Team Industries, Inc. Celebrates 50 Years in Business!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Main News Photo



TEAM Industries, Inc. Celebrates 50 Years in Business

June 2017!                                         


June 2017 marks TEAM Industries’ 50th year in business, and we are taking this opportunity to celebrate and say THANK YOU to all of our current and past employees for making us what we are today!  Below is a bit of our company’s history we would like to share.

TEAM Industries began as Motek Engineering and Manufacturing in Cambridge, MN. It was founded by Don and Bea Ricke. Don grew up near the town of Bagley in northern Minnesota, working on the family farm and at his family’s blacksmith shop. He served in the Navy during WWII, married Bea in 1948 and had three children: Debra, David, and Mary.

After receiving an engineering degree from North Dakota State University, he was employed by several companies, including Honeywell, where he worked as an aeronautical engineer on guidance systems for NASA’s pre-Apollo program. To be closer to home, Don endeavored to start his own engineering and machining company, opening Motek in 1967, with the goal to bring good paying manufacturing jobs to rural Minnesota.

His passion for inventing and improving engineering processes led to the expansion of the business, which resulted in the establishment and growth of TEAM Industries.

Don also believed in innovation and technology. Motek began using some of the first pieces of CNC machining equipment in Minnesota. The snowmobile industry was booming at this time and Don developed several innovative, custom designed machines to gain a competitive advantage in this market.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Don heavily invested new technologies into the company. This investment, working with the new “CNC machines,” was to be a real learning experience that Don would utilize in order to leverage future company growth. As Don’s vision for utilizing this technology to improve productivity was realized, TEAM would grow beyond current capacities, yielding growth to more than 600 pieces of CNC equipment.

In 1984, Don and his son, David, decided to expand TEAM Industries and settled on the community of Audubon, MN. Because of its proximity to TEAM’s major customers, a good labor force, and ease of transport of products and materials, this represented a strategic opportunity to leverage and expand upon Don’s engineering capabilities. In addition, this would also further Don’s commitment to bring additional jobs to a rural Minnesota location.  Audubon began manufacturing components for CVT’s for the snowmobile and golf car industries and other contract manufacturing. 

In the winter of 1985, Polaris approached Don with a request that he help develop a new transmission for their ATVs. This newly designed transmission then went into production, and by 1987-88, TEAM Industries was busy building components for transmissions for Polaris. Moreover, TEAM would now be one of the first in the industry to help develop a specialty government/military (GPS) based vehicle. As TEAM grew, their expanded engineering capabilities would be rewarded with additional work from companies like Dana, IBM, Toro, Fairmont Railway Motors and others.

In 1992, a third facility was opened in Bagley with David as president.  Don’s dream had finally come home.  They continued to develop better shifting, quieter transmissions and one year later were making 60,000 total assemblies per year.  Today they assemble well over 815,000 total assemblies per year.

TEAM Bagley has become the Corporate and design engineering headquarters.  It has grown its business more with design engineered product and relies less on make to print components.  TEAM has rapidly developed, tested, and produced dozens of drive train assemblies; CVT’s, transmissions, differentials, advanced 4WD systems, gas and electric transaxles for customers such as Polaris, Arctic Cat, Yamaha, John Deere, Club Car, EZ-Go, BRP and others.  Through rigorous field and bench testing, they have developed duty cycle and product knowledge that many of their customers rely on and bring another dimension to their reputation as world class manufacturers.  Their strong R&D and product development staff have landed 20 US patents with a few others in application.

TEAM Park Rapids opened in July of 1994, approximately 22 miles from Itasca State Park and the

Headwaters of the Mississippi River. Our facility occupies over 124,000 square feet.

TEAM Detroit Lakes was established in 1995 and comprises 70,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehouse and office space. Our manufacturing floor has a total of 10 die casting machines ranging from 500 to 1600 tons.

  TEAM Andrews facility was purchased from BRP in 2005 in North Carolina. Our work here mainly deals with right angle gear cutting and fractured connecting rods for the marine industry.  Many employees that have served this plant have been committed since the 1985 timeframe, transitioning to TEAM from BRP.

TEAM Mexico was opened in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, in January of 2013. This facility started by leasing 45,000 square feet and has expanded to 100,000 square feet. TEAM Mexico provides machining and assembly to support various customers.

    Don’s lasting commitment would also serve to establish ongoing legacy funding, by creating the TEAM Foundation. TEAM Foundation is a nonprofit private foundation established to further the goals of TEAM Industries’ founder, Don Ricke.

Through TEAM Industries, Inc. and the TEAM Foundation, Don’s children David and Deb have continued Don’s direction of “giving back to the communities we serve.” Most are the generosity directed toward charitable giving, involving Education, Community and Healthcare. TEAM’s sizeable donation made possible the building of the Sanford clinic in Bagley.

Don had always embraced, created and leveraged a strong company “family friendly” workplace culture, while providing for rural job creation, and regional economic development stimulation – as well as providing for over 1,000 employees in TEAM. His family traditions of “Family Owned, Family Led, Family Strong” have been the “bricks and mortar” for building TEAM Industries Inc. into a world class solutions provider, while laying a foundation for sustained “employee friendly,” employer of choice capability.

During the month of June, each of our locations have plans for celebrating with employees in appreciation for all they do every day and to have a bit of fun.  Thank you again to current and past employees for making TEAM what we are today, and we look forward to the next 50 years to be as successful!


Category: (none)