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Company History

Founded in 1997 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Automatic Feed Company, High Production Technology, LLC (HPT), was tasked with the goals of designing and manufacturing pressroom automation equipment to serve as front of line and end of line automation for stamping operations. Over the past ten years, HPT has produced some of the most technologically advanced systems for a variety of automakers and their tier suppliers, including:

  • The first vision-based part racking system in North America
  • The first linear induction motor (LIM) destackers in North America
  • The first US-based supplier of a destacker to Nissan Motors America
  • The first magnetic part gauging system for centering blanks on a stamping line

HPT offers a complete range of engineering and manufacturing services with their automated systems:

  • Mechanical Design: Machine design, structural design, and component specification
  • Electrical Design: Hardware and software
  • Control Design: Electrical components, software, and drive applications
  • Fluid Power Design: Hydraulic and pneumatic
  • Project Management: Team-based design concepts, project scheduling, application engineering

History of our parent, Automatic Feed Company

In 1949, Alvin F. Groll, a design engineer for a world-renowned press builder, decided to start manufacturing coil handling and press feeding equipment with Arthur Burgess, representative of All-Steel Press Company. Alvin and Arthur contacted Chevrolet Division in Flint, Michigan, who provided the men with their initial purchase order for two coil cradles and straighteners.

With no manufacturing facility of their own, they worked with several locations that manufactured the parts and built the equipment. In 1952, they decided to purchase a small building on Canal Street in Napoleon, Ohio. This first building consisted of only 2,173 sq. ft. As the orders continued and increased in number, several additions to the building and equipment purchases were required to handle the growth.

In 1955, Alvin asked his two sons-in-law to join the company. Marion Greenler and William Beck began learning the business. As a result of several more expansions and the purchase of a few surrounding businesses, by 1957 Automatic Feed Company had grown to 32,215 sq. ft. Several years later light cranes were installed to create a saw room and steel storage area.

In 1966, Alvin F. Groll suffered a heart attack. The Board of Directors appointed William Beck as president, in charge of the office and sales, and Marion Greenler as vice president, in charge of manufacturing. With a new philosophy and the assistance of dedicated employees, Automatic Feed Company continued to grow. In 1967, another expansion began for additional office space, stock room, print room, vault, sand blasting area, and increases in the assembly, manufacturing and fabrication department areas.

In 1982, orders were down and the future of Automatic Feed Company seemed uncertain. As a result of buy/sell negotiations with the Greenler family, the Beck family purchased the controlling interest in the company. William Beck retired shortly thereafter. The third generation of the family, Kim Beck and Peter Beck took over the reins of the company. Kim was named president, handling the sales and engineering functions of the business. Peter was named vice president, coordinating the fabricating, machine shop and assembly operations. They met the challenge to save the business and developed a solid business philosophy of extensive reinvestment, an international target market, and good labor relations. They drew on each other's strengths and set out to become the single source supplier of coil handling equipment to Honda of America, in Marysville, Ohio. It was this order that pulled the company out of a grim situation.

Kim and Peter liked Honda's team concept and decided to utilize it at Automatic Feed Company. This concept drew upon the expertise of all team members at various levels throughout the organization. It provided them with an opportunity to make decisions and pro-actively offer their input to management.

In 1986 the assembly floor was extended to accommodate the growing line lengths and the machine shop area was increased in 1993. During the early 1990's, the company focused on developing foreign trade relations, helping the company earn the prestigious Governor's "E" Award in 1994.

The following years were taken up by another objective, maintaining market share. These were the growth years, where we were trying to expand and ward off competition by handling more projects. The last expansion was completed in 1997 when the assembly floor and office areas were greatly enlarged. In its fifty+ year existence, Automatic Feed Company has grown from 2,173 sq. ft. to a total of 168,500 sq. ft. with the front entrance in the same location as it was in 1953.

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North America
High Production Technology
476 East Riverview
Napoleon, Ohio 43545-1899

Tel. 419.592.0050
Fax. 419.592.8590