duty Product Manager.

Christina has worked for Colson Group since 2017, leading the New Product development and Introduction (NPI) programs. Christina holds an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. She has a background in steel and investment castings, for aerospace, military, and power generation industries. Christina also has experience in customer service, project management, and continuous improvement initiatives.

Christina enjoys listening to market needs and desires. She will assist in turning those needs into actionable product and process improvements. Christina is a high-energy individual, and will bring new and creative ideas to our product management team.

Christina replaces Jeremy Brault as the Light Duty Product Manager. She will assume her new job duties on June 1st, 2019. Customers should continue to contact Jeremy Brault until that time.

Jeremy Brault is transitioning to a new role as well: Director of Sales – Midwest and Northeast. Jeremy has 16 years of caster experience. His roles have been in sales, customer service, and brand and product management. Jeremy has been actively involved with customers throughout his career, with specialty in the distribution, industrial/catalog, and OEM sales channels.

Jeremy joins Donald Johnson on our Sales Management team. Jeremy and Donald will collaboratively manage and drive domestic growth initiatives through our regional sales territories.

We want to congratulate both Christina and Jeremy as they move into their new roles.

Colson Group USA appoints Vice President of Sales

Colson Group USA’s strategy continues to be:

  1. Best position Colson for growth as the global leader in the caster industry
  2. Continue to bring Colson together as one company and align us for the future

We are pleased to announce that Shelley DePuy has joined the Colson Group USA team as Vice President of Sales.

Shelley brings customer-focused leadership experience in all Colson Group USA’s primary sales channels: OEM, Distributor, and Industrial channels.  Most recently, she held the role of Director of Sales for the Kidde Fenwal division of United Technologies Corporation, a manufacturer of fire suppression systems. Prior to that role she worked with PBC Linear as their Director of Sales and Marketing.  Shelley holds a Bachelor of Science from State University of New York and a Master’s in Business Administration from Suffolk University.

Shelley will lead Colson Group USA’s three unique sales channels and continue to work with each to further develop winning customer relationships and growth strategies that support Colson Group USA’s leading solutions portfolio and industry position.

Distribution Center Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

In 2016, Colson Group USA opened the national distribution center (DC) in St. Joseph, Michigan. The DC has allowed our manufacturing plants to further enhance operational and service responsibilities.