Smart Solutions.

Specialty Tooling Systems, Inc. (STS) offers innovative engineering and proven automation capabilities for automotive, furniture, medical device, food processing, and other manufacturing companies. From single-operation specialty machines to large multi-robot cells, STS delivers smart solutions.

Our Capabilities

STS offers a wide range of capabilities in specialty machinery, assembly solutions and automation equipment. From MIG welding systems to automated assembly machines and rapid prototyping, STS has earned a reputation as a leading turnkey producer of industrial automation and specialty machinery. Our new 73,000 square-foot facility—located in Grand Rapids, Mich., less than one mile from the I-96 corridor—can accommodate projects ranging from complex multi-robot cells to single, one-off machines.

Since forming in 2000, STS has served a variety of customers in the automotive, furniture, food processing, aerospace, medical device, and other industries. Our full list of capabilities includes:

Assembly Machines

Assembly solutions are our bread and butter at STS. Our team has designed and fabricated customized specialty assembly centers for customers in the automotive, furniture, medical device, aerospace and a variety of other industries.

STS uses a proven system for designing, engineering and building assembly equipment. It begins with a review of our customer’s product line, engineering documents, operations/floor plan and delivery requirements. Then, our specialists incorporate the latest lean manufacturing principles to design and fabricate the assembly solution best suited for a particular customer’s needs.

Specifically, we offer:

  • Assembly Turntables
  • Automation Assembly
  • Automated Welding Cells and Specialty Welding Equipment
  • Conveyor Systems
  • Heat Staking
  • Nut and Small Part Feeding
  • Pierce Nut Assembly
  • Product Testing
  • Production Machining Systems
  • Robotic Material Handling
  • On-site Support, Maintenance Programs and Troubleshooting
  • Bosch Assembly Line for High-Volume Assembly

In addition, our team is happy to work with your operation to enhance or retrofit existing automated assembly equipment, promote workflow and maximize lean manufacturing principles.

Our partnership with Tooling Systems Group (TSG) also allows us to offer turnkey solutions from concept to finished product. For our specialty assembly equipment customers, that translates into efficient and rapid communication between our assembly and die groups, resulting in smooth engineering changes and other adjustments throughout the build process.

Welding Systems

Our laser and welding systems represent a major component of our specialty machinery and assembly solutions. STS’s welding capabilities include:

  • Automated Weld Cells
  • Resistance Spot Welding
  • Laser Welding / Cutting
  • MIG Welding
  • Plasma Welding
  • Resistance Welding
  • Stud Welding
  • TIG Welding
  • Training and Technical Support
  • 3D Laser Welding
  • Custom Fixture Design & Build Capability
  • Cut and Etch Capability

In addition, STS also designs and fabricates standard welding cells, built to ship and designed to handle both low-volume and high-volume production. Unlike custom welding cells, these models allow for rapid changeovers to new programs.

Vision Inspection and Quality Audit Systems

One bad part slipping into a production run can ruin an otherwise perfect system. At STS, we understand that even the best automated solutions are not complete without high-grade vision inspection and quality audit components.

STS offers a full range of mid-stream inspection and audit machines that we seamlessly integrate into our specialty machinery and automation technologies.

STS is also accustomed to working inside the parameters of each customer’s standardized quality policy.

Our vision inspection and quality equipment includes:

  • High-speed Palletized Testing
  • Manual Recliner Testers
  • Power Recliner Testers
  • Quality Diagnostic Equipment

Control Systems and Interfaces

When stringent production quotas need to be met, a complicated user interface can make an easy task much more challenging. At STS, we believe in keeping our control systems and user interfaces as intuitive as possible by utilizing the latest technology, including:

Collaborative Robotics

  • Fanuc
  • Nachi
  • Universal Robots

PLC Units

  • Allen Bradley
  • Omron
  • Siemens

In addition, our specialty machinery and industrial automation equipment comes standard with integrated display panels, and industry standard safety equipment including:

  • High-speed Palletized Testing
  • Manual Recliner Testers
  • Safety Fencing and Complete Enclosures
  • Safety Pads
  • Touch Buttons

Automation Cells

As more industrial processes trend toward automation, STS is committed to remaining at the forefront of automation technology. We are experienced in designing and fabricating everything from small, single-operation machines to large multi-robot cells for the automotive, aerospace, food processing, furniture and other industries.

Our automated capabilities include:

  • Aluminum Processing
  • Automation Assembly
  • Custom Conveyors
  • Machining
  • Press Automation
  • Robotically-loaded CNC Mills
  • Robotic Welding
  • Stretch Bending
  • Transfer Systems
  • Wing Bending

Turnkey Solutions

STS operates as one of twelve organizations under the Tooling Systems Group (TSG) family of companies. As a partner of TSG, STS offers true turnkey solutions to our customers. This collaboration allows for the construction of stamping dies, molds, machine design, automation technologies, and project support, all under one umbrella. TSG supports the ability to launch multiple sets of the same tool across the globe simultaneously, which reduces costs and lead times while optimizing resource utilization. With facilities located in both the Asian and European markets, STS brings global capabilities to its customers through its TSG partnership.

