A1 Engineering Company History


  • 1971
  • Gordon Neuman began A-1 Engineering, Inc. during 1971 with an idea to solve a problem developing in the injection molding process. Gordon's brother Clayton, an engineer at a molding company, discovered that contamination reaching the gate of a runner-less system caused lengthy production interruptions and tooling damage. With cooperation from Clayton's employer, the first SPM300 injection filter was tested and promising results were realized.

    By the end of 1971, the patents were approved for a filter device installed before the nozzle of an injection machine which prevented contamination found in the raw material from causing tool damage and production downtime.

    The founder of Incoe Corporation, Troy Michigan, worked closely with A-1 Engineering to market the melt filter. Incoe was the pioneer in developing and marketing the Hot Runner (runner-less) injection manifold system. The combination of the Screen PAC and Incoe's Hot Runner system provides molders with many advantages.

  • Mid 70's
  • Clayton Neuman joined Gordon and A-1 Engineering, Inc. during 1973 in order to provide customers access to their ingenuity relative to the design and production of the SPM Screen PAC and plastic injection tooling.

    They continued to refine the SPM design with a focus on safety, easy purging, and longevity. Many SPM filters have lasted over 20 years in service.

    Land was acquired and the existing facility was custom built in Coon Rapids, Minnesota during 1975. A-1 Engineering, Inc. moved into the building early 1976.

    With the primary focus, on plastic injection tools, A-1 Engineering provided several customers with robustly designed and manufactured tooling. The first barrier gate tool was designed and built for North States Industries, Inc. during 1977. Several large tools followed and they remain a significant customer 30 years later.

    Working closely with Ed Popp, our company was among the earliest small shops to utilize NC technology for machining molds.

  • Early 80's
  • The SPM600, SPM4000 and SPM6000 were designed to accommodate larger capacity presses and feature an easy purge design to allow quick purging without taking the melt filter off line. Additional advantages include material mixing, material homogenization, and uniform temperature, which allows for a much easier cavity fill.

  • The 90's
  • A-1 Engineering supports the medical market through manufacturing of a replacement heart valve made from titanium.

    A-1 Engineering supports the aerospace market through manufacturing of components for aircraft navigation.

    We were instrumental in refining the design and operation of molds used for the production of polycarbonate lenses used in eyeglasses. Our customer at this time GMV, Galic/Manus Ventures, was a pioneer in the automation of molding prescription quality lenses.

    We were instrumental in refining the design and operation of molds used to produce compact discs and DVD discs. Clayton insisted that it was possible to produce these without opening the mold. The technology was later transferred to Krauss Maffei, a leading German company for the industry.

  • The New Century
  • Adapting to the changing business climate, we established ourselves as a mold builder and contract manufacturer by broadening our customer list and applying our diverse equipment to their needs.

    2005 brought new ownership to A-1 Engineering as Dennis Richner, 15 year company veteran, and Todd Craft, 21 years with Remmele Engineering, decided to lead the company forward.

    2006-2008 brought a transformation of the company through a focus on updating equipment, computer systems, and infrastructure supporting the future direction of the business. Compliance to ISO9000 quality practices became a focus. Application of new technology tooling and lean manufacturing practices provided additional capacity. Further diversification provides for deeper market strength.

    2009 has included implementation of Shoptech E2 ERP system in order to provide better support to our customers and goal of ISO9001:2008 certification.