SALAMANCA — Meritool LLC celebrated its 20th anniversary Aug. 27 at its facility located at 4496 Route 353, near the Salamanca and Little Valley town line.
To celebrate the company’s anniversary, the outdoor event included plant tours and refreshments. Timm Herman, Meritool owner and president, said the event was by invitation only due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
Meritool has seen a successful eight years of manufacturing in the building that once served as Luminite’s plant. In October 2011, a year after Luminite left their facility for Bradford, Pa., Herman bought it, eyeing a move from his leased facility in Ellicottville that his company was outgrowing.
Herman said the Luminite building offered several advantages to the expanding mechanical company, including nearly doubling in size from about 15,000 square feet in Ellicottville.
“We discovered the Salamanca property which, at 27,000 square feet, was perfect for our growth needs,” he said. “It was also a little more central to our employees’ homes.”
Meritool moved to the former Luminite building in April 2013 after extensive remodeling to update the facility and to make it meet their production requirements.
The building needed 5,000 square feet of offices built and a new lighting system to cut electric costs. Herman said they converted to high-efficiency LED lighting and they installed a Geothermal HVAC system in the front office.
Future plans include converting the entire 27,000-square-foot facility to geothermal heating and cooling. He said Snyder Manufacturing designed and installed the office HVAC system and has specified a system for the factory.
A mechanical engineer with a BSME and MBA from Northwestern University, Herman bought Meritool from founder Jack Bares in 2001, moving it from Cleveland. He said it was a startup business at the time with one employee and two patents. Now they have 24 employees.
In 2001, he also purchased ToolSource Inc., an online database for tool manufacturers. The site now sells over 60,000 tools from over 500 manufacturers. He purchased Stout Tool Corp. in 2010, which produces one-handed cordless bandsaws.
Herman said he moved his company to Western New York for several reasons. He was a corporate guy following his paycheck from Wisconsin to Georgia and New Jersey, and was facing a couple more moves. His wife grew up in Hamburg and they had four kids growing up. Because the couple didn’t want to keep moving, they made the region their home in 2000 and now live in Ellicottville.
“We enjoy the small town, country feel of the Salamanca area,” he said. “People raised in this area have a strong work ethic and that helps our company succeed.”
Meritool specializes in professional cordless single and two component dispensing tools. The company began the design and manufacture of cordless caulking guns in 1993. The company’s first products were sold to the Auto Glass Replacement market as urethane dispensers. Since then, it has expanded its range of adhesive guns to industries worldwide.
The company holds patents in the U.S.A., Germany, France, U.K. and China. It designs and builds specialty power tools and boasts itself as the world’s largest manufacturer of cordless dispensing tools.
“We value our intellectual property. We are first and foremost a designer and manufacturer of very specialized cordless tools,” Herman said. “The name Meritool is not a household word, as we manufacture the majority of our products under private label for a variety of customers. Our products are sold under the names of some of the world’s largest adhesives and power tool companies.”
Herman said these designs are often highly customized to the adhesive’s specific requirements and are made to do a very specific job. He said their tools can be found on construction sites in a wide variety of applications including assembling automobiles, in the manufacture of commercial and military aircraft, assembling batteries for electric vehicles, in automotive collision repair and windshield replacement. They can even be found in specialized models in dental and audiology clinics.
“Our engineers design all aspects of our tool. This includes not only the mechanical aspects of the tool, such as the gearing, but we also design the electronic aspects of our tool including the circuit boards and operating software for our tools,” he said. “Every tool has a microprocessor motor controller and is more sophisticated than the average cordless tool. This requires us to be familiar with the dispensing characteristics of a wide variety of adhesives and sealants, the design of the various packaging options and how to dispense them.”
According to Herman, one of Meritool’s more recent developments is a tool that is used in underground piping rehabilitation. He said this is a growth industry as the aging infrastructure requires significant refurbishment.