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Q&A: David Strand

President and CEO, Wisconsin Oven Corporation and Thermal Product Solutions

Dec 7, 2017 PDF Digital

What are your duties with Wisconsin Oven?

My duties are pretty much the same ones I have at Thermal Product Solutions (TPS), the parent company that acquired Wisconsin Oven in 2015. Since the acquisition, my duties have changed to more of a national responsibility instead of just a local responsibility at Wisconsin Oven. I have responsibilities for operations in Pennsylvania, the current headquarters of TPS; we also have a facility in Michigan and a facility in California. So, day-to-day duties are centered around hiring great people, providing a vision, and working with the team to develop annual strategic plans. Then drive great process, accountability, and communication throughout the organization. My goal is to continue to build a championship culture.

What products and services does Wisconsin Oven offer?

Our product line is very diversified. We offer everything from low-temperature ovens for drying, coating, and composite curing in the 300- to 500-degree Fahrenheit range. Our higher temperature applications such as tempering, annealing, and hardening may require temperatures as high as 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit. We also have quite a large after-market department that does installations and refurbishments. We also refurbish and do service on our competitors’ equipment.

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The Wisconsin Oven Corporation Strand Plant.
(Courtesy: Wisconsin Oven Corporation)

What is Wisconsin Oven doing to advance the heat-treating industry?

We have broadened our custom design offerings on products such as our horizontal quench line and drop bottoms. Offering custom solutions to our customers has been beneficial to their advancement. We have also invested heavily in our controls offering and data acquisition platforms. These are the areas our customers are seeing more needs, and that’s where we are driving the business.

What are some of Wisconsin Oven’s proudest moments?

There are a number of them. I think one of the proudest moments would be the continued growth that we’ve seen year over year, which has led to not only one, but two acquisitions in the last five years. Some people look at being acquired as somewhat of a threat, but for us it’s just meant continued growth and opportunity. I think another one of our proudest moments was being purchased by a competitor, and basically being purchased to help be part of the bigger picture to grow TPS. Locally, recently having a road named after us (Wisconsin Oven Way) has employees holding their heads high!

What sets Wisconsin Oven apart when it comes to what you can offer your customers?

I think the largest thing would be quality. We offer three- and five-year warranties on our equipment, which is unprecedented in this industry. Typically, it’s a one-year warranty. We stand behind our products, and we can back it with these warranties. One of the other things that we can offer that our competitors cannot because of the size of our facilities is the ability to fully test large ovens to meet the customer’s specification prior to shipment. Many times, when you’re building large pieces of equipment, they have to be assembled on site. Many of our competitors are forced to build it on site and test it on site, which can be a disruption to the customer’s production. Because of our huge campus of facilities and high bay production cells, we have an advantage our customers appreciate.

Where do you see Wisconsin Oven in five or 10 years?

I see us continuing to do more growth through acquisition. We already have some information that suggests that we have the majority of market share. This is because of our diversified product offerings that serve such a wide variety of industries. So, we will continue to invest in great people, innovation, and businesses resulting in an expanded footprint and continual market share gain. 

For more information: www.wisoven.com

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