Progress Tool & Die Inc., a Spokane Valley-based designer and manufacturer of industrial metal products, has launched a new line of commercial and industrial carts that it holds a patent for and that it will begin distributing worldwide in about two months.
Alan Barnes, a company co-owner, says the new product line, called the All-Ways Cart, consists of several variations of a three-wheeled cart that can be used in the welding industry to move heavy equipment, such as propane tanks or welding torches.
Barnes says the design of the carts makes them easier to maneuver, and users bear less of the carts' load when moving them.
He says production of the carts will take place at Progress Tool & Die's 53,000-square-foot manufacturing facility here, at 19103 E. Cataldo. The carts are expected to be distributed through an industrial equipment supplier, and Barnes says he expects that the retail price per cart will be between $300 and $400.
Progress Tool & Die was founded here about 30 years ago by Barnes' father, Wayne Barnes, who's also still co-owner of the company.
The company currently employs about 20 people, down from a high of 86 employees in the early 2000s. Barnes says that when manufacturing of the All-Ways Cart hits full-scale production, he expects the company will need to hire more people.
He says the company's revenue for 2012 so far is on pace with last year's, which saw a slight drop compared with its 2010 revenue.
Barnes says Progress Tool & Die makes equipment for a range of industries, including the medical, dental, and aerospace sectors, and also offers die-making and metal-stamping services.
Several years ago, Barnes says, the company acquired the boat-trailer manufacturing arm of now-defunct Spokane-based Calkins Manufacturing Co. Now called Carnai Trailers, that enterprise operates as a division of Progress Tool & Die, and makes trailers to haul boats, jet skis, and other recreational equipment, as well as a line of utility trailers.
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