Ideal Industries (copy)

Ideal Industries is ending its manufacturing in Oelwein this summer as it consolidates operations in Vinton.


Ideal Industries will cease all of its Oelwein manufacturing operations by the end of July, the company announced on Friday. A third of Oelwein’s employees will be retained as operations are consolidated at Ideal’s Vinton plant.

Production in the Oelwein Industrial Park will continue until June 11 at Ideal’s north plant and July 31 in its south plant, according to a company news release.

The consolidation in Vinton positions Ideal for the COVID-19 recovery, officials say.

“We were planning to modify our production footprint when the coronavirus hit,” said Patrick Lyons, president of Ideal Industries. “Due to the current environment, those plans have been expanded and their implementation has been accelerated.

“Since early March, we have taken steps to keep our employees safe while preparing for this consolidation and the expected changes in near-term demand. I anticipate that our industry will recover but until it does, we will be well-positioned to weather the storm.”

The consolidation is expected to be complete

by Aug. 31 and the production team transferring to Vinton will result in a 50%

increase in Vinton employees.

Ideal is working with Iowa Workforce Development as well as local resources to assist impacted employees with the transition. The company will provide a combination of severance and benefit continuation to displaced workers.

Ideal Industries is a contract metal fabricator founded in 1979. The company manufactures products that support the agricultural, construction, mining, transportation, food and pharmaceutical industries.

Last January, Ideal’s parent company announced the acquisition of ABCO Manufacturing of Oelwein. Lyons at the time said Ideal wanted to find “growth opportunities in established markets,” including heavy construction through strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions.

ABCO Manufacturing produced belt conveyors, hoppers, feeders, vibrating screens and many other products for contractors, mines, quarries, barge terminals, and highway departments across the United States.

The sale of all ABCO stock was completed on Jan. 18, 2019. The $775,000 was to be payed in installments to the former ABCO owners.

Ideal Industries, however, filed suit July 30, 2019, against the former owners, claiming they had misrepresented ABCO’s gross revenues, therefore inflating the purchase price. In the end, though, Ideal Industries dismissed its lawsuit in a manner that it could not be resurrected, according to a Jan. 20, 2020, Fayette County District Court filing.

In December 2019, ICE Manufacturing began operations in the former ABCO facility, according to Oelwein Chamber and Area Development. The company makes trailers.