OTTUMWA — After several months of negotiations, Superior Machine has finalized the purchase of property near the Ottumwa Armory at 150 Fox Sauk Road. 

Facilitating the sale between property broker Tom Lielich of CBRE Realty in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Superior Machine Inc. President Benjamin Van Loon, Greater Ottumwa Partners In Progress Vice President Sharon Stroh confirmed the closing on Sept. 28.

Having already been in the industry for 27 years, Superior Machine is prepared to begin the next stage of their growth in Ottumwa, with headquarters remaining in Albia. Superior provides CNC machining, laser and bending, welding and fabrication, paint and finishing and turnkey assembly to customers throughout Iowa and surrounding states. The total cost of building purchase and infrastructure improvements total is approximately $4 million in new investment.

Superior Machine’s search for a new location in Ottumwa started in 2018 but got serious quickly in 2021 when manufacturing facilities began filling and inventory became more competitive. The business's new location formerly warehoused product for Pioneer Seed until its merger with DuPont to create Corteva. The location had been only partially full for the past three years.

Superior Machine began in 1994 by Ben’s father Kevin with just himself, one CNC lathe, and 7,000 square feet. He sold the company to Ben in January of 2018. Today, with the Ottumwa addition, there are over 320,000 square feet under roof and over 100 employees.

The new general manager for the Ottumwa location will be Jeremiah Johnson, who is originally from this area and is returning to Iowa from the Detroit region. He begins his duties in November. Johnson will oversee plant improvements and installation of robotic cells and new equipment for more precise manufacturing output.

“The manufacturing sector is seeing a new wave of industrial automation and smart technology, known as Industry 4.0, and Superior Machine is demonstrating their commitment to this next wave of the industrial revolution by including collaborative and autonomous robotics and equipment for process improvements at the Ottumwa location,” Stroh said.

Van Loon said he is excited to be expanding into Ottumwa and hopes to attract talented people with a drive to be the best at what they do while making American-Made products. Their mission revolves around a dedication to quality and quantity.

“I started myself on the shop floor and have progressed through every position there is, knowing what we can do and how to do it well. Superior treats their people based on the Golden Rule,” he said.

Superior Machine Inc. is accepting applications for employment in Ottumwa, while training in Albia. Superior prefers in-person applicants, and is seeking machine operators, lathe and mill leads and supervisors. Pay, benefits, time off and bonuses are all part of the package.

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