History

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. 

1923 Kasimir Janiszewski opens Superior Tool & Die in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
1923
1932 A spread from one of Superior's original catalogs.
1932
1936 The Great Depression devastated just about every industry including tool and die. Superior Tool and Die was very likely saved from a worse fate by Hope Dispensing. They gave Superior a large order with money down, which was unheard of at the time. Here’s a thank you letter to the judge who reversed Superior’s receivership in 1936.
1936
1937 Superior Die Set becomes 1 of the 3 charter members of the TDMAW (Tool, Die & Machining Association of WI)
1937
1939 Superior develops prototype turret for the M1 Stuart combat car.
1940 Superior supplies armor plate to aid in World War II.
1940
1944 Superior Tool & Die becomes Superior Steel Products.
1944
1954 A picture of the covers of Superior's 10th catalog.
1954
1965 Superior Tool & Die moves to its current facility in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and becomes Superior Die Set Corporation.
1965
1966 Casimir H. gives a tour of the new Oak Creek plant.
1966
1969 Casimir H. Janiszewski (right) becomes president of Superior Die Set.
1969
1970 Advertisement from the 70s that Superior used to promote its products.
1970
1973 Founded the Milwaukee Punch Company.
1973.1
1973 Superior Die Set's growth is featured in the Milwaukee Sentinel.
1973.2
1973 Kasimir and his wife Sophie at the company's 50th Anniversary celebration. In addition to a full event including Polish food, and dancers the day memorialized the principles that guided Kasimir while running the company: industry, integrity, leadership, generosity, civic consciousness and patriotism.
1973.3
1982 Superior launches its mold base division and begins providing products to mold manufacturers.
1982
1983 The spread of Superior's 60th anniversary brochure highlighting entry into the mold industry.
1983
1985 Oak Creek facility is expanded specifically to accommodate the mold base product line.
1985
1986 Superior expands offerings to include Fortal aircraft grade aluminum.
1986
1988 Casimir S. Janiszewski (CHJ’s eldest son) becomes CEO.
1988
1993 Superior Die Set purchases polish subsidiary FCPK Bytów (ProPlastica).
1993
1998 Superior Die Set celebrates 75 years in business.
1998
2001 Superior embraces new technology and implements a modern ERP system making the shop floor virtually paperless.
2001
2002 FCPK Bytów (ProPlastica) opens its second location in Kielce, Poland.
2002
2008 Superior rebrands its punch division to Greendale Precision Services.
2008
2013 Fourth generation Frank Janiszewski (CHJ's youngest son) becomes President.
2013
2018 Superior Die Set celebrates 95 years in business. Frank and Casey Janiszewski are photographed with their children who now also work at Superior. Left to right: Kathryn Janiszewski (Frank), Steve Janiszewski (Casey), Frank, Casey, Nick Janiszewski (Casey), and Jake Janiszewski (Frank).
2018
2019 Superior appoints its first non-family Chief Executive Officer, Martin Girga.
2019.1
2019 Superior creates and publicly publishes its mission, vision and values statements.
2019.2
2020 Superior moves Greendale Precision Services to the Oak Creek facility.
2020.3
2020 FCPK Bytów rebrands as ProPlastica.
2020.1
2020 Superior makes significant investments in new technology in the Oak Creek plant.
2020.2
2021 Superior makes significant investments into personnel talent and acquisition.
2021

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