May 23, 2023 – Osborne, Kansas, USA – Osborne Industries, Inc., celebrated its 50th anniversary of incorporation at its headquarters on May 23, 2023. The company’s official date of incorporation was May 15, 1973. The 100% employee-owned company is widely diversified by offering molding services for original equipment manufacturers (OEM) of composite plastic components for a variety of industries and selling its own proprietary lines of livestock and pet management equipment.
Osborne Industries’ humble origin started with only five employees five decades ago inside a rented Quonset building on the county fairgrounds. Today, just across the street from the same fairgrounds, the company has nearly 250,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehouse, and office buildings, occupying almost 11 acres in the Osborne Industrial Park.
Early manufacturing for the company was limited to labor-intensive hand lay-up methods for fiberglass-reinforced plastics fabrication. In 1976, Osborne Industries developed a new closed-mold molding process called resin transfer molding (RTM). Now, 50 years later, Osborne Industries holds its reputation for advanced RTM-manufacturing capabilities for fiberglass-reinforced plastics with numerous OEM customers. Osborne’s RTM manufacturing is also used in many of their proprietary livestock and pet products.
Tremendous growth took place in the 1980s and 1990s, owing especially to acquisitions of various companies. These acquisitions allowed Osborne Industries to expand its capabilities to include metal fabrication, machining, tool building, and an electronic design and assembly division. In 1994, Osborne Industries further expanded its molding capabilities with the addition of a department dedicated to reaction injection molding (RIM) of plastic parts. The expansion into RIM allowed Osborne Industries to become one of only a few molding companies worldwide with polydicyclopentadiene (pDCPD) molding capabilities. Today, with almost 30 years of experience in RIM molding, Osborne Industries has become a reputable supplier of high-quality, custom-engineered RIM parts for the construction, wastewater, agriculture, and industrial equipment industries. Most recently, the company has been focusing on automating production processes, implementing several custom-designed robotic machines to take the handwork out of key finishing processes such as trimming and drilling parts with thick cross sections.
In 2001, with the creation of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), Osborne Industries transitioned into becoming an employee-owned company by purchasing a 30% ownership interest from several individual stockholders. In early 2007, the final stocks were purchased by the ESOP and the company became 100% employee-owned. Becoming 100% employee-owned solidified the values and commitments established by the company’s founders to provide job opportunities in rural north central Kansas.
A company luncheon for current and former employees was held on May 23, 2023, to celebrate 50 years in business. Historical photos, marketing materials, newspaper clippings, and newsletters were on display for employees and guests to enjoy.