As a member of the TSG family of companies, customers benefit through:

  • Increased buying power through centralized purchasing
  • Increased efficiency and capacity
  • Shared knowledge of best practices and processes
  • Vertical integration for a seamless project from start to finish

Moreover, customers have access to a variety of capabilities under the TSG umbrella, including:

  • Sheet Metal Stamping Dies
  • Hot Stamping Dies and Processes
  • Hot Rolled Steel Plate Fabrications
  • Mold Tooling for Hydroform, Plastic Injection, Die Cast, Compression and Thermoform Applications
  • Laser Welding, MIG Welding, Resistance Spot Welding and Automated Welding Cells
  • Low-volume Part Production

In addition, STS is also partially owned by Nachi Robotics Systems, Inc., a $2 billion global manufacturer of robotic equipment. The partnership with Nachi affords STS the sort of financial backing typically reserved for large suppliers, but within a smaller, more nimble organization.

On-site Equipment and Staff

Specialty Tooling System’s 60,000 square foot facility provides the convenience and room to build and tryout large assembly lines on-site, ensuring that when the equipment arrives, it is ready to go.

  • 5 - Overhead cranes

    Capable of lifting up to 20-tons

  • 2 - High-speed CNC mills

    With work areas up to X64″ x Y34″ x Z30″

  • 4 - Welders

    Including TIG, MIG and Sub Arc

  • 85 - Employees

    Including project managers, estimators, designers, builders, machinist, programmers, and administrators.


STS is always looking for both established and emerging talents interested in our unique company culture.


STS provides end-to-end support for its clients. We offer innovative, full-service solutions—from concept to installation and beyond.

No matter what your machine’s delivery date is, our goal is to be there to train your team and support your ongoing maintenance needs. We’ll make sure your machines yield high overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) so you can minimize downtime, improve efficiency and drive profitability. Learn more about:

Program management is the cornerstone of our operation—and your success. Each project is assigned a dedicated global program manager, who serves as the primary point of contact and guides each project from purchase order to finished product.

The global project manager takes care of the communication between each of the shops under the Tooling System Group’s umbrella. This allows for a seamless transition of projects with open and transparent communication of each step of the process. Moreover, it promotes efficiencies throughout the process by reducing redundancies and minimizing the risk of miscommunication to the customer.

Regardless of industry, size or geography, our customers all want the same thing: quality, bang for the buck and overall equipment efficiency. STS delivers newly built automation equipment that does just that. Check out our capabilities to learn more about our expertise in automation systems.

We also offer redesign and repair services to existing customers. Whether it’s a controls upgrade for an older piece of equipment or mechanical repairs on a machine that’s down, STS helps customers improve OEE, reduce downtime and improve profitability. We offer maintenance and other services through our Grand Rapids and Detroit facilities, as well as our global support structure throughout the U.S., Mexico, Europe and China.

Customer training and support are important elements of our service to customers. We train customers in our facility when their equipment is being finalized and then train them onsite at their own facility when the equipment is delivered and assembled.

Our commitment to customer support also extends to maintenance strategies and services that improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), reduce downtime and increase profitability. We offer maintenance and other services through our Grand Rapids and Detroit facilities. Additionally, our affiliations with Tooling Systems Group and Nachi Robotics Systems provide a global support structure that allows us to respond quickly and effectively to customers throughout the U.S., Mexico, Europe and China.

While STS is based in Michigan, our ventures with Tooling Systems Group and Nachi Robotics Systems offer us a global footprint for serving OEMs and Tier-One suppliers with platforms in North America, Europe and China.

STS can build platform-specific assembly equipment multiple times in multiple regions of the world, offering OEM and Tier-One customers a number of benefits for their global platforms:

  • Reduced lead times
  • Optimized processes
  • Reduced costs, low-cost country
  • Enhanced training and service

This strategy of repeat merit also extends to our turnkey solutions for global platforms. By leveraging our alliances with TSG and Nachi, we can deliver effective turnkey solutions for global platforms—from dies to assembly equipment to check fixtures.

With more than 7,000 employees and facilities all over the world, the collective resources of STS, TSG and Nachi deliver global vehicle platform support, innovative engineering, superior quality and substantial savings to clients around the world.

STS Assembly Equipment and Facility

Kurt Holstege,
General Manager

Kurt has been working in the automation industry for 10+ years and in leadership roles for more than 20 years. Kurt started at STS as a Senior Program Manager, successfully managing some of the largest projects ever awarded to STS. He will bring his passion for manufacturing and his leadership experience into this role to drive the growth and future of STS.

Contact STS