1980’s: The Beginning of an Era

In 1987, Mike Montgomery and Bryan Trowbridge were two school friends who shared a hobby of metal working. In space at the back of Bryan's family business in Versailles, IN, they worked to together on their hobby. Soon news spread of their capabilities. The hobby became a daily demand for equipment repair and machining projects.

As demand continued to grow, it became apparent there was a small business developing. They decided to establish Montrow Tool & Machine, Inc. As business growth required greater commitment of time, they became aware of the different needs for their futures. Bryan remained in Versailles to keep his previous commitments with his family business and Mike moved the company to a small place in North Vernon, IN. The two remained friends.

Once in the new facility, the company grew quickly. After a short time, a common need from the customer was revealed. They needed something more than just a product or service. They needed project management and engineering support.

1980’s | 1990’s | 2000’s | 2010’s

1990’s: The Rise of a Business

Montrow stopped being a job shop and became a customer support business. Montrow began to seek out customers who would benefit from improvements to their manufacturing processes, techniques for cost controls, tooling replacements, tooling life, and ergonomics of tooling and equipment design. Montrow developed systems and processes to meet these customer needs as a response.

After the final system of data collection and control was created, this technique was first used on a century old method for creating steel rule dies. In 1989 Montrow developed automated equipment and a quality control system for producing poly-film rule dies. This process continues today. With the success of the poly-film die project, the system was expanded to include extrusion mold replacement tooling, stamping die replacement tooling, and special equipment modifications to increase cycle time and reduce routine maintenance requirements.

This expansion offered a new opportunity of designing and building specialized equipment. In 1994 Montrow relocated to a 10,000 sq. ft. facility located on Fifth Street in North Vernon, IN to accommodate designing and building specialty machines.

1980’s | 1990’s | 2000’s | 2010’s

2000’s: Expansion Begins

In 1998 Montrow purchased land and began the development of the Montrow Industrial Park. This was to accommodate the new skill-centered businesses. The first step was a new 15,000 sq. ft. building for the existing Montrow Tool & Machine, Inc business, which was completed in 2000. The following year, Montrow founded the first spin-off company, Parkway Manufacturing, Inc. which incorporated in July of 2001. Within the same year, Montrow formed Industrial Interest, Inc. to handle development of the Montrow Industrial Park.

The next challenge was to fill the company’s need for talented machinists, engineers and tool makers. To fulfill this need Montrow partnered with Ivy Tech College and registered two apprenticeship programs: one with the Federal Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, and the other with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. To improve stamping die practices at Montrow, we began a joint venture with Chiyoda Kogyo Company LTD., located in Nagoya, Japan in 2004. The Joint venture was named Chiyoda Montrow Die Mfg., Inc. (CMD) and was incorporated in March of 2004.

CMD produces stamping dies using Japanese methods and quality standards for design, build, and maintenance. Dies are also manufactured in Japan and shipped to the customers in the United States for trials and testing before they go into mass production. Members from CMD and Japan work side-by-side during these trials and testing. Once the dies are in the US, CMD obtains the original drawings so that they may tune, modify, and maintain the stamping dies.

1980’s | 1990’s | 2000’s | 2010’s

2010’s: Continuation of Growth

In 2010 Macro Strategies (MacStrat) was created, developed, and is operated by Eric Genda, one of the principle officers at Montrow. The customer wanted to continue with Montrow's business method, yet they also needed a low-cost alternative to common machine and tooling components. To meet this need, Montrow developed a business with Mr. Peiwei Wang. Mr. Wang created and operates Wang Consulting located in Columbus, IN. Mr. Wang works together with select Chinese manufacturers to supply quality parts and supplies for all aspects of the Montrow Group companies.

The next advancement in Montrow's business model was expanding the practice and systems closer to core customers. The first of these expansions was in 2015 when Montrow Tool & Machine, Inc had expanded their business to Kentucky. The Montrow: Frankfort Division was opened in Frankfort, KY to be closer to customers in Kentucky and to better meet their demands.

The current phase of our story is the opportunity for production. In 2016, Montrow Tool & Machine, Inc. purchased a 40,000 sq. ft. building on JFK Drive in North Vernon, IN. The design of this latest expansion will allow us to set up entire production lines to evaluate and adjust the operation prior to dis-assembly and shipping to the customer.

1980’s | 1990’s | 2000’s | 2010’s