Otto Basilius had a dream of owning his own company. That’s why he started Otto’s Grinding Shop. Otto’s new company started out as a small garage shop operation that specialized in grinding work. From sharpening lawn mower blades to performing outsource grinding operations for local shops, the business started to grow. Soon Otto approached Willy’s Overland and inquired about grinding their used cutting tools. Landing this job allowed Otto to keep expanding his small garage shop operation. From the beginning, it was a family company, and Otto’s two sons, Don and Vern, worked alongside their father.
As the business started to gain traction, Don continued to make connections with some local shops.One connection in particular, with an injection molding company, set the direction of the business toward becoming an injection mold builder. The business continued to grow, as mold building became the main emphasis of the company. In the early 1950s, Otto’s Grinding Shop became “Basilius Grinding and Tool Company” and relocated to a larger facility.
In the early 1960s, a few molding machines were purchased to allow engineers to run the molds they were building. These molding machines started another chapter in the history of Basilius, as mold building and injection molding became the main focal points of the company. During this time, Otto’s son-in-law, Darwyn Keiser, was brought into the company to manage the molding operations.
Don was always looking for the latest manufacturing technology and was eager to invest in equipment. In the early 1970s, as computer numerical controlled machining started to become available, Don invested in CNC milling and EDM machines. This new machining technology established Basilius as a leader in the mold building industry.
The 1970s also brought on the third generation at Basilius, starting with Don’s son Scott. Scott was later joined by Darwyn’s two sons, Dave and Doug. With the overlap of the second and third generations, knowledge and experience within the business was growing and being passed on. The third generation was instrumental in the expansion of the customer base and manufacturing capabilities at Basilius.
In 1982, Scott was appointed the company president. As the business grew in the 1980s, the company name was changed to Basilius Tool Company, in an effort to reflect the direction of the business as a mold builder.
In the mid 1990s, the company’s growth again created the need for a larger facility. In 1997, an existing molding facility was purchased, which increased Basilius’ manufacturing space from 15,000 to 52,000 square feet. This larger facility allowed even greater opportunities for the growth of the business, which inevitably led to another name change to reflect the diverse range of services offered at Basilius. After much consideration, a decision was made to change the company name to Basilius Inc.
The company is currently in transformation, as the fourth generation of the family is now actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the business. Doug Keiser’s two sons, Cody and Kyle, are deeply invested in the company’s integrity and success. Cody Keiser is focusing on streamlining processes and equipment in the mold building operations. Kyle Keiser is using his skills to automate the injection molding operations and update company marketing strategy.
As we move into the future, Basilius, Inc. remains committed to those key ideas that make us who we are—family, service, quality, and integrity.