A rich and extensive story of family and manufacturing...
The story of Superior Die Set begins with polish immigrant, Kasimir Janiszewski. At the young age of 22, Kasimir decided to leave Poland to start a new life in the land of opportunity – the United States of America. He entered the U.S. via the Port of New York in 1910. When asked his specialty for immigration registration, he replied, “What specialty makes the most money? ” The immigration specialist answered, “tool and die maker”. So with that, Kasimir entered the field of tool and die.
In 1923, Kasimir along with two partners started Superior Tool and Die just outside the heart of downtown Milwaukee. Kasimir used his natural skills as a blacksmith to become well-known in the Milwaukee area for a specialty in draw dies. Kasimir was also an innovator in his own right. He would go on to earn over 20 patents relating to the tool and die industry over the course of the next 50 years.
When the Second World War started, Kasimir’s sons Alphonse (Army) and Casimir H. (Navy) joined the military to fight against the Axis powers. While they were in the Armed Forces, Kasimir sold the tool and die portion of the business to his 2 original partners becoming Service Tool which still exists today. Kasimir kept his portion and grew the die set side of the business, renaming to Superior Steel Products.
The two companies began their new independent lives, however, continuing to share the same building they opened in. Eventually, Service Tool moved on to a facility in West Allis, Wisconsin. Experiencing booming growth for the last two decades, in the late 60’s Superior Steel Products split into 2 separate companies and opened a plant in Connecticut. Kasimir’s sons, Casimir H. and Alphonse took over running the plant in Wisconsin and changed the company’s name again to its current – Superior Die Set Corporation. At this point in time the histories of Superior Steel Products and Superior Die Set diverged permanently. Eventually Alphonse was named President of Superior Die Set and served until 1969, at which time Casimir H. became President.
Superior’s Mold Base division was started conceptually in 1980 with engineering and groundwork. By 1982 Superior Die Set had entered the mold base business, and still manufactures mold bases to this day. In 1985 the plant in Oak Creek was expanded specifically for the mold base product line. Also, in the mid-80’s Superior signed a distributor’s agreement with a French company, Pechiney, to distribute an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy called Fortal, specifically designed for the stamping industry. Superior Die Set was the first die set company to embrace the use of aluminum in die sets.
In 1988 Casimir S. Janiszewski, son of Casimir H., became CEO and President. One of Casimir S.’s first priorities was to visit post-communist Poland. With a natural family interest by virtue of Polish heritage, Casimir S.’s main goal for the venture was to find a polish components supplier to support growing production in Wisconsin. In 1993 Superior Die Set purchased FCPK “Fabryka Części Precyzyjnych Kazimierz (Kasimir’s Precision Components Factory)” Bytów and began operations in Poland. FCPK has grown aggressively over the past 20 years, becoming a major manufacturer focused on supplying the European die and mold building industries. Experiencing so much success a 2nd plant in Kielce was opened, and in 2020 FCPK rebranded as ProPlastica.
The recent history of Superior Die Set includes major upgrades to planning, scheduling, and manufacturing. During the 2000’s the fourth generation of Janiszewski’s also started careers at Superior Die Set carrying the torch and extending the Janiszewski tradition to the present day.
Scroll below for a timeline of our highlights.