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Company History

buildingIn 1961, Arthur Hilgendorf and Herman Meyer, then employed by Gisholt Corporation, conceived a design for a Superfinisher (a piece of machinery used by the paper mill industry) that was superior to those currently on the market. After their employer rejected this idea, they left Gisholt and formed Controlled Surface Finishing (CSF). They began building these Superfinishers and sold them nationally and eventually worldwide.

In 1967, a local inventor approached them with the idea of a battery powered automated feed cart that would feed silage with minimal labor involved. The idea of the electric feed cart materialized into designs and eventually into a product that has endured farm abuse for over thirty years, with 98 percent of carts sold still in operation today. The feed carts comprised the majority of CSF's sales for the next twenty years.

In 1971, the two partners incorporated CSF. In January 1978, Arthur Hilgendorf purchased Herman Meyer's share of the business. In October 1978, Arthur Hilgendorf passed away leaving sole ownership to his wife, Genevieve Hilgendorf. His son, Dennis Hilgendorf took over running the day-to-day operations of the business. In 1980, the farming industry took a plunge after a record-setting year in 1979. With a lack of farm income, and machinery lying idle, CSF Inc., decided to manufacture components for other businesses. This diversity of products and services to offset their dependency on an unstable farm economy proved to be beneficial. In 1981, CSF Inc., expanded their facilities seven-fold, and entered the factory automation business. In 1991, Dennis and Elizabeth Hilgendorf purchased the remaining stock from Genevieve Hilgendorf and assumed complete ownership of the company.

Today, CSF is a leading supplier of Automation Equipment and Manufactured Components for a variety of industries. From the testing of baby pacifiers to rocket propellant facilities, CSF has a broad range of experience. Its material handling Power Transport line, under the Hilgendorf name, helps thousands of people daily move material easily and efficiently. Check out what CSF can do for you.