First Ever Caster App: Caster CAD 3D App Now On Android Devices

Approximately one year after the launch of the industry’s first caster model app, Colson Group USA is pleased to announce that Caster CAD 3D is now available for Android devices. The updated app allows users across multiple mobile platforms to explore Colson Group’s interactive 3D caster catalogs ‘on-the-go’. App users can quickly configure a part number and download or deliver CAD models and datasheets to anyone with an email address.

“We have had great success with Caster CAD 3D,” said Brad Kish, Director of Marketing/Communications. “Our customers have been asking for an Android version since its original launch, and we are now happy to deliver on this request. The Android app features the same great functionality as our iOS app, allowing fast delivery of great caster content—including 2D/3D CAD models and our very popular interactive 3D PDF datasheets. It is the content our customers need to allow them to walk away with all the pertinent specifications and allow easy integration into their designs. We have received tremendous feedback on how it is saving many of our customers’ time, and ensuring that they have a viable and trusted product specified.”

The benefits of Caster CAD 3D are:

  • Downloadable 2D or 3D CAD models are completely free and in a user’s native CAD format
  • Interactive models can be easily configured for user-specific needs
  • Interactive 3D PDF datasheets give you all pertinent specifications and a 2D drawing
  • World-View allows visualization of a model on physical products
  • Models, visualizations, and data sheets can be quickly shared with teams

The 3D CAD Models are compliant with major world standards and are suitable for use in current CAD systems. Caster CAD 3D is a free app and is now available on Google Play and the App Store.

Colson Group USA Receives Business Award

Colson Group USA is pleased to receive the Manufacturing/Distribution Large Business Award, as was bestowed by Cornerstone Alliance this morning, February 11, 2015. As part of their annual business recognition ceremony, the Cornerstone Alliance recognized Colson Group USA for the development of our new world-class Distribution Center, located next to our existing St. Joseph manufacturing plant. Kevin Osborn, Vice President of Operations, accepted the award on the company’s behalf. Read more about the meeting via Moody on the Market, a Southwest Michigan business insight blog.

Cornerstone Alliance is a non-profit economic development organization primarily focused on increasing employment opportunities, private sector capital investments and the local tax base in Michigan’s “Great Southwest.” Learn more about Cornerstone Alliance here.

Alignment for the Future

This September, Colson Group USA announced the final step in its business strategy to align the company for the future. The plans include a new world-class national distribution center (DC) that will be located next to its St. Joseph, MI manufacturing plant, as well as the advancement of heavy-duty caster manufacturing in its two Michigan manufacturing plants.

(See “National DC Overview” and “Heavy-Duty Caster Manufacturing” for additional details.)

The establishment of the DC follows multi-million dollar investments in the company’s manufacturing facilities, and is the final infrastructure move in their transformation to operate as “one.” Previous to this transformation, the individual brands of Colson Group USA operated as autonomous companies. Beginning in 2013, the individual companies began the transformation into Colson Group USA to harness global synergies and further advance their leading position in the marketplace.

“The Colson team has done a great job completing a number of key initiatives during the past couple of years driving the transformation of Colson Group USA,” said Tom Blashill, Colson Group’s CEO. “Our vision and strategy have remained the same – to best position Colson Group USA for growth as the global leader in the caster industry and continue to bring Colson together as one company. Our USA manufacturing and distribution strategy positions us to deliver great value to our customers and drive growth in our business.”

The new 170,000-square-foot national DC, slated to open early 2016, will work in tandem with Colson Group USA’s manufacturing plants and auxiliary distribution facilities to simplify customers’ ordering experience, while also advancing the group’s operational capabilities.

“We want to enhance our distribution capabilities while allowing our plants to focus on manufacturing excellence,” said Blashill. “Distribution plays a significant role in our customers’ experience, and we look forward to delivering our full range of product solutions from our world-class DCs.”

National DC Overview

Excitement is building as Colson Group USA is rapidly advancing with the development of its new national distribution center located in St. Joseph, MI. Designed with the latest in distribution practices and technologies, the advanced 170,000-square-foot facility will be Colson Group USA’s first national DC supporting distribution for all of its brands of casters and wheels.

“Our goal is to enhance our customers’ experience through faster and more reliable fulfillment, dependable inventory planning, and the ability to consolidate shipments from our various brands,” said Kevin Osborn, VP of Operations at Colson Group USA. “The DC will provide the necessary operational alignment to make this possible.”

Creation of the national DC allows Colson Group to setup a facility optimized solely for the distribution and common assembly of its broad product offering – functions currently supported within its individual manufacturing plants. This shift in distribution responsibilities will allow the manufacturing plants to further enhance their operational and service responsibilities, thus better supporting the group’s growing mix of USA-made products, customer-direct production orders, and regular supply to the DC.

The rollout of the new DC is led by Kevin Osborn, Colson Group USA’s VP of Operations. Kevin has been with Colson since 2008, where he has managed the operations for both the highly efficient and automated Jonesboro, AR and Monette, AR facilities. Kevin and his teams have carefully planned and reviewed all steps to ensure the DC infrastructure, technology, data structure, and inventory transitions are strategically staged and executed to mitigate service disruptions and create a truly world-class caster distribution center.


  • New ERP and data structure created specifically for DC to support advanced transacting and processing; this includes barcoding for every part number
  • Automatic data collection for real time ERP transactions and visibility for customer service representatives – thus eliminating paper transactions that later have to be keyed, and further improving inventory accuracy
  • Narrow-aisle racking installation is nearing completion
  • Hardware and shipment processing equipment now in-place
  • Wire-guided turret trucks in-place, equipped with ruggedized tablet PCs and scanners for efficient and safe picking
  • Experienced leadership for the DC assembly and distribution functions established; various employees relocated from Newnan facility
  • Assembly cells now underway; to be complete late this December

The DC will be officially opening in January, and Kevin and his teams will strategically phase in supporting inventory over the following months. Watch for additional updates and details on the DC development in the weeks to come.

Heavy-Duty Caster Manufacturing

After a series of recent manufacturing investments – including a new laser, CNC machining centers and forming equipment, and multiple robotic welding cells – Colson Group USA announced plans to rapidly advance the company’s heavy-duty (HD) caster manufacturing within its two Michigan manufacturing plants throughout 2016.

The plans include more USA-made product lines with greater warranties (starting with laser cut Albion 310 & 410 kingpinless casters), innovative new designs and accessory options, and advanced processes for greater speed in custom HD development. As an important element of these plans, the company is leveraging the strengths and infrastructure at both its Michigan manufacturing plants to best support the initiatives and grow both the standard and custom sides of its HD business.

“The Albion, MI manufacturing plant will continue to advance its heavy-duty focus under the leadership of Brad Bell and his experienced team,” said Kevin Osborn, VP of Operations. “They will be working closely with the St. Joseph, MI plant to advance HD production, and will also be receiving the heavy-duty responsibilities from our Newnan, GA facility to better align HD production and leverage our new investments.”

The group’s polyurethane production is also receiving an upgrade in both equipment and capabilities, and will be transitioned to a worldclass poly environment. The transfer to one of the top precision polyurethane production facilities in the country will increase Colson Group USA’s production capabilities, enhance production control, and offer more advanced material options – including more resilient and high-temperature resins.

As a final step, the Albion, MI plant will be brought onto Colson Group USA’s new ERP system to complete the company’s goal of a unified ERP system across all of its facilities. This accomplishment allows Colson Group USA to unlock further service capabilities and process improvements for its customers across all of its facilities.

“We have a strong commitment to advancing our heavy-duty products and service,” said Brian Denisty, Heavy-Duty Product Manager at Colson Group USA. “Our planning and recent investments provide the necessary foundation to deliver this commitment to our customers, and I am excited to begin the rollout starting with the new laser cut 310/410 Series made right here in Michigan.”

Please watch for further HD product and service announcements taking place over the next few weeks.

00 Series Introduces Ultra-Low Profile Option

The already low-profile Shepherd 00 Series just got even lower with the addition of an ultra-low-profile 1-7/16″ diameter wheel option.

Made in the USA, this popular series is ideal for applications requiring the lowest overall height and a sturdy, reliable footprint. Ideal for fixtures, mobile cabinets, business machines and refrigeration units, this new 1-7/16″ diameter addition allows you to achieve a new level of low overall height for your customers.

The 00 Series 1-7/16″ Features:

  • Made in the USA for reliability & quick response
  • 1-7/16″ diameter polyolefin log wheel
  • Mounting heights: 2-1/8″ (stem) & 2-3/16″ (plate)
  • Dynamic load capacity: 150 lbs. each
  • Various mounting options and finishes available
  • RoHS compliant with nut and bolt axle


Colson Group USA Establishing World-Class Distribution Center

Colson Group USA, the country’s leading caster and wheel manufacturer, announced today that as part of its ongoing strategy to align its business to drive growth it will be establishing a new world-class distribution center (DC) in St. Joseph, MI. The 170,000-square-foot DC, which will be located next to its St. Joseph manufacturing facility, is planned to be fully operational by year-end.

Colson has made multi-million dollar investments in advanced equipment and technology in its five U.S. manufacturing facilities over the past 18 months. Currently, the company’s distribution activities are supported within these manufacturing facilities. Establishing a world-class DC will allow the manufacturing locations to focus on manufacturing excellence as Colson prepares to further increase production of its made-in-USA products.

“We want to enhance our distribution capabilities while allowing our plants focus on manufacturing excellence,” said Tom Blashill, Colson Group’s CEO. “Distribution plays a significant role in our customers’ experience, and we look forward to delivering our full range of product solutions from our world-class DCs,” Blashill added.

Colson stated plans to continue to expand its west coast DC located in Chino, CA to support its customers in the western part of the country.

Colson Group USA Launches Caster App

Colson Group USA introduces its new app for iPhone and iPad: Caster CAD 3D. As the global leader in caster and wheels, Colson Group USA offers the most complete product line in the world. Caster CAD 3D offers interactive 3D product catalogs for each of Colson Group USA’s brands and available product series. App users can quickly configure a part number and download CAD models and data sheets for their various caster and wheel needs.

“Fast delivery of relevant, valuable product content is our mission,” said Brad Kish, Marketing Manager. “Our customers and sales professionals can leverage this new technology to instantly deliver CAD models and datasheets for our industry leading selection—and then quickly integrate them into their designs. This saves the customers time, and assures them that they have a viable and trusted product built into each design.”

The benefits of Caster CAD 3D are:

  • Downloadable 2D or 3D CAD models completely free and in a user’s native CAD format
  • Interactive models can be easily configured for user-specific needs
  • World-View allows visualization of a model on physical products
  • Models, visualizations, and data sheets can be quickly shared with teams

The 3D CAD Models are compliant with major world standards and are suitable for use in current CAD systems. Caster CAD 3D is now available free on the App Store, and requires iOS 7.1 or later.

Colson Group USA is the largest operating unit of Colson Group, the largest manufacturer of caster and wheels products in the world. Colson Group USA oversees some of the most renowned brands of casters and wheels in the world: Colson, Albion, Shepherd, Jarvis, MedCaster, Pemco, Faultless, and Bassick. These brands have been technological leaders in caster advances for more than 350 combined years. The drive and experience of Colson innovators have led to some of the most trusted, highest quality and advanced mobility solutions in today’s world.