Sko-Die E-Newsletter - October 2014

Patrick Steininger

In this edition of the Sko-Die e-newsletter, we'll provide an "Industry Update" regarding the ITC's ruling in a portion of the currently open trade cases filed against certain countries for the import of Grain Oriented Electrical Steel (GOES) products. We'll also introduce you to Sko-Die's design engineer, Chris Wheeler.

Lastly, we'll provide you with an update on the construction of Sko-Die's manufacturing facility addition, which is progressing on schedule.

Thank you,

Patrick Steininger

Industry News

Electrical Steel Trade Cases  –  The ITC has issued a final ruling in a portion of the currently open trade cases filed against certain countries for the import of Grain Oriented Electrical Steel (GOES) products.  The decision by the ITC on August 27 was found in favor of Germany, Japan and Poland and absolved them of import duties. The ITC is scheduled to make final injury determinations on the remaining cases against the Czech Republic, China, Korea and Russia on October 23rd.

A final ruling by the ITC is expected in October in the cases involving Non Oriented Electrical Steel (NOES).  Preliminary rulings were already issued by the Commerce Commission in these cases earlier this year.  Those rulings included suggested duties on these products; however, it is the final ITC ruling that is the final word on what, if any, duties will go into effect.  There is varying opinion amongst industry insiders as to what the end result of the ITC ruling on the NOES cases will be.  Some believe that the NOES cases are as compelling as the GOES cases while many also believe that the GOES final ruling may have some effect on the NOES rulings.  No matter which way these cases are ultimately decided, Sko-Die is positioned well to ensure that we continue to bring the best solutions to bear in support of our customers / partners.

Sko-Die is a strong advocate of a robust domestic manufacturing sector.  We believe that a healthy and vibrant manufacturing sector is a key factor in a strong overall economy.  We recognize and support the strong domestic capability and capacity to produce these products and will continue to capitalize on this strength in support of all of our customer’s applications.  We also recognize and appreciate the global options that exist for some Electric Steel products and will continue to offer those options to our customer where it makes sense.  We will continue to support all of our customer's efforts to maintain and expand their domestic manufacturing strategies and appreciate the ongoing opportunities to do so.  Please stay tuned to us for details as these pending rulings are released and contact your Sko-Die representative should you have any questions.

Chris Wheeler

Meet Chris Wheeler,
Sko-Die’s Design Engineer

Chris Wheeler’s high school Metal Shop teacher wanted to take the Illinois state test for getting his motorcycle license but needed a current licensed driver to take him to the testing facility.  Chris had his license so he volunteered to do that.  Earlier, the teacher had received a notice from Sko-Die, Inc. that they were looking for a talented graduating student interested in an apprenticeship, so after passing his test he filled Chris in on the career opportunity.  Chris was always interested in the metal stamping industry so he followed the lead and on July 1, 1980 began his career at Sko-Die.  When Chris started, Sko-Die’s President was Joe Steininger, first generation owner.  He interviewed with Design Engineer, Dick Steininger, who would become President and second generation owner.  He credits current President and third generation owner Patrick Steininger for continuing the traditions that allow him to learn and build on his 30 plus year career at Sko-Die.

Chris started in 1980 as an apprentice tool and die maker and immediately began to expand his education by enrolling in the TMA (Technology and Manufacturing Association) apprenticeship training program.  After completing this 3 year program he went to design school and wire EDM training where he learned how to program and operate that machinery.  In 1986 he was promoted to Tool Room Foreman but did not stop his educational pursuits.  He then enrolled in Triton college programs for Auto Cad, CNC programming and operation and additional wire EDM classes.  In 1993, with an acknowledgement of his advanced education and hands on experience, Chris was promoted to his present position of Design Engineer.  In this position he is responsible for the design and production of all of the tooling and fixtures that are used to manufacture the customers’ stamped parts.  By using SolidWorks 3D CAD Design and 3D QuickPress software Chris takes a part drawing and transforms it into a press mounted die that will stamp the finished part from the steel raw material.  He also programs and operates Sko-Die’s wire EDM machines which produce the components for the dies and fixtures.  In addition, Chris does the material procurement for his area and assists in the estimating process for part quoting. 

Chris has never regretted his decision to work in the metal stamping industry.  He has enjoyed watching the changes that have taken place especially with the size of the presses and tooling, the accuracy that is achieved in the manufacturing process and the wide variety of parts that Sko-Die has produced.  He is proud to be a part of the growth that has seen sales grow 100 times and the reinvestment that has been done by management for additional and new equipment and also floor space addition by building acquisition and new building construction. He says working at Sko-Die is like working with family and he smiles when he recalls the different bachelor parties and weddings of fellow employees that he has attended.

Personally, Chris attended Niles West High School (Skokie, Illinois), where he developed his interest in the metal stamping industry and where he excelled at sports.  He was co-captain of the varsity wresting team and in football accomplished what few have done when as a sophomore he received his varsity letter.  Currently he stays very busy as he has 6 children and 4 grandchildren and can enjoy his love of travelling, as one child lives in North Carolina and another in Seattle – coast to coast.  In his spare time he also has interests in cars and motorcycles with more than just road trips planned as he spends time with rebuilding projects.  

Sko-Die’s Construction Progressing on Schedule

“Concrete Foundation Walls Poured”
“Wall Studs Installed”
“Outside Walls Final Coat”
“Inside Walls – Press Pit Ready”

For any questions concerning your account please contact:

Jeff Curtin, Customer Service Manager, 800-486-4756 X112,


Michael McGuire, Director of Sales, 800-486-4756 X120,

For more information visit

Sko-Die Inc.| 8050 Austin Ave. - Morton Grove, IL 60053
Phone: 800-486-4756 | Fax: 847-966-0322

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