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 Business > Manufacturing

2801 Huffman Blvd. | Rockford, IL 61103 | www.specialtyscrew.com

When Specialty Screw Corporation opened in 1953, Rockford was known as the Fastener Capital of the World. “Specialty Screw has survived, when bigger companies have not,” says Mike LiCausi, Specialty Screw’s VP of sales and marketing. “I attribute that to the fact that this is a family-owned business. The owner is right here on site, involved intimately with the day-to-day functions of the company.”

President Russ Johansson, whose father purchased Specialty Screw in 1975, has been majority owner since 1995. His son and daughters now work at the company, too.

“We’re very customer-service oriented,” Johansson says. Most of those customers are in North America, but 10% of the company’s products are shipped overseas.

With much of its business coming from the automotive industry, Specialty Screw no longer makes products targeted to the cabinet hardware industry as it did at the beginning. Instead, it uses the same technology—plus plenty of innovation & talented employees—to produce high-quality, high-tolerance precision components found in items as diverse as small horsepower engines, firearms, hand tools, even energy storage devices.

“When automotive goes down, you need counter-cyclical business,” LiCausi says.

Over the years, Specialty Screw has received local, regional, and national recognition for its resource conservation efforts, and slashed its energy consumption, by investing in things like a 17 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system, energy-efficient lighting, bio swales for rain water conservation and a new $170,000 software system to control heating, cooling and ventilation.

“We capture heat off our air compressors and reintroduce it to the shop in wintertime, opposed to exhausting it outside. None of the waste we generate from processing our fasteners goes to the landfill, all of it is recycled,” Johansson says.

The company is committed to supporting regional businesses, too. “We’re very fortunate to have the majority of world class suppliers of tooling and subcontractors for metal finishing, heat treating and precision grinding short distances from us,” Johansson says.

According to Johansson, the key to Specialty Screw’s success is simple: “We continue to do whatever it takes to meet the customer’s requirements to insure that we are both in a profitable relationship – we value being a company of choice.